• A Runner Sidelined by Years of Knee and Hip Pain Recovers With Physical Therapy

    Two women running

    April 1, 2021: Jennifer Francis was an active runner until her mid-20s. Then a pain spiral that began in her knee, hip, and outer thigh left her unable to be physically active. The problems lasted for two years until even walking became painful.

    Jennifer looked for and got help from medical providers. She did everything she was told to do, but nothing worked. In pain, inactive, and gaining weight, Jennifer was discouraged. Then she found help from physical therapists.

    Her physical therapists asked her the right questions. They identified her problems and treated the physical issues others had missed. She was battling a common overuse injury called IT band syndrome, and a tear in the cartilage in her hip.

    As an athlete, Jennifer was strong, but she had muscle imbalances and coordination issues that stressed her joints. Physical therapy was the key to her recovery. Through muscle and function retraining, she was able to run four miles and squat 45 pounds — pain free — within a few months.

    Listen as Jennifer shares the insights she learned through physical therapy. Joining her is physical therapist Sareena Sathe who discusses Jennifer’s case and the lessons it holds for others. This “best of” Move Forward Radio episode first aired in 2019.

    Here’s our discussion with Jennifer and Sareena.

    Download the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or Google Play, or listen below.


    Jennifer Francis
    Jennifer Francis is a 30-year-old from Queens, New York, who grew up playing a different sport every season. In college, she gave up competitive team sports and fell in love with weight training and distance running. Jennifer runs with the New York Road Runners to keep her competitive edge. She enjoys barre, strength-based Pilates, and bike riding for fun. Being active is an important part of Jennifer's life. She is thankful physical therapy helped her get back to the activities she enjoys.


    Sareena Sathe, PT, DPT
    Sareena Sathe, PT, DPT, is a licensed physical therapist in New York and New Jersey. Sareena has seven years of experience working with patients ranging from children to older adults. Her professional interests include helping people with balance and inner ear problems. She also helps many people return to sport after ACL surgery.


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