My doctor said I can’t run because I got a running injury. Does that make sense to you? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run podcast.
Today we’re talking about whether or not you can’t run just because you got a running injury and this is a thing I hear all the time from injured runners. They call me because they’re frustrated because they’re runners, they got a metatarsal stress fracture, or a plantar fasciitis, or a plantar plate ligament sprain, or Achilles tendonitis, or something else, and the doctor said, “Well, you got an injury because you were running, so you can’t run.” That makes sense, right? You can’t run. You got a running injury, it’s an overtraining injury, you got it because you ran too much.
Well, that’s sort of true and it’s sort of not true. The reality is, is it’s not my job, as a physician, to tell you that you cannot run. It is my job as a physician to help you figure out how you can actually heal the overtraining injury and continue to run. That’s what this is about.
When you go to the doctor and they tell you, “Well, you can’t run, you’ve got a running injury so obviously you’re going to get another running injury,” you’ve got to put that in perspective. The first thing that I do with runners to help them put that in perspective is say, “Okay, how long have you been running?” Somebody says, “Well, I’ve been running for 34 years.” Okay, you’ve been running for 34 years and you just got your first overtraining injury. Does that mean if you get in your car and you’ve been driving for 34 years and you get into an accident, you should stop driving your car?
It doesn’t make any sense if you think about it in those terms. But for some reason, when doctors can’t figure out what to do with you, they tell you, “Well, you should just stop running, obviously. Do something else. Ride a bike or go swim,” but you probably don’t want to do that if you’re a runner, and I wouldn’t either.
Remember, the whole trick with getting over any overtraining injury is really to just decrease the stress and strain to that injured piece of tissue so that it can actually recover and heal while you maintain your running fitness. That means you’ve got to work everything else, so everything else that is not injured needs to be trained during this recovery phase. Yes, you can train and work out other structures while still letting that injury heal.
When your doctor says you got a running injury because you were running and so you shouldn’t be running, just ask the doctor, “Have you ever been in a car accident? Do you still drive a car? Well, then you need to help me figure out how to fix this running injury. That’s your job.”