Children's Hospital Colorado

Runner’s Clinic for Young Athletes

We care for patients’ growing muscles, joints and bones through sports medicine, surgery, rehabilitation and research.

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Running is a vital part of many sports — from track and cross country to soccer, lacrosse and basketball. It’s also a popular activity for many children and teens, and a great way to remain healthy. Whether your child is a competitive athlete or likes to run for fun, the sports medicine experts at The Running Athlete Clinic (TRAC) at Children’s Hospital Colorado’s Sports Medicine Center are here to provide complete care to all young athletes who want to stay healthy and happy on the run.


What is The Running Athlete Clinic?

TRAC provides multidisciplinary care to young runners who are experiencing running injuries so that they can get back to running without pain or discomfort. Our team will help you with injury management, training plans, nutrition, recovery, running biomechanics and building strength to heal injuries and help prevent them from coming back. 

Our runner’s clinic was created specifically for young runners and is staffed by experts in pediatric sports medicine who have a passion for caring for runners.

What should you expect from a visit to our runner’s clinic?

We understand how frustrating it is when injuries prevent you from being active. When you come to our running clinic you can expect one-on-one consultations with our entire team of children’s sports medicine experts including:

During the first visit, you and your child will meet with the sports medicine doctor and sports dietitian. You’ll then work with a sports physical therapist with expertise in running care and the Center for Gait and Movement Analysis for a 3D running gait analysis. All these providers work together to provide running-focused, comprehensive care.

Sports medicine physician evaluation

You will begin your visit with a consultation with a sports medicine doctor, Dr. Aubrey Armento, who specializes in caring for children and teens. This visit will include:

  • Injury evaluation
  • Imaging tests (as needed)
  • Injury management plan
  • Medical and injury history review
  • Training plans and goals review
  • Lab work for bone health or menstrual dysfunction (in females), if necessary.

Nutrition consultation with our sports dietitian

Our registered sports dietitian, Amanda McCarthy, will start by answering any questions you have about nutrition. We will then review your nutrition history and identify the main action you can take to help food keep you healthy and fueled for running without injury. Our sports dietitian will review your dietary history, current nutrition habits and exercise history to determine your nutritional needs. Additionally, our expert will identify changes that can help prevent or resolve nutrient deficiencies and maximize your training recovery. Once we have all the necessary information, we will discuss a plan for follow-up care. 

Running gait analysis

The Center for Gait and Movement Analysis will use 3D motion-capture technology to analyze your movement patterns while running on a treadmill. We put this information into a special report that we use to identify areas of weakness or imbalances in the running gait that may be related to injury patterns. Our sports physical therapist will use the running gait analysis to guide your rehabilitation plan and help prevent injuries.

Evaluation with a sports physical therapist

Our sports physical therapists will perform a musculoskeletal evaluation to fully understand what might be causing your injury. This evaluation includes an assessment of your range of motion, strength and movement patterns for the injured area and your body in general.

Our team will use this information to develop a plan for ongoing physical therapy to treat your injury and correct any issues with your running gait that might contribute to recurring injuries.

Follow-up care with our sports medicine team

After your initial appointment, our team will develop your care plan, discuss the plan with your family and schedule follow-up appointments with specific providers as needed. When appropriate, our athletic trainers, who have expertise in running, may help create your care plan. Our goal is to help you establish healthy running habits and stop risky habits to keep you injury-free in whatever running sport you choose.

Who do we treat at The Running Athlete Clinic?

We specialize in caring for children and adolescents who have suffered a running injury or have recurring running injuries. We also treat runners of all ages when appropriate. Many of the young athletes we care for participate in track, cross country or other running sports such as soccer, lacrosse and basketball. However, some run for fun or general fitness.

What running injuries do we treat?

If running has become painful or uncomfortable for you, our pediatric experts are here to help. Our sports medicine specialists create care plans to heal everything from skeletal injuries to general pain. 

Hip injuries

  • Hip flexor injuries
  • Adductor (groin) injuries
  • Sciatica (back or buttocks pain caused by the sciatic nerve)
  • Hamstring injuries
  • Apophysitis (inflammation around the growth plate)
  • Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI)

Knee injuries

  • Anterior knee pain (patellofemoral pain syndrome)
  • IT band syndrome (overuse injury of the tissue on the outside of the knee)
  • Patellar tendon injuries (the tendon just below the kneecap)
  • Fat pad impingement (pain in the fatty tissue just below the kneecap)
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease

Ankle and foot injuries

Other running injuries

  • Bone stress injuries (stress reactions, stress fractures)
  • Exertional compartment syndrome (muscle and nerve condition in the legs caused by exercise)
  • Female athlete triad
  • Relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S) (not taking in enough calories to meet exercise demands)

Why choose Children’s Colorado for running injury care?

Young athletes are not the same as adult athletes. Their bodies are still growing and that affects how they run, train and heal. Our experts are trained specifically in pediatric sports medicine, so we understand all the ways kids and teens are different and need different care. We will design care plans specifically for their growing bodies, their sports and their goals. Our clinic, imaging tests, treatment plans and everything else we do is designed for young athletes. 

Ours is the first multidisciplinary pediatric running clinic in our region, and our pediatric sports expertise is unmatched. This allows you and your family to get the best, most efficient care possible. 

Additionally, all our providers have a passion for caring for running athletes and reducing their injuries. We designed this clinic to address the needs of young athletes in running sports. We are constantly pushing to improve our care so that you heal faster and have fewer injuries in the future. Our goal is to keep you running.

To schedule an appointment at The Running Athlete Clinic or to ask our team any questions, please call: 720-777-0599