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Running with left hemiplegia

Hi guys

I would like to start running, I have a resting splint and regular shoes, no adaptation, my left leg is about 1 inch shorter than right and I get a sore hip foot and very tight back of the leg, if I run or walk at present.  Does anyone run successfully with no pain etc. Thanks


  • Noah
    Noah Member Posts: 423 Pioneering
    It probably an idea to discuss your goal of being able to run with your orthopedic specialist. Some things that they can help with, include doing are gait analyst and looking at what might be able to be achieved with different types of orthotics and physio, and will also be able to advise on if anything can be improved with surgical intervention. 

    It is quite ambitious to be able to successfully take up running with CP, yet it may not be impossible with the right support, training and adaptations as demonstrated by individuals with CP that run in the Paralympics.

    I wish you the very best, and every success, and would be most interested to follow your progress, please keep us updated.

  • TreeGillions
    TreeGillions Member Posts: 3
    Hi Noah

    I have contacted my GP since writing this, they have been ace, have been referred for fitting of a flexible splint, orthotic leggings and adapted shoes, although its 18 weeks till I even get seen.

    I have also asked for a gait and biomechanical assessment referal although I would think that will come once my orthotics have been fitted. 

    Will keep you posted.
  • Mickey
    Mickey Member Posts: 16
    Please do keep us updated, really interested to hear how it all goes for you
  • liayn85
    liayn85 Member Posts: 31 Connected
    You will definitely have to stretch more if you run. I have been advised to do 15 minutes of stretching in the morning and 15 minutes at night. You can get newsletters that "warn" you of what kind of muscle tightness/discomfort runners can expect and go ahead and proactively stretch and strengthen those areas more, for example the quads. I have been running for 2 decades now and I have spastic hemiplegia on my entire right side. I have only gotten back to running recently after taking a month off following a rough fall. 
    I would say that you know your body best BUT get a professional to look at where you are tight. I didn't get physical therapy for a decade and I definitely regret it. I have a sports massage therapist who is doing amazing work and changing my life.
    I would DEFINITELY look at your hip adductors. I have just been informed that my hip adductors are greatly affected by my hemiplegia. I remember vaguely hearing about my adductors as a child but this is all news to me. I wrote a separate post about it today. I have been given exercises to strengthen them and also stretch the thigh compartment area, and I have already seen an amazing improvement in weight bearing and the level of tension in less than a week.

    Also, I have read this about all runners, but I think it is esp true for those with CP: do not sit down for 8-10 hours a day straight of inactivity (aka cubicle creature, long commute, etc.) and expect to be able to run well or without strain. Get plenty of walks spaced in your day if that is you. Expect your gait and hip problems to worsen if you do not actively stretch. 
    There are plenty of yoga poses online for runners! I have found that the treadmill is wonderful as it "guides" your body to correct movement, or movement that is as good as it gets, so get a treadmill workout in every once in awhile even if it is not your thing.
    EACH RUNNER has to push his/her body to the limits. I have found this is hard for me because people with CP know fatigue and burn-out all too well, in addition to the possibility of falling. So I think that naturally scares us. There are definite thresholds that CP runners break through that is harder with a hip misalignment, restrictive fascia, uncooperative muscles, tight tendons, and on top of this a body that just might not want to push itself. I'm sure my right leg is shorter as well though I don't know, but my right foot is definitely smaller. Also, possibly your left lung might not have developed to full capacity, affecting your running, or at least the way you breathe. My right lung did not fully develop and I get stared at because of how heavily I breathe sometimes, though I sometimes am not even aware of it.
    Compete with yourself every time you run, go at your own pace but still steadily improve.
    Running is definitely mind over matter, but in our case that mind has been permanently damaged. Still, you need to believe in yourself and you can do it. You've got this!
  • TreeGillions
    TreeGillions Member Posts: 3
    Hi liayn 

    Wow didnt know half of this! Hip aductors?? will investigate.   I am 29 years old  I wore a splint till 15 years old and haven't had anything since, I have an internal raise as of a year or so ago which does help walking.

    I am currently waiting referal to be fitted with special cp leggings, they align your hips etc, look into if you haven't already,  I will also be fitted with a flexible splint, and im hoping adapted shoes (I get alot of pain in my left big toe and bridge of my foot)

    Currently on week 2 of an intensive HIT workout and a much healthier lifestyle,  I am seeing good results, and all hip and calf pain has disappeared,  its an 18 week wait to see the legging specialist so I figured I needed to get my fitness up and muscle strength. 

    Heres hoping it will all be worth it. 

  • liayn85
    liayn85 Member Posts: 31 Connected
    edited May 2016
    Haha yeah @TreeGillions be prepared to lose a few toenails. Basically anything normal runners experience will be experienced with a vengeance as someone with CP. And don't let your non-affected side compensate or dominate too much! Don't let your affective side get too passive or go on "auto-pilot" as I like to call it, utilizing the contracted muscles and getting lazy by allowing the unaffected side to do most of the work.

    Best of luck!
  • Noah
    Noah Member Posts: 423 Pioneering
    Hi TreeGillions,

    Just an idea while you wait for your referable for the special leggings, try going to a sports shop and buying some full length compression socks, you can buy them for about £8 a pair or slightly cheaper on ebay! They are amazing at improving muscle feedback and control.

    All the very best, please keep us posted on how you get on.

  • Goodbourn95
    Goodbourn95 Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Hi TreeGillions,

    I am a master's student at De Montfort University, Leicester and for my major project I am currently designing a running shoe for people with Cerebral Palsy.
    Hopefully this project will help improve the athletics performance and quality of life of people with CP. Rest assured you are not alone, there are many people out there with the condition who do like to run!

    I was reading your post and I would very much like to include you in my research, therefore if you could just fill in this quick survey I'd be very grateful:




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