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  • Writer's pictureRUSH Physical Therapy, CARA Partner

RUSH Physical Therapy Sucess Story: Kyle Coates

Kyle Coates began his journey with RUSH Physical Therapy in February 2018, following a routine knee surgery that, unfortunately, developed complications. As he took on the 2019 racing season, his physical therapist, Emily, became an indispensable part of his training. Thanks to Emily and the team at RUSH Physical Therapy, Kyle ran 11 races including the Missoula Marathon in June and the Madison Marathon in November. Learn more about Kyle’s road to recovery at RUSH Physical Therapy.

What is your personal connection to CARA?

I have been a proud CARA member since moving to Chicago in 2012. I was a group leader with the Beginner Running Program in 2013-2014 before several stints as a group leader in winter and spring half marathon training. I’m also a perpetual participant in the CARA Runners’ Choice circuit, achieving age group awards in both 2016 and 2019. I’ve met great friends through CARA and will continue to support all that they do for the Chicago running community.

Tell us about the injury you dealt with and your experience working with RUSH Physical Therapy to overcome it.

I started my journey with RUSH Physical Therapy in February 2018 following a routine knee surgery that I, unfortunately, developed some complications from. What followed was close to 90 physical therapy sessions, two outstanding primary physical therapists, three separate RUSH Physical Therapy locations, and two physical therapy graduations. After my first graduation led me to walking and running pain-free for the first time in years, I reenlisted the help of RUSH Physical Therapy as I took on the 2019 racing season. My physical therapist Emily became an indispensable part of my training as I visited the center weekly for nearly the entire year. Thanks to Emily and the team at RUSH Physical Therapy, I was able to run 11 races including the Missoula Marathon in June and the Madison Marathon in November.

What kept you motivated during this time?

I was able to shift my goals several times to keep me positive and forward-thinking. What started as me wanting to ease back into “competitive” racing transitioned into walk/run and running in full bouts again. Ultimately, the goal of full autonomy over my own body is what kept me grinding throughout the initial portions of my recovery.

Do you have any advice for runners who may be struggling with an injury?

Set realistic and flexible goals, stay positive and have fun with running. These might sound like different things, but they all go hand-in-hand with one another. While it’s good to have big, pie-in-the-sky goals, setting attainable, intermediate goals are incredibly helpful on the road to recovery. It’s easy to get down on yourself when all you think about is how far you have to go, instead of how far you’ve come. And most important, keep having fun. If you’re not having fun, change up your goals so you have something closer to reach for. When I finished my first marathon post-recovery it might have been 40+ minutes slower than my personal best, but it was hands down the most rewarding race I’ve ever done!


Emily Grimm, PT, DPT, COMT

RUSH Physical Therapy

Tell us a little about Kyle’s journey back to running with the support of RUSH PT.

Kyle had a difficult and long journey back to running after his knee injury and subsequent surgery. He had some complications that caused severe range of motion limitations in his knee and difficulty building quadriceps strength. Initially, he struggled to walk or bend his knee at all. Due to these complications, Kyle was attending physical therapy at RUSH Physical Therapy for much longer than expected. He experienced several plateaus during treatment and some unexplained symptoms. Throughout his time in physical therapy, Kyle was determined to return to marathon running. Kyle was always compliant; he attended every session with a good attitude and was ready to work hard to achieve his goals. When we finally started the return to run program, Kyle was patient and listened to his body. He stuck to his run schedule and was able to slowly progress from run/walk intervals, to running short distances, and finally was able to progress mileage from there. It helped that Kyle is also a running coach and had created an excellent run progression program for higher mileage runners. Kyle and I had a long journey together and although RUSH Physical Therapy helped to guide him through his rehabilitation process, he did the hard work and was consistent with home exercises, which is what got him back to the start line.

What advice do you have for other runners returning to running after injury?

My biggest piece of advice for runners, especially following an injury, is to find time to incorporate mobility and strengthening exercises. Most runners will not make it through the season without injury unless they include a good stretching and strengthening routine. Many of my runner patients don’t realize that running is not strength training. Including a routine into your schedule will help prevent injury from the beginning, increase your running efficiency and improve your running mechanics. Finding the time with the training schedule can be challenging, but I like to remind runners of any level that running is hard on your body and will expose imbalances. Just running isn’t enough. Making the time to do a maintenance routine will allow you to continue to run safely and more long-term.​

Emily Grimm, PT, DPT, COMT

Center Manager Rush Physical Therapy


3240 N. Halsted Chicago, IL 60657

Phone (773)281-4220

Fax (773) 281-4228

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