Today on the Doc On The Run podcast, we’re talking about the best free advice for injured runners.
I recently got a call from someone who had a son who was in cross country and he’s been having some trouble. He’s had several weeks of not running, and she wanted to get some advice on what to do. They wanted a second opinion basically and I got an interesting response via email, where she wanted to know what free advice I had for her son.
Well, first of all, I don’t give advice when I don’t know what the problem is. So I never talked to her son. I didn’t really know the story with her son. We didn’t do a consultation, and no physician is going to give you advice if they don’t actually know what your circumstances are.
Somebody says, “I have a headache. Should I take aspirin?” Well, I don’t know. I don’t know what’s wrong with you. I certainly wouldn’t do that. And I don’t treat headaches anyway. So when somebody says, “My kid has this problem, what should we do? What’s the free advice?” The free advice is listen to the podcast or watch YouTube videos, but that’s not the best free advice.
The best free advice is don’t run. Why? Because it works. If you have a running injury, it’s a stress related injury. That stress related injury means that the way that you run, the way that you land, the way that you train, whatever you’re doing, when you run is causing stress, that’s causing that injury. Now that sounds pretty stupid and it’s probably pretty aggravating. At least one of you is rolling your eyes right now and you should be.
So when you go to the doctor and they say, “You have a running injury, you should stop running.” Well, you just paid for that advice. But if you email me and said, “This is what my doctor said, what free advice do you have?” I would say, “Follow the advice you already paid for.” Don’t run, just stop doing whatever is stressing that tissue so it will start to improve and then figure out later what you did wrong.
But, if you call me for a consultation, I’m not going to tell you to stop running. I’m going to tell you to figure out what it is that caused that stress, that causes that pain, figure out how to maintain your running fitness, and then figure out what to do to get back to training without increasing the stress to a level that will prevent it from healing. That’s what you really need to do. But that is not something I can tell you how to do without actually talking to you. I’ve got to understand exactly what the injury is.
Now, if you go to the doctor and it’s covered by your insurance and it’s convenient and all of that sort of stuff, and you’re already there and the doctor says, “Don’t run”, then you should stop them and say, “Well, what is it exactly that we can do that will speed up the recovery while my kid maintains his running fitness, that’s what I need to know. Stopping running is not really a solution. In fact, all it does is get the piece of tissue to heal, but it doesn’t tell you how to not prevent it again in the future. So if you’re looking for the best free advice for a running injury, don’t run, but that’s not really great advice. It’s just free, and it’s worth exactly what you paid for it.
Again, if you want to know exactly what I would do with you, if you booked a consultation and we’re working through how to get your injuries straightened out, just go to docontherun.com/12steps, and I’ll walk you through a presentation on the 12 steps and in order the way that I do things with runners, who book a consultation, check it out, and it’ll help you figure out what you need to do right now so you can get back to running as quickly as possible.