Injured From Running?

What did you do the last time you got injured from running? +3 things you can do in the future if you experience a new one.

Did you stop? Did you keep going? Did you consult with Dr. Google?

Let’s face it, injuries are the pits! There’s really no way to feel like they are a good thing, even when you try to spin it as a learning experience; albeit one that is likely telling you that you need to change the ways you run or move. 

Maybe you are dealing with a previous injury or acquired something new and you have no clue what it could be. Depending on where you get your advice you will get a variety of answers like:

“You should ice it.” 

“You should get that checked out.”

“You should try *enter any particular shoe/supplement/cream/modality* that your friend swears by because it worked for them”

It almost starts to feel like a twisted game of Bop-It. Ice it, wrap it, tape it, stretch it, load it….you get the idea. But at the end of the day what do you do?! Something in your mind is telling you that it is not right, and not knowing if you should continue or stop not only means the difference between getting better or worse but it also means you could lose the feeling of freedom to exercise in the form that you want. An injury that holds you back from running is not only painful, it's depressing. 

If you want, you can take the fast and easy approach. This is where it pays to have a reputable guide that can give you advice in real time. Someone you can trust to examine your body and get to the root of your issues. 

However some people do not want to go this route and I can understand why….. the money or the time out of your schedule. Or worse, maybe they’ll actually call you out on something you already know to be true. Maybe it’s something you have neglected to do or something you shouldn’t have done in the first place. 

We know most running related injuries are due to high levels of training load (too much too soon) or a previous injury (starting up to quick after not being fully recovered). 

But without judgment, let us discern that we are human and although we do not always like to accept failure we can accept there is a better way to work through pain and injury. 

The first thing you can always do is SLOW down! Take your run down to a brisk jog and learn to self assess and identify how moving your body at different paces changes your symptoms. Not only in a literal sense, but metaphorically speaking too, you may need to slow down your life. If you’re constantly rushing to fit things into your schedule and barely have a moment to enjoy your run because you’re thinking of the 100 things you have to do when you’re finished then you may need some grounding in your sense of the present moment. 

Second, learn how your body feels while trying other movements. It’s important to remember that pain is an experience and the more you can understand about this experience the more likely you will have the tools to recover from this. Try squatting down, going up and down stairs, jumping on one and both legs. Can you move around on the floor easily or bend over and pick small and large objects off the floor? Since a movement professional is likely to assess you doing a variety of these movements it wouldn’t hurt to know exactly what causes or relieves your pain. 

Third, if you’ve slowed down and you have learned more about which movements are bothersome can you reintroduce the load of running in a different way? Start by adding in some walking intervals between running times and try a new location, route or partner with a new running buddy. Subtly changing your mindset and changing your physical orbit by running somewhere new may cause a slight shift that helps change your pain. 

If none of these options are working for you and you are looking for guidance and support then click back to the homepage and fill out the form to get in touch with a Doctor of Physical Therapy. Learn how a movement evaluation can help you identify the factors which are contributing to how you run and acquire injuries.