#281 If a treatment is best for most, is it best for a runner? - DOC

#281 If a treatment is best for most, is it best for a runner?

Today on the Doc on the Run Podcast, we’re talking about if a treatment is best for most people, whether or not that treatment is really best for a runner?

Everyone is different.

The idea that one given treatment will work for one condition, when the people are different is absurd. Runners are different than normal people. 

Risks of certain treatments are much higher for runners then they are for other people. 

Some treatments that are not risky at all for a runner, might be very risky for the average non-runner. 

Let me give you a couple of examples. 

Fracture walking boots

Wearing a fracture walking boot isn’t really risky for a normal person. Yes, if a normal non-active, non-runner wears a fracture walking boot for 4 weeks, 6 weeks, or God-forbid 12 weeks, they have the same risk of getting weakness and stiffness and loss of neuromuscular connections as everyone else, but they won’t notice that trouble. They’re not going to run. 

However, once you get done with the fracture walking boot, you as a healed runner are most likely going to want to run and apply higher forces, with much greater frequency than the average non-athletic person. So that exact same treatment may be may be risky for you, as a runner, even though your doctor prescribes it for 4 weeks or 6 six weeks or 12 weeks. And that is true even if you doctor prescribes that boot, for that length of time, for everyone with that type of injury who comes in the doctor’s office. 

Early range of motion

Early range motion is one of the primary keys to getting back to running quickly. Since I do consultations with runners and prefer working with runners that more than anything else, I think runners have an advantage in healing. 

I think all of the running you have done for the last number of years is primed your body to heal and simply perform better physiologically than the average non-runner. If that is true, it just stands to reason that you should be able to move your injured foot or ankle sooner than someone who does not heal and recover as quickly as you do. So if you are a little bit more healed when you are just a few weeks into your recovery, you can actually move your foot and ankle a little bit more without any risk. If you’re a normal non-runner and you haven’t really healed enough and you start moving your foot and ankle too much too early it will cause trouble. 

Beware of standard treatments, standard protocols and pre-written instruction sheets with specific instructions for a specific injury or condition. You can be sure they aren’t specific for a runner…or for you. 

Makes sure you ask specific questions to push your doctor to push that time line in a way that takes your fitness and healing into account. If you are healing ahead of schedule, and you advance your treatment ahead of schedule, obviously you will get back to running ahead of schedule, too.

Download the Healing Runner’s Goal Worksheet. It will help you take what you know about goal setting in running and use what you already know to focus your healing. It’s free. Go get it now!

Healing Runner’s Goal Worksheet











If you have a question that you would like answered as a future addition of the Doc On The Run Podcast, send it to me PodcastQuestion@docontherun.com. And then make sure you join me for the next edition of the Doc On The Run Podcast!