Pregnancy and Running

August 8, 2013: Attitudes toward running during pregnancy have shifted significantly in recent decades, so that today appropriate doses are viewed by medical professionals as not only safe for a mother and her developing child but also beneficial. However, potential risks and new challenges remain.

In this episode, physical therapists Bryan Heidersheit, PT, PhD, and Liz Chumanov, PT, DPT, discuss their study that found that pregnancy alters a woman's running biomechanics, and that those changes often persist after childbirth. Study participant Stephanie Housh also discusses her experiences with running during pregnancy.

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    Bryan Heiderscheit, PT, PhD, is a co-author of a recently published study examining the running biomechanics of pregnant women, and a professor in the departments of Orthopedics & Rehabilitation and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin(UW)-Madison.  Additionally, he is the director of the Runners' Clinic through the UW Sports Medicine Center; director of Sports Performance Research for UW Athletics; and co-director of the UW Neuromuscular Biomechanics Laboratory. His research is aimed at understanding and enhancing the clinical management of orthopedic conditions, with particular focus on running-related injuries. Support for his work includes the National Institutes of Health and NFL Medical Charities.

    Liz Chumanov, PT, DPT, PhD, is a co-author of a recently published study examining the running biomechanics of pregnant women and currently holds a joint appointment as a physical therapist through University of Wisconsin (UW) Hospitals and Clinic Sports Rehabilitation Department and a research associate through the UW Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation. She specializes in treating women who want to get back to running following childbirth and she currently uses ultrasound imaging as biofeedback to assist with the retraining of the deep abdominal muscles in these women. She is also involved in research looking at the recovery of the deep abdominal muscles following childbirth and how the recovery of these muscles affects a woman's running mechanics.

    Stephanie Housh is an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She works with men's and women's soccer, softball, and women's crew. An avid athlete and runner, Stephanie participated in the study conducted by Bryan Heiderscheit and Liz Chumanov, which examined how pregnancy can alter running biomechanics.

    Post from, the official consumer Web site of the American Physical Therapy Association, ©2014


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