Is returning pain normal when returning to running after a healed stress fracture? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.
Today’s episode actually comes from Janet who posted a comment and question on the Doc On The Run YouTube channel. What she asked was is she said, “I got a healed stress fracture, returned to running and got into cross country and it started to flare up and hurt around the tibia again, is this normal or should I be concerned?”
The short answer is pain is never normal and you should always be concerned if you have pain particularly if pain is getting worse in an area that was previously injured. I can’t make a diagnosis based on her comment. I can’t even make a suggestion on treatment based on her comment because I don’t know what’s wrong with her.
You could have lots of things that cause pain in the tibia area, but pain is not normal. So, the goal here with any running injury is to number one, not make it worse. Number two, don’t lose your running fitness and number three, return to running as soon as possible.
You have to track your pain to figure out if things are okay or not. In Janet’s case, it sounds like whatever she did when she returned cross country was too much activity because her pain started to creep up again. If your pains creeping up, it may not actually mean you’re injuring the tissue right then, but it is certainly probable that if you ignore it and you continue to ramp up and have more and more pain, you’re going to get more and more tissue damage and turn it into something significantly worse.
So, don’t ever ignore pain but track that pain and use it as a tool to figure out what else you can do to maintain your running fitness right now.
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