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National Sports Medicine Expert to Headline RHCI Triathlon Clinic


Dr. Irene Davis to Discuss Barefoot Running

SANDWICH, MA - World-renowned sports medicine and running expert Irene Davis, PhD, PT, FAPTA, FACSM, will speak about the controversial topic of barefoot running at the RHCI Triathlon Clinic scheduled on Sunday, July 11 at 9:00 a.m. at the JunglePlex Sports Complex, 8 Natalie Way, Plymouth. The Triathlon Clinic is sponsored by Rehabilitation Hospital of the Cape and Islands (RHCI) and includes sports rehabilitation experts from RHCI and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network.

A prolific author and internationally known speaker who has appeared on Discovery Channel, Time Magazine and ABC World News Tonight, Dr. Davis has spent 20 years of her career studying the relationships among lower extremity structure, mechanics and injury in runners. She will begin the clinic with a talk on Barefoot Running: Treading Softly to Good Health. A professor in the Physical Therapy Department at the University of Delaware, Director of the UD’s Running Injury Lab and Director of Research for Drayer Physical Therapy Institute, she is dedicated to helping runners improve their mechanics so they can run pain free. Her areas of interest include studying the effects of physical therapy interventions such as gait retraining and the benefits of barefoot running.

“I believe if you have an intact neuromuscular system and your feet are sound enough to be able to run in shoes, you should be able to run without them,” says Davis, who gave up running as a young adult after repeatedly developing hip pain. Thirty years later, new research inspired her to take up running again. “I thought I would adopt a more natural running pattern and perhaps avoid the problem I had previously. I am now running barefoot 20 miles a week without any hip or other problems, despite being older.”

According to Davis’s latest research, the modern cushioned running shoe changes the body’s natural gait in a way that can lead to injuries such as tibial stress fractures and plantar fasciitis. But, Davis cautions, “if you have been habitually shod, you need to transition very slowly to develop the strength and endurance in your foot and ankle muscles so they can support the loads associated with running without shoes.”

Following the lecture, Dr. Davis will join clinicians from RHCI and a sports nutritionist from Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, plus experts from Serious Cycles and Bayside Runner, to offer a mental, physical and equipment “tune-up” for athletes of all levels and abilities, including serious and aspiring triathletes. Training programs for triathletes have enjoyed unprecedented growth over the last ten years.

“A triathlon is often the ‘next challenge’ for men and women after they’ve completed their first road or bike race,” says Jim McNamara, Director of Ambulatory Services at RHCI. The traditional triathlon is comprised of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run, and the less grueling “Sprint” triathlon involves a .75 kilometer swim, 20 kilometer bike ride and 5 kilometer run.

“With many boomers’ desire to focus on healthier, active lifestyles, the field of sports medicine will only continue to grow,” adds Jim. “The Triathlon Clinic is a great way for athletes to learn from our clinicians who have expertise in treating and preventing sports injuries. Many of them are experienced runners themselves.”

Training stations for runners, cyclists, other athletes and professionals will include: videotape gait analysis; nutrition tips; insoles evaluation; custom bike fitting; dry land swim drills; running shoe evaluation; and stretching techniques. Attendees should bring their shoes and their bikes for onsite evaluation of proper fit. The clinic will run from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Both the lecture and clinic are free but pre-registration is required.

To pre-register for the presentation and clinic, call 508-833-4210 or register online at or Facebook (search “RHCI”).

Note to editor: In you are interested in arranging interviews or coverage of the event, please contact Carole Stasiowski, RHCI Director of Community Relations, at (508) 833-4006 or
RHCI clinicians featured at the Triathlon Clinic:
Laurie Crocker, PT, COMT, of Sandwich - Outpatient Physical Therapy Supervisor, RHCI-Sandwich
Heather Ward, MSPT, of Plymouth - Neuro Physical Therapist, RHCI-Sandwich
Jamie Zschau, MSPT, of Kingston - Physical Therapist at RHCI-Yarmouth

About RHCI:
The Rehabilitation Hospital of the Cape and Islands (RHCI) provides comprehensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation for Cape Cod, the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, along with the South Shore and South Coast regions. Services include specialized inpatient programs for stroke, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, joint replacement surgery, amputation, multiple trauma, and complex medical conditions, and extensive outpatient therapy and physician services at centers in Sandwich, Yarmouth, Orleans and Plymouth, including sports rehabilitation. RHCI for Children Eileen M. Ward Rehabilitation Center is a regional resource for children with a wide range of needs.



 Barefoot running

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