Patient independence during rehab with Nathan Carlson

Nathan Carlson is a US-based Physical Therapist and co-host of the Runners Zone podcast. Brodie and Nathan talk about the importance of developing independence during a runner’s rehabilitation and how a therapist needs to nature the independent process. This is important for every PHT sufferer to know. Some therapists may misdirect rehabilitation toward a short-term, dependant strategy, resulting in high consultation frequency & poor evidence-based approaches. Nathan talks about hands-on, passive treatments and when they are validated versus exercise-based rehabilitation. He also discusses the importance of empowering the runner through this process. Finally, Brodie and Nathan discuss red flags to look out for to see if you’re on the wrong rehabilitation path. Click here to learn more about the PHT video course & to receive your 50% discount If you would like to learn more about having Brodie on your rehab team go to  Or book a free 20-min physio chat here

Title: Understanding and Managing Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy: A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction: Welcome to this podcast episode transcript turned blog article, dedicated to helping you overcome proximal hamstring tendinopathy. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of this condition, explore evidence-based treatments, and debunk common misconceptions. My name is Brody Sharp, and I am an online physiotherapist, a recreational athlete, and the creator of the Run Smarter series. Having dealt with chronic proximal hamstring tendinopathy myself, I am here to empower you with the right knowledge and practical takeaways to conquer this challenging condition.

Understanding Patient Independence: In this episode, we are addressing a critical topic: patient independence. We will explore what it means and why it is crucial for individuals dealing with proximal hamstring tendinopathy (PHT). Many of you may have sought help from various healthcare professionals and encountered frustration along the way. It is essential to grasp the concept of patient independence and reflect on its significance.

Nathan Carlson: A Valuable Guest: Our special guest for this episode is Nathan Carlson, a physical therapist, coach, and research enthusiast based in Kansas City, Missouri. Nathan’s expertise and dedication to understanding running-related injuries make him a valuable resource for our discussion on patient independence.

Patient Independence: What Does It Mean? Patient independence in the context of rehab management refers to the patient’s ability to take control of their situation, understand their condition, and manage it effectively. It entails patients being empowered to make informed decisions and actively participate in their rehabilitation journey. Instead of surrendering all control to the therapist, patient independence shifts the focus to the therapist facilitating the process while the patient takes an active role.

The Runner’s Own Podcast: Nathan Carlson co-hosts the “Runner’s Own Podcast” with Chris Johnson, which aligns with the goals of Run Smarter. Their podcast aims to provide valuable information to runners, helping them navigate the complexities of running and running-related injuries. It’s a platform where experts, physicians, coaches, dietitians, and athletes share insights, experiences, and opinions.

Nathan’s Journey: Nathan’s journey into the world of physical therapy and running began during his college years. He discovered his passion for running, which ultimately led him to PT school. With a decade of experience, he now specializes in endurance sports and helps athletes manage injuries, improve strength and conditioning, and achieve their performance goals.

The Purpose of the Runner’s Own Podcast: The Runner’s Own Podcast was born out of a desire to disseminate useful information to both clinicians and runners. Nathan and Chris believe that understanding the complexities of running and running-related injuries can be challenging. Their podcast serves as a platform to share knowledge, experiences, and opinions, making running a more enjoyable and informed endeavor for all.

Empowering Patients: The Key to Successful Rehabilitation: Patient independence is a fundamental aspect of successful rehabilitation. Empowering patients to take charge of their recovery journey and teaching them how to navigate the ups and downs of rehab is essential. It’s not about simply “fixing” patients; it’s about equipping them with the tools, knowledge, and confidence to manage their condition independently.

Dependent vs. Independent Approaches: A Comparison: To illustrate the difference between dependent and independent approaches to rehab, let’s consider two scenarios for a common running injury—patellofemoral pain (knee pain):

Dependent Approach:

  • In this scenario, a patient seeks help and expects the therapist to “fix” them.
  • The therapist may recommend multiple in-person sessions per week for an extended period, along with passive modalities like ART (Active Release Techniques) and Graston.
  • The patient is advised to refrain from running for several months, focusing solely on therapy.

Independent Approach:

  • In this approach, the therapist assesses the patient’s pain level and functionality.
  • The therapist and patient work together to establish the knee’s tolerance to stress during different activities.
  • Based on the assessment, a plan is created that allows the patient to continue some level of training, whether through cross-training, modified running sessions, or other strategies.
  • The emphasis is on empowering the patient to manage their condition independently while receiving guidance and support from the therapist.

Conclusion: Understanding proximal hamstring tendinopathy and other running-related injuries requires a holistic approach that includes patient independence. By empowering patients with the knowledge and tools they need to actively participate in their recovery, we can pave the way for more successful rehabilitation journeys. In the next part of this series, we will delve deeper into specific strategies and exercises for managing proximal hamstring tendinopathy. Stay tuned for more valuable insights and practical tips to help you overcome this condition and get back to running pain-free.