Today on the Doc On The Run Podcast we’re talking about how you can tell whether or not you’re on the right track when you’re recovering from a running injury.
I just got off a telemedicine call with a runner and she asked me an interesting question, she said, “Look, I just want to know, am I on the right track?”
Well, there’s a reason I ask everybody to keep track of their pain, keep track of their activities, keep track of what they’re doing and the reason for that is that I don’t have a crystal ball. And you may think that I know a lot about running injuries because I’ve done hundreds of episodes of the Doc On The Run Podcast and hundreds of videos on YouTube. But the truth is, is that the information that I take is information that you provide and then I just look at it from a different perspective and come up with the answer and the results always tell the truth, they tell what is going on inside. So you have to study your results.
And when a runner calls me for a telemedicine visit, after they’ve seen two or three or four other doctors, I do something differently. What I do differently is something you can do on your own right now, you don’t even have to talk to me, just look at your results.
That’s what I do when I see any runner for a second opinion or a telemedicine visit, I just ask them, “Okay, what happened? What was the result? How much pain and tenderness did you have after you took three days off? How much pain tenderness did you have after you did your test run? What are the trends in your pain journal?”
Now, don’t guess what’s going on. Look at the results, they always tell the truth. And that really is the bottom line here.
So you can figure this out all on your own. You just have to keep very careful track. If you try to guess what’s going on, you’re not going to get better. But if you really think about it carefully and you really analyze what’s going on and you keep track, you can very easily see those trends.
If you have a stress fracture and it’s a four out of 10 pain when you push on it right now, and two days after using a fracture walking boot, you have a zero out of 10 pain. Well I can’t see why you would want to be in a fracture walking boot for six weeks, if you have a two out of 10 pain in your metatarsal when you’re walking around your house right now, and that pain goes away and you go out for a run and suddenly you have an eight out of 10 pain, well obviously that tells you that was too much activity.
So again, don’t guess what’s going on. Most of the runners who call me, they’re guessing, they don’t know, they’re not tracking anything. And they say, “I don’t know. I think it’s getting better.” Well is it getting better or is it not getting better? If you track those results, you look at those results, you will know what’s going on and then you can change course faster.
Look at the results, they always tell the truth.
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