Navigating the Crossroads of Surgery and Physical Therapy in Running

Navigating the Crossroads of Surgery and Physical Therapy in Running


Welcome back to our deep dive into runner health. Today, we’re touching on a topic close to many San Diego runners’ hearts (and knees, and hips!): the decision between surgery and physical therapy. As we explore this, remember that whether it’s knee pain, hip discomfort, or low back issues, knowing when to opt for surgery or seek out a physical therapy specialist in San Diego is crucial.

When Surgery is the Right Call

It’s a scenario many of us face – you’ve been dealing with persistent knee pain, despite trying various treatments. “Do I need surgery?” becomes a burning question. Dr. Matthew Perry, a renowned expert in sports physical therapy in San Diego, sheds light on this. He points out that while physical therapy is the first line of defense for knee pain treatment, in some advanced cases – think significant structural damage – surgery might be the best route.

The Power of Prehabilitation

Here’s an interesting nugget from our chat with Dr. Perry: the concept of ‘prehabilitation’. It’s like a warm-up lap before the main race – prepping your body for surgery through targeted exercises. For those in San Diego seeking sports physical therapy, this approach can be a game-changer, potentially smoothing out your post-surgery road to recovery.

Setting Realistic Expectations

Physical Therapy in Running

A big part of our discussion revolved around expectations. Undergoing surgery, especially for something like low back pain, which is quite common among San Diego runners, isn’t a magic fix. It’s a journey, and often, the path includes post-surgical physical therapy. That’s where experts in San Diego can play a pivotal role, guiding you through a recovery that’s realistic and attainable.

Listening to Your Body: A Runner’s Best Tool

This is where tuning into your body comes into play. Say you’re experiencing neck and shoulder pain. Before jumping to conclusions, consider consulting a physical therapist specializing in neck and shoulder pain near you. They can provide invaluable insights and help determine if surgery is necessary or if physical therapy could be the answer.


Wrapping up, remember: whether it’s dealing with a tricky knee, a stubborn hip, or a persistent back issue, the decision to opt for surgery or physical therapy should be made with care. If you’re in San Diego and wrestling with these decisions, remember, specialists in sports medicine physical therapy are just around the corner, ready to guide you.

Stay healthy, stay informed, and most importantly, keep running!


  1. When should I consider physical therapy for knee pain?
  2. Before considering surgery, it’s wise to explore physical therapy options for your knee, especially if you’re in the San Diego area where specialists are readily available.
  3. Can a physical therapist help with neck and shoulder pain?
  4. Absolutely. If you’re searching for ‘physical therapy for neck and shoulder pain near me,’ you’re on the right track to finding non-surgical relief.
  5. What should I expect from sports physical therapy?
  6. Expect a comprehensive approach tailored to your specific needs, whether you’re a weekend warrior or a seasoned marathoner.
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Dr. Matthew Perry

Auto-Ness Physical Therapy

We help active adults like YOU rebound from injuries and discomfort. Our tailored plans steer you clear of needless medications and surgeries, empowering a vibrant, active life.