Today on the Doc On The Run Podcast we’re talking about why you need to fix the original pain first.
I recently did a consultation with a guy who’d had a lot of trouble for a long time. He was very, very athletic. He started having pain and then he had a whole lot of trouble that ensued afterwards so that it actually severely changed his athletic picture in a couple of years. He went from being super active, running, doing long hikes and all sorts of adventures to really having pain all the time.
Without giving you the whole long story, basically, he had a specific episode where he had pain in the ball of the foot. Then he started to have ankle pain, he had heel pain, he had all kinds of different pain, and he was eventually diagnosed with tarsal tunnel syndrome. That’s like basically the equivalent of carpal tunnel where you can get it from working on a keyboard too much or doing some other repetitive task and you get a compression of the nerve. Well, there’s a similar thing that can happen in the foot called tarsal tunnel syndrome.
If you do a carpal tunnel release, that works very consistently, and sometimes it works in the foot, and sometimes it doesn’t and truthfully, it’s kind of hard to predict when. In his case, he actually got worse, that was a problem. So, then he was having all kinds of different pain. He was having calf pain, he was having shooting pains, he was in pain all over the place.
So, after years of seeing experts and not getting any better, he asked me to help him to do a second opinion and help him reassess where he was and what he might be able to do. In short, where this episode comes from is I was talking to him and we were talking about which is the worst pain, which was the first pain, which is the pain that keeps him awake at night and he had lots of different kinds of pain that were limiting him at different times.
But I just said look, the way I think about this is really simple. All of the things that happened after the original injury in most cases are because of compensation or your body trying to keep pressure off of that worst thing that happened first. And so, I always tried to address that thing first. It wasn’t really his biggest problem. It wasn’t most of his pain. He actually had more pain where he’d had this surgery from before. But I just said look, let’s start with that.
We did a couple of things, and it actually significantly reduced his discomfort and that actually started moving things in the right direction very, very quickly. But that wasn’t a thing that other doctors seem to want to address because many of them were just suggesting, well, let’s do another surgery. So, this drives home the point that when you see somebody and you’re told that you need surgery, it has to make sense and, in his case, he actually said that that recommendation just didn’t make sense to him.
He wasn’t a physician, but it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to be a physician to be in tune with your own body. And so, when you have pain and you’re trying to figure out what to do to get back to running and you have like perineal tendinitis and plantar plate sprain and several different things at once, my recommendation is always to work hard to try to address whatever was the original thing first, because that may let some of the other things calm down on their own.
If you liked this episode, please like it, please subscribe. And if you’re trying to figure out what to do to really get back to running as quickly as possible, there’s something I’ve written, it’s the running injury roadmap, and basically it’s a process of what to do to get you to sort of shift your thinking away from being an injured patient to try to figure out what is it you can do right now that you’ve learned in training that you know from running and working out, that will allow you to actually start working out now and start improving. You get a copy for free. I bought the book for you, just pay for the shipping but you can get it for free if you go to www.docontherun.com/roadmap. So go check it out and I’ll see you there.