#132 Why runners heal faster. - DOC

#132 Why runners heal faster.

Today on the Doc On the Run podcast, we’re talking about why runners heal faster.

Why do runners heal faster?

Listen to me very closely. You are not a normal patient if you’re a runner. You have to understand this. This is really crucial. You really are not a normal patient, so runners are different than other patients. I know; I treat runners. I see runners. I lecture about running injuries and when I go to conferences, many times doctors tell me they don’t like to treat runners because they’re different. They dislike treating runners for other reasons. I mean, part of that is they think you guys are know it alls. They think that we read all this stuff on the Internet, we come in and we know what we’re talking about and somehow that offends a lot of doctors, but I think that’s better.

I think it’s better if you go to your doctor knowing a lot about the injury. It means that the doctor can communicate with you in a way that’s a lot more effective and kind of speed things up for you and put you on the fast track. It also helps you make better decisions as you’re healing. So again, you are not a normal patient. If you don’t believe me, I have a little exercise for you. Here’s what you do. If you really think that you are a normal patient, if you really think you should get the normal treatment, if you really think that you should get the exact same treatment as everybody that sees that doctor for that particular injury, here’s what you do.

When you go to the doctor the next time, I want you to sit in the waiting room and just look around. Look at all the other people in the waiting room. Do they look like you? Do they look like they’re as fit as you? They look like the exercise as much as you? Do they look like they eat the same food as you? Do they look like they really take care of themselves the way that you do as an athlete?

I bet you they don’t, so it’s a really rare thing when you go to somebody’s doctor’s office and you look like every other patient in the waiting room, so when you’re sitting there and you’re looking at these other patients and you see people who do not look like runners, I want you to think about that. I want you to think if, I have a stress fracture and every other person in here today waiting to see this doctor has a stress fracture. If we all got the same treatment, would that make sense? I’ll bet the answer to that question is no, because I bet you’re not going to look like the other patients and you’re not gonna think it would make any sense at all if you got the same treatment, and so I think runners need to be treated differently.

I think runners are different than other patients in lots of ways. Not only do you exercise more, you eat better, you sleep better. You do all these things that you know are going to make you heal faster. You as a runner are a well-primed healing machine and this is the bottom line. If you think about it, if you’ve been a lifelong runner, what have you been doing? You go out and you train. You do tissue damage and then your body rebuilds it. So you have been teaching your body, physiologically priming that system, to heal. You know how to heal. Your body knows how to heal. You have increased blood flow in the tissues as a consequence of running.

You have a way to get oxygen, nutrients and all the materials needed to heal those tissues to that injured area faster and better than any normal patient, so you’re not a normal patient.

So for that reason, you don’t have to accept the same treatment as everyone else gets when they’re all sitting in the waiting room, waiting to see the same doctor. So when you go in, you have to remember that. You have to remember you are not as the same as every other patient. So, when you see the doctor and the doctor says, “Well, I usually treat people in a fracture walking boot for six weeks.” You can ask them, “Is that like everybody that was in the waiting room today, or just people like me, just runners? How do you treat it? How would you treat a runner differently? What can you do to help me get back to running sooner?”

That’s what you really have to think about and you have to really realize that you really truly are not a normal patient. You’re a runner. You’re different and you deserve different treatment. So, make sure you get different treatment. if you really want to get back to running sooner.

If you think you are ready to run, you are at HIGH RISK of another injury.


Follow a careful test run plan and transition safely back to running.

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If you have a question that you would like answered as a future addition of the Doc On The Run Podcast, send it to me PodcastQuestion@docontherun.com. And then make sure you join me for the next edition of the Doc On The Run Podcast!