Today on the Doc on the Run Podcast, we’re talking about how injured runners must proceed with confidence.
The whole key to running injury recovery is to proceed with confidence. If you’re using a fracture walking boot or crutches, you must do so confident that it’s necessary and not just based on guesswork or some sort of standard protocol that that doctor happens to use with most of the patients that come into her office. You need to make sure that you know that thing is necessary.
Whether it’s the clinical diagnosis or an MRI or an x-ray or something that can be shown to you as objective evidence that it’s proof that you need to do that, you need that evidence so that you can make sure that you sit still and you follow the directions and you use those treatments as you move forward through the recovery process. Which frankly, we as all runners hate because nobody likes sitting still.
Now, let’s say you’re starting to do a range of motion exercises with a torn tendon. You must do so with confidence as you work past the pain without worrying that you might make it worse. That’s the role of the physical therapist. You have someone directing you, telling you, “Okay, this is going to hurt, but it’s okay. It’s not going to hurt you. It’s just going to be uncomfortable.” But again, you have to have somebody directing you who knows what they’re doing to help you make sure that you’re moving forward as fast as possible.
If you’re at the stage where you’re lacing up your running shoes and you’re getting ready to go out on your very first run and it’s been weeks of not running, you need to be able to immerse yourself in the experience of running, paying attention to your run, not your injury, not thinking about your injury, not worrying about your injury. You don’t want to think about the mental noise that’s going to cause worry and concern as you’re out for your first run. You need help to make sure that you can do that.
So, whether you’re at this phase where you’re being told you need crutches, or you need a boot, or you need to start moving and get out of the boot, or you’re even actually starting to run and you’re starting to ramp up your training, get stronger, get your running fitness back, you’ve got to do something to make sure that you get the confidence you need.
How can you do that? Well, whether or not you actually understand it, you actually do have access to the sources of confidence that you really need right now. So, you can get confidence from the trends that you’ve been tracking in your pain journal. I talk about this a lot.
You should always be tracking the amount of discomfort you have during any new activity at the end of the day after that activity, and the next morning after that activity. If you do not have any increase in discomfort as compared to your pain numbers from before that you’ve been tracking, you know that activity’s safe. That can give you the confidence to do the little bit more the next time.
You can get confidence from things like objective imaging, like X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, any study where a doctor can show you that it’s actually getting better. Those things can help you know that it’s safe for you to actually do the next higher level of activity. You can also get confidence from a second injury with another doctor, particularly somebody who’s a running injury expert.
But whatever you do, at whatever stage of recovery you are actually in right now, you need to make sure that you’re proceeding with confidence, knowing that either you really need to sit still, you really need to get running, or it’s safe for you to really ramp up so you can start training to get your running fitness back. But, you must proceed with confidence. So whatever it takes, take the steps that you need to get that confidence, so you can get moving and get back to running as quickly as possible.
Now, if you liked this episode, please like it, please share it, and I’ll see you in the next training.