One of the phrases I often tell injured runners is that “nothing in medicine is free.”
For every potential treatment that might help some particular injury, you pay for it in risk.
Let’s consider a couple of simple examples.
Imagine for a second you have some aching pain in your right foot when you run. At first, the pain comes and goes. But then the aching pain in your foot not only seems to become more frequent. It becomes somewhat constant, aching at a low level even when you’re walking. You go to the doctor and you’re diagnosed with a metatarsal stress fracture. The doctor gives you a fracture walking boot.
A fracture walking boot is one of the simplest and most-often-prescribed treatments for overtraining injuries in runners. And although fracture walking boots maybe inexpensive, treating your running injury with one is definitely not free.
If you use a fracture walking boot to immobilize a metatarsal stress fracture, you will pay for it. Not necessarily in money, but you will pay for it by developing weakness, stiffness, loss of neuromuscular connections and instability that can predispose you to other running injuries later and, potentially even make it impossible for you to run faster later.
Wearing a fracture walking boot to treat a running injury does not require much effort nor thought. It is an “easy” but costly treatment.
Another common over training injury in runners is Achilles tendinitis. You start to develop pain and inflammation in the Achilles tendon near where it attaches to the back of the heel. You recognize it as a significant, and potentially debilitating injury, so you go to see the doctor.
The doctor gives you a prescription and tells you to take corticosteroid pills for six days. Take a few pills for a few days certainly seems simple enough.
It is well-known that corticosteroids are very effective at reducing inflammation, even inflammation which affects the Achilles tendon.
Corticosteroids are also known to weaken collagen bonds. Your Achilles tendon is almost entirely made of collagen.
If you have a partial tear in the Achilles tendon that has been undiagnosed, taking corticosteroid medications could be problematic. Even if you don’t have a little tear in the Achilles tendon, corticosteroid use is associated with the development of Achilles tendon problems later.
Taking some corticosteroid pills for six days to treat a running injury does not require much effort nor thought. It is an “easy” but costly treatment.
All of the strategies I teach at medical conferences to physicians to treat injured runners involves taking the time to figure out what is best for any particular runner in their given, very specific situation, with their exact level of overtraining injury.
If you are injured, it is your job, and you have to realize that it is your job, to figure out what you can do the goes above and beyond the “free” and easy treatments often offered by physicians in a seven-minute office visit.
Running injury recovery is a lot like training. The more you do the more you gain. The less you do, the more you lose. And believe me, nothing is free in medicine.
If you have a running injury and you’re trying to figure out what you can do to get back to running faster, you need to figure out what you can do that will cost you time, energy and effort leading to growth, strength and maintenance of your running fitness.
The most important task for an injured runner is not figure out what not to do, but to figure out what you should do. You have to figure out how to stay fit while you recover to keep running.
That is exactly what I show you in the FREE webclass I created for you call the 12 Steps To Running Injury Recovery. we’ll have a link for it at the bottom of the show notes for this episode at docontherun.com. or you can simply go directly to docontherun.com/12steps to check it out.
I’ll see you in the web class and I’ll help you figure out what to do now to get back to running!