If you enjoy exercising by regularly running and have recently experienced a lower limb amputation or about to face one know that you will still have options to get back to the exercise you love. There are many options on the market and they continue to evolve and get more efficient all the time.
Working with your medical team and talking to your Prosthetist is a good place to start. Let them know what your goals are. They will be able to help you, but it is also important to do your own research, that way you will be more informed and can make better decisions as to what will suit you best.
The process of finding a prosthesis that will work for you can take time. There will be testing and readjusting to be sure you can run as comfortably and safely as possible. Not only does it take time to get use to the physical sensation of running on a prosthesis there is often times when you have to mentally get use to trusting a mechanical part of your body.
There are three main parts of a prosthetic leg; the blade (foot), the socket and the liner. Much like a conventional prosthesis, your residual limb is covered tightly with the liner which then goes into the socket. The socket is connected to the foot or running blade. There are different types of sockets that can be used for different activities. Often for running, a suction style socket is used.
There are many options for running feet on your prosthesis. You have to choose the one that feels best for you. Your medical team can also give you advice if you are unsure.
One issue that often comes us when running with a prosthesis is perspiration. It can cause a lot of problems, much more than running with two healthy legs. If your limb perspires while running, there is always a risk of your prosthesis slipping off or causing skin issues on your residual limb. You will need to remove the prosthesis and liner and dry off your limb and liner. There are also sweat socks that can be used under a liner that can make a major difference. Other strategies that runners have tried with some success is to rub their residual limb with an antiperspirant a few hours before their run or even getting Botox injections in their residual limb which would decrease perspiration.
Along with finding the right equipment to run with it is also important to keep a few things in mind when running with a Prosthesis:
Running with a Prosthesis will take much more energy than running with two natural legs
Use both sides of your body equally, have trust in your prosthesis so your healthy limb does not have to have all the pressure
Start slow and work up to the length of time or distance you would like to ideally run
Running is definitely not for everyone but staying active is great for both your mental and physical health. There are always adaptive activity options for you no matter what stage in your amputation journey you are at. Your medical team will be there to help you.
If you have any questions about getting a prosthetic limb for running or any other adaptive activity you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-661-8777.