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  • Writer's pictureRUSH Physical Therapy, CARA Partner

RUSH PT Success Story: Yasir “Al” Bezirgan

Yasir “Al”, had always had issues with his lower back, so he went to RUSH Physical Therapy to help deal with his pain. As luck would have it, he was teamed up with RUSH Physical Therapist, Claire Remec, who is a fantastic runner herself. Claire worked with Yasir to help him overcome his injuries. Yasir is currently in the CARA half marathon training program and running even better now. Read more about Yasir's journey back to health with RUSH Physical Therapy.

What is your personal connection to CARA?

Over the summer of 2020, I joined one of CARA’s Tuesday night track workouts. I have to say the first day I was very nervous. Would I be the slowest runner? The oldest runner? Will I even be accepted by this group?

To my surprise I was not the slowest, not that I would have mattered; however, I was one of the oldest but no one seemed to care about that. Having never done any kind of speed work and have only been running for about nine months I was still unsure.

The group of other runners could not have been more welcoming and the coach was extremely helpful. The biggest change was my speed. After the running course was done, I set a new 5k PR ( 23:57) and a new 10k PR (49:17). At 54 years old and having just started this was huge for me. More than that it got me introduced to other runners in my community who share the same passion for running.

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

I have always had issues with my lower back so went to RUSH Physical Therapy for help, as luck would have it I was teamed up with Claire who is a fantastic runner. Dealing with an injury takes time and effort. I had my share of set back and I would send Claire would desperate emails from me asking if I will ever run again. For as silly as that sounds, Claire and the team at RUSH stuck by me and gave me the reassurance that if I put in the work I can overcome these issues.

When I first went to see Claire at RUSH Physical Therapy, it was the first time someone had a good idea of what I was dealing with. The first step was improving my core strength and stability and also work on my running mechanics. Claire had me run on the treadmill while she recorded me running. Not only did she go through the video with me, but she gave me a comprehensive report about what I was doing right and wrong and how to fix it. That was eye-opening. Lastly, she performed dry needling. Dry needling was very helpful and Clair has a way of explaining everything in detail. In the end she helped me rebuild my core, kept me running approximately 100 miles a month and I have the tools to keep me injury-free. I am slowly getting past my issues and I am currently in the CARA half marathon training program and running ever better.

What kept you motivated during this time?

Having been in such poor health prior to running, that is my motivation. I never want to go back to the person I was. Running not only keeps me at this level of fitness, but the joy I once got from a Big Mac I now get from running 8 x800 workout or doing a 10 mile run with runners half my age ( and not to brag but dusting some of them).

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

The team at RUSH is so helpful, but they can only take you so far. You have to but in the work and there is definitely no magic pill, only time and effort. However, it’s not a journey you take alone. The team at RUSH Physical Therapy was there with me the whole way. Claire would listen to me complain about how I was sure I had gained 3 lbs because I had to miss 3 days of running. She would listen, then remind me that unless I drank a bottle of olive oil there is no way that can happen, or if I need to take a little time off my fitness level will not change.


Claire Remec, PT, DPT

RUSH Physical Therapy, LPAC

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

Yasir “Al” never truly stopped running. He ran through the pain, which as a physical therapist I don’t’ always recommend; however, finally came to see us because the pain was unbearable, and really wanted to do conservative treatment for his injury. Rather than cutting out running completely, Al decreased his mileage, as he was determined to recover safely without stopping running. Once treatment was done, Al continued to have his fair share of setbacks and would always come in to see me or email me if he needed anything.

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

Listen to your body and cross-train! Do something other than running for at least one day of the week. Yoga is a great option for stability and strength building as well as stretching for runners! Be sure to do a good warm-up and cool down. Any type of workout that you will make you sore should definitely be followed by stretching, foam rolling, Theragun, etc.


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