Do not ask me if you don’t know your pain numbers. That’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.
Every single day I get questions from injured runners. Most of those, at least the only ones I answer, I actually get either through webcam consultations or in the Injured Runners Aid Station where people can upload and submit written questions, video submission questions where you shoot short video posting your question or even recorded question where you record a voice message and upload it and then I answer it as a members only podcast episode. And every day in there, I get questions that really have stopped me in my tracks.
In fact, so much so that I recently changed the contact form so that if you have a question to ask me about your injury recovery, one of the required entry is about your pain numbers, how much pain do you have. Every day, again I get questions that will say, “Well I got this injury. I had a stress fracture. It was grade two stress fracture. It’s been six weeks. How much longer will it be before I can run?”
I cannot make that decision based on that information. The amount of time it gets you back to training after any injury no matter what it is, is dependent upon what happened to you, what you did, and what you plan to do to speed up the process from this day forward. It depends on those three things primarily. Not the test that you had, not the doctor that you saw, and not the specific procedure that you had either. It matters what you’re doing to reduce the stress and strain on that ligament, that tendon, that bone, whatever it is that’s injured in your foot that’s preventing you from running.
The most reliable way to assess that is with your pain. And if you do not know your pain numbers, I cannot help you. If I called my accountant and I asked him a question about when I could retire, he would want to know how much money do you have, how much money are you earning, how much money are you saving and how much money do you want to spend after retirement.
Without those pieces of information, he could not help me at all and if you don’t have your pain numbers, and you asked me a question about when you’re going to get back to running, I have no idea. I can’t help you and I can’t tell you.
So, if you go into the Injured Runners Aid Station and you want to ask me a question explaining this is what happened to me, this is what I did, this is where I am, what should I expect from here, I can’t help you if you don’t give me your pain number. So, keep track of your pain. It’s the most abundant and most underutilized resource available to injured runners to change the course of recovery.
Keep tracking your pain, write it down, think about it, analyze it, figure out what made it worse one day versus the other. If you went into a specific workout that may be worse, don’t do that workout, back off from that. Try something else and see if your pain numbers go up. If they don’t, it’s safe for you to do that activity. But those are the things you have to know in getting back to running. It’s like what can you add without making it worse? The way to do that, track your pain.
If you liked this episode, please like it, please subscribe, and I’ll see you in the next training.