By Joel McFarland, Reynolds Army Health Clinic Public AffairsFebruary 1, 2018
FORT SILL, Okla. (Feb. 1, 2018) --What is one thing all Soldiers have in common?
Every Soldier throughout their career in the Army has to run. Running is a fundamental skill we learn since we take our first steps, but somehow along the way we adopt bad habits that corrupt the running form.
How often do we reflect on the basic skills of running? Does the average Solider take into account how their foot strikes the ground with every step they take, give thought to their stride cadence, or the importance of their footwear?
In 2008, to treat running related injuries that plagued the 434th Field Artillery Brigade here, Maj. Charles Blake, a physical therapist, brought the Pose Method running technique to the brigade.
"The Pose Method has existed in the world of elite running for decades," said Blake. "The work we have done is not to invent anything new but to bring these existing and proven techniques to the Army and use them to prevent running related injuries and improve the readiness of the force."
Now, 10 years later, Blake, a physical therapist from Joint Base San Antonio, travels across the Army to teach Pose running to master fitness trainers in accordance with the Holistic Health of the Force initiative at each installation.
At Fort Sill, Maj. Alexandra Hickman, chief of rehabilitation services at Reynolds Army Health Clinic (RAHC), has continued the Pose tradition. In January, Hickman, as part of her continuing effort to improve readiness for Soldiers at Fort Sill, brought Capt. Brianna Startzell from Fort Carson, Colo., and Blake to teach a Pose course for master fitness trainers here.
"Since September of last year the physical therapy department at Reynolds has operated a musculoskeletal sick call for the advanced individual training Soldiers of the 30th Air Defense Artillery Brigade," she said. "By having a physical therapist forward at the brigade twice a week, it has helped Soldiers to be treated immediately for acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries."
This immediate access improves a Soldier's care and reduces lost training time. The program worked so well that it has since expanded to the 428th Field Artillery Brigade.
"As successful as the program has been, we noticed that many of the injuries that the Soldiers were coming in for were running related," Hickman said. "This led me to seek out Major Blake and Captain Startzell to conduct a Pose course at Fort Sill."
For three days the first week in January, Blake taught the Pose course at the Fires Fitness Center for 19 master fitness trainers from the Reynolds Physical Therapy department, Fort Sill brigades and several physical therapists from other installations.
"Pose is not a new way to run," said Blake. "It is a systematic method to describe and teach any movement. In this case it is a study of running to help prevent injury and improve running technique for Soldiers. The better our Soldiers move, the more lethal and resilient they are."
Over the course of three days, the students received extensive classroom instruction and practical exercises that covered everything from the history of running to the anatomy of a stride.
"One of the key elements of the Pose course is the use of video analysis of the runners so that the students can evaluate the process of how the foot strikes the ground and the efficiency of the runner," Blake said.
The final day of the course the students put into practice what they had learned thanks to volunteers from the RAHC Medical Company. Soldiers from the Medical Company volunteered to have their running styles analyzed, and improved upon using the Pose technique.
"The students have all done great with the course," said Hickman. "They now have a great opportunity to take what they have learned back to their units to help prevent running injuries."
For more information regarding RAHC Physical Therapy sick call or for more information about the Pose running program, call the Reynolds Army Health Clinic Rehabilitative Services Department at 580-558-8454.