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Meet Dr. Bruce Allen of San Diego Running Institute in Kearny Mesa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Bruce Allen.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Dr. Allen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I earned my degree in Kinesiology from San Diego State and did my internship with Dr. Victor Runco at the San Diego Running Institute. I decided to further my education and was accepted to SCU (Southern California University of Health Sciences) and earned my doctorate in Chiropractic medicine with an emphasis on sports medicine. After graduating I returned to San Diego and became a partner with Dr. Runco at SDRI (San Diego Running Institute). That was 10 years ago and since then we have expanded our services to the treatment of all athletes’ not just runners so we recently changed the name to San Diego Running and Sports Injury Clinic. We specialize in diagnosing and fixing chronic sports injuries that typical medical clinics do not know how to treat. Challenging foot injuries, ligament tears and chronic conditions such as tendonosis are treated successfully at SDRI daily. I really enjoy working with, helping and seeing these athletes and weekend warriors get back to their sport and maintain their healthy lifestyles.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Earning my degree at San Diego State was challenging but also fun. I am an athlete and learning about the human body and sports injuries was interesting and exciting. Once I did my internship I realized there was so much more to learn and that I had barely scratched the surface. It’s like thinking you have just climbed Mt. Everest only to realize you have only made it to base camp. The next 4 years were extremely challenging and difficult as I worked towards earning my Doctorate. I was living in Los Angeles but on most weekends commuting back to San Diego to work with Dr. Runco and maintain my relationship with my girlfriend (now my wife). After graduating we married and I began my partnership with SDRI. Owning and operating a business and having a family is very challenging. I have a whole new level of respect now for my parents!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with San Diego Running Institute – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
San Diego Running and Sports Injury Clinic specializes in the accurate diagnosis and treatment of all sports injuries with a heavy emphasis on the lower body. We know that only with an accurate diagnosis can effective treatment interventions be employed. We see so many patients who have had their injury misdiagnosed which led to ineffective treatments. This lead to unnecessary treatments, lost time from their sport and frankly wasted money and time. The average doctor spends 7-10 minutes with a patient and then refers them to therapy often without a diagnosis. The therapist then basically throws spaghetti at a wall and hope it sticks……it usually does not. This results in wasted time and money (and frustration) for the patient. We spend as much time as it takes, sometimes over an hour to listen to the patient, understand their symptoms and what is aggravating their problem. We then perform a thorough exam consisting of a battery of musculoskeletal, neurological and biomechanical testing to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. We then provide the patient with treatment options starting with the options that have the highest degree of success and are backed by scientific research and years of success implementing them. We also have or own therapy clinic on premises as well as our own custom orthotic laboratory. This allows us to have 100% control over making sure the patient is receiving the treatments they need and they are progressing as we expect. Because Dr. Runco is an Ultramarathon runner and has been involved with the San Diego running community for 18 years we have a unique insight into fixing hard to fix running injuries. Because we employ the latest rehabilitation techniques such as the Altered Gravity Treadmill we are able to help runners get back to running again so much more quickly than most other clinics. Running injuries are not specific to a person…..meaning all runners suffer the same types of injuries like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, knee pain, hamstring and gluteal injuries and lower back pain. We have seen these same injuries and how they present for over 18 years! They call it being in “practice” because you are practicing and getting better at your craft. We have gotten so adept at identifying and correcting these injuries where other sports clinics simply do not have the knowledge or experience to do so.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We have all seen and felt what has happened with changes to our healthcare system. Skyrocketing monthly insurance premiums coupled with astronomical deductibles and rising co-pays. Years ago patients could come to the doctor either with no co-pay or maybe $10. Now the average co-pay is $25-$50 and rising and this is after they meet their $500-$2000 deductible! No wonder people try to self-diagnose and find treatment options for free on YouTube! Our plans for the future are to keep our overhead down so that we can continue to provide effective but affordable care for our patients. We do this partly by not wasting their time and money. A good example of this would be we do not believe in forcing patients to come into our clinic so that they can pay us to watch them stretch or do exercises! That is a complete waste of their time and money! Instead we spend up to a half hour instructing the patient on things like stretching, strengthening or using a massage tool such as a foam roller. We then send the patient a private YouTube video of exactly what we just taught them. This allows them to ensure they are continuing to do things correctly without leaving their home. Traditional, old school physical therapy is not cost effective and usually results in the patient not being compliant with their treatment. We are also very proud of our new custom orthotic lab. Custom orthotics can be expensive and not covered by insurance. Normal custom orthotic costs are between $400-$700. Often patients think they need to have new orthotics made but with our new lab we can usually refurbish their existing orthotics at a fraction of the cost and time! Our refurbish prices are from $50-$157 saving patients hundreds of dollars and can normally be done within one week.

Pricing:

  • We accept most major health insurance
  • New Patient Exam Cash Fee $167
  • Treatment (may include sports medicine, self care instruction etc) $69
  • Custom Orthotics $367 one pair or $500 for 2 pair
  • Refurbish existing orthotics $50-$157
  • Altered Gravity Treadmill Sessions $22 per session
  • Computerized and videotaped running/walking gait analysis $167

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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