Patient Story

Ascension Via Christi Physical Therapy Restores Runner's Love for Her Sport

By Ascension Via Christi March 3, 2020

After experiencing knee pain, dedicated runner Sheli Glover recovered and improved with the help of Ascension Via Christi Therapy Center.

Sheli Glover stands proudly at the spot where she encountered horrible knee pain a year earlier

Sheli Glover is a dedicated runner. She found a love for running in her 20s and hasn’t stopped since. Sheli even plans vacations around running events.

“Some people like to go to a beach and lay around on a resort, I like to do my vacations around competitions,” says Sheli, who’s devotion has taken her to 15 states so far. “Running is my me-time and my passion.”

However, in 2018, Sheli was hindered by deep, sharp pain in her left knee, caused by her Iliotibial band.

“I’m not a very patient person so weeks of physical therapy wasn’t appealing to me,” says Sheli. “I wanted a quick fix to get back to running but this issue took some time to fix.”

In late March 2019, Sheli began attending physical therapy twice a week with Kassie Gile, DPT, at Ascension Via Christi Therapy Center on Socora. Gile did a running assessment to determine a plan of action for addressing strength and biomechanical corrections to improve her mechanics with running.

“Sheli demonstrated a heel strike run pattern with compensations due to hip and glute weakness," says Gile. "It was important for me to strengthen the entire kinetic chain of her leg, to help with the transition into a midfoot runner.”

After 1 month of physical therapy, she had improved significantly, but some localized pain in her left knee persisted when she was running. Gile then paired up with dry-needling specialist, Melissa Warders, PT, to help address the muscle spasm in her left hip and glutes that were likely contributing to her continued knee pain.

“Dry needling is very effective at helping to restore normal function to muscles that are in spasm or have trigger points in them that are causing pain to be referred to other areas,” says Warders. “Getting these issues corrected helped Sheli to focus on strengthening her hip and glutes without as much irritation and lead to improved knee function while running.”

For Sheli, her therapists' dedication is what kept her motivated to get better. “The therapists are so passionate about what they do and they respect their patients by taking their issues seriously,” says Sheli. “When they said they’d get me better, they meant it.”

Sheli noticed the difference the physical therapy made from the same Snowmass, CO Ragnar Relay Race.

“I ran that race in June 2018, before physical therapy when I was in pain, and again after therapy in June 2019,” says Sheli. “The changes they helped me make took 40 minutes off my time.”

Despite her better times, Sheli is grateful for more than her running ability. “I get to travel more and watch my daughter play collegiate softball without pain or discomfort.”

Sheli still uses the techniques she learned in therapy to deal with the occasional soreness but says she hasn’t had any pain since completing the program.

“I wish I didn’t wait eight months to get help, but the excellent help I got has made all the difference in my life,” says Sheli.