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  • Writer's pictureRUSH Physical Therapy, CARA Partner

RUSH Physical Therapy Success Story - Patrick Mahoney

CARA runner Patrick started experiencing intense hip pain just two weeks before the Chicago Marathon and contacted the RUSH Physical Therapy Injury Hotline ( With the help of RUSH Physical Therapy, he was able to finish the Marathon with minimal pain! Learn more about Patrick's road to recovery below!

"After 15 weeks of training, and with just three weeks until the Chicago Marathon, I began to experience pretty intense pain in my left hip whenever I tried to run. At that point, I thought there was little possibility of running, let alone finishing the Marathon. Still, I contacted the RUSH Physical Therapy hotline in the hopes that something/anything could be done and was referred to Sarah Zayyad, P.T., who made time to see me the following day. After Sarah and I talked about both the importance of the Marathon to me and the urgency of the situation, she gave me hope that I might still do it and established a very aggressive treatment plan. Sarah also referred me to an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist who, after reading the X-rays, was able to assure me that nothing was structurally damaged. He then went on to administer a Cortisone injection in my hip. Over the course of the next two weeks/six sessions, Sarah employed dry needling, hip strength building exercises, stretching exercises, etc., to get me there. Needless to say, I wasn't at 100% on race day but I was able to finish which, all things considered, was quite an accomplishment...and I couldn't have done it without Sarah."


Sarah Zayyad, P.T., DPT, CMPT, CDNT, Cert.ART

RUSH Physical Therapy

1) Tell us a little about Patrick’s journey back to running with the support of RUSH PT. He called the injury hotline two weeks before the Marathon due to severe left hip pain that worsened after some speed work. At the time, he was in the city so he went to Jon at RUSH PT Union Station for a quick screen. Jon called me and sent him my way.

We got him started at our RUSH PT Palos center. His main goal, of course, was to run the marathon in two weeks. He presented with hip muscle weakness and flexibility restrictions along the hip musculature most notably adductors and hip flexors. I did some ART and IASTM as well as proximal hip/core strengthening. We got him back to running a couple days later with tolerable pain. I referred him to Dr. Watson who gave him a cortisone injection just to get through race day. He was able to finish the marathon, which was his ultimate goal. He is so thankful for all of us, especially the Injury Hotline, because without it he said he would not have known what to do and doesn't know where he would be. He is so positive and already signed up for Chicago next year. 2) What advice do you have for other runners returning to running after injury? Nothing happens overnight. I know it's hard to hear that. You have to be patient and believe in your goal. Trust that your provider has your best interest in mind and listen to your body. You may have to adjust your pace, add more rest days, etc., but remember the end goal is so much better than the setback.

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