Today on the Doc on the Run Podcast, we’re talking about question number one, how bad is my injury?
I was recently doing a telemedicine visit with a runner who wanted a second opinion because she was having pain in her big toe joint, and she was actually worried that she had a condition known as gout.
The number one question I get on social media is can I run with this injury? And it could be anything. I get this same question for people with Achilles tendonitis, with plantar fasciitis, with metatarsal stress fractures, plantar plate strains, you name it. The thing everybody wants to know is can I run right now or not?
What’s really interesting is that most of the time these patients will say, “I went and saw my doctor. My doctor said I had to quit running.” And then they turn around on social media and ask me, “Can I run?” Well, if your doctor says, don’t run, then don’t run unless you get some new information that gives you some indication it’s safe to do that. And if your doctor’s telling you it’s not safe, it’s just plain foolish to just start running unless you do something to make sure that it is safe.
So the problem with this is that whenever I get this question, whenever somebody says, “Can I run?”, what’s really never disclosed to me in that runners question is how bad is it? How bad is the injury right now? The thing that determines whether or not you can run is whether or not you can reduce the stress and strain on that injured piece of tissue enough that you’re not going to make it worse by running. Are there lots of different ways to do that?
This is not complicated, but I have to tell you that this is often missed not just by injured runners, but also by the doctors treating injured runners, because we have all of these things that we want to come up with. As physicians, we want to have rules and guidelines and protocols and ways to speed things up in the office when we’re seeing patients.
That’s why when you go into the doctor’s office and you’re supposed to see the doctor, you schedule an appointment, you go in, you fill out a whole bunch of paperwork asking a whole bunch of questions about your history. And then you talk to a nurse or a medical assistant who asks you a whole bunch of questions again. Some of them actually the same ones that you just wrote down. And then you get moved into a small treatment room where you’re waiting a little bit more and someone gives you some more questions.
Then, finally the doctor comes in and asks you one or two questions and then says, “This is what’s wrong with you. Quit running. We’ll see you in six weeks.” And you’re left going, “I don’t understand what just happened. I spent all this time here. I got two minutes with the doctor and I was still don’t know what’s going on.”
But the thing is is that when you go in, your job when you see that doctors to actually corner the doctor and say, “Look, I want to run. I’m not here to have you tell me just stop running and come back in six weeks. I want to know what I can do right now, what I can do to reduce the stress and strain to this injured piece of tissue so that I can maintain my running fitness and keep running.” That’s what you have to do.
Now, granted, it is very difficult to do that many times with doctors. They’re busy. And when I present cases that are interesting at medical conferences, inevitably in the question and answer session, some doctor will ask, “Well, was this in your office or was this a telemedicine visit?” because they know I do telemedicine visits where I spend a whole hour with runners trying to work these problems.
And when they pose that question, it basically dismisses the entire approach because they say, “Well, we have 40 people on our schedule. We can’t possibly take that amount of time to help the runner figure out these little subtleties.” But that actually is your doctor’s job.
So if you’re not getting that help from the doctor, then you’ve got to find somebody who’s a running injury expert who can help you. You can go see them in the office. You can schedule a telemedicine visit. You can do a call with them, but you’ve got to get the assistance you need to really figure out how bad the injury is before you can answer that question of whether or not you can run with that injury right now.
So make sure that you look for and find an expert who’s going to help you figure out what you really need to do to maintain your running fitness and get back to running as quickly as possible.
If you think you have an overtraining injury, and you are trying to figure out whether or not you can run, you need to check out How to Fast-Track Your Running Injury in Record Time!
Give me 3 days, and I’ll help you figure out where you are are now, and how you can get back ton running in record time. Get started for free right now!
Go grab your seat now. I’ll see you in the training.