Last week I posted about sesamoid injuries in the foot. Someone then asked me something to the tone of, “I have an injury of such and such. With your experience, what should I do?” While I have learned a lot about muscle groups with my NASM personal training education and through great PT friends and in watching and experiencing injuries, I am not an expert in assessing or treating running injuries. I can generally give my opinion, help with an initial assessment and basic remedy, but I will always defer to a professional in the area. I keep a list of PT’s (and OT’s for that matter), orthopaedics, podiatrists, massage therapists and chiropractors in my back pocket as you never know who might get hurt. On top of that, some of these professionals take or do not take insurance, so, as a coach, you need a bigger list than you think.
These are the injuries that have affected my running – that I remember!
1989 – I picked up someone at college and threw out my back. I couldn’t run for a few days and this flared up about 3-4 other times in college but not as long. I remember 1 of my 5000m track races with my back hurting and having to slow down.
1990 – In a very vivid dream, I kicked a dog’s mouth. In reality I kicked the top bunk of my dorm room bed and sliced my toe open. I lost a few days.
1998 – Plantar fasciitis – I had no idea what this was all about, so it lingered much longer than it should have. I finally went to a podiatrist, got orthotics and it went away.
1999 – Tendonitis (of the top of the foot) – I decided to man it up and run 2 marathons in 6 weeks (Steamtown – Philly). During a training run for Philly, I felt a twinge in the top of my foot. At Philly the twinge turned to an all-out pain and I had my only DNF, dropping at mile 13.5ish.
2007 – Plantar fasciitis – same drill, different podiatrist, new orthotics…..
2014 – Torn Meniscus – I had just run a BQ at the Providence Marathon and 3 weeks later ran a hard 8 x 400m track workout. I limped off and a week later ran 5 miles on May 28th, finishing the tear. On June 12, I had surgery and started PT the next day. On July 31st I ran my 1st mile. At the end of August I ran 6 miles and eventually I was back.
2014 – Tendonitis – Patella Tendonitis – That Fall my PT worked on this during my recovery – she said it was not uncommon after surgery
2014 – Plantar fasciitis – same drill, different podiatrist, new orthotics….. again during recovery, another roadblock. This one was the mildest occurrence.
I have dealt with annoying long-term groin issues and at least 12 twisted ankles, but generally I have not had to stop running for those injuries for days at a time.
Again, while some injuries are the same name, how everyone recovers is different. My general rule is this – if it is a dull, general soreness, you are sore. You may need a day off and it should go away. If it is pain (knifing, intense), stop. If the pain is there the next day, take off – maybe 2-3 days total. If it is not going away, go see a pro like the ones I mentioned above, depending on where the pain is located. There will always be another race. Why rush back or ‘muscle through it”?? That extra rest/recovery may prevent it from getting worse – the worse injury may keep you out for months! It is NOT WORTH IT.
I always try to educate runners about potential injuries. Even if you don’t know what exactly is wrong, you can have a general idea of what it could be and start treatment. I use professionals around me to help me, so why not have them help you as well? I have had 2 PT’s and a podiatrist write blog posts for me on running injuries – here is a list for you to browse:
I will continue to add as I learn more!
As always – Happy Running.
Trials of Miles,