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Wish Away Your Injury!



We've all been there - things are going well training, then on one run you feel a tweak, a tightness, or a pop. You keep pushing through, maybe ice it afterwards. The next day when you go to train again, it's still there, or is even worse. What can you do???


Great news! If you train your mind hard enough, you can just will your pain to go away! Just ignore the pain for at least 48 hours, and repeat the mantra "I am not hurt" 10-20 times per day. And voila! Your aches and pains will be gone!


APRIL FOOLS!


We've all been there, unsuccessfully ignoring a pain or injury in hopes that if we pretend it isn't there and go along with training as usual, it will disappear.


But more often than not, ignoring your pain and not taking steps to modify training or seek professional assessment and treatment results in an even bigger injury. In the worst case, a bone stress reaction can turn into a bone stress fracture, or even a full blown fracture if ignored long enough!


As a runner, it can be hard to determine what aches and pains are just little nuisances that will work themselves out in a few days, and which need more significant treatment. Here are some steps you can take if you have a pain, that can help you determine your next best step.


  1. Take a rest day or a cross training day the day after onset. If cross training, make sure that it is pain-free.

  2. If you can walk 30 minutes without pain, and hop on one foot 10 times without pain, you can try another run. Make it an easy run, and consider running loops or multiple out and backs so that if you need to stop due to pain, you're not too far from home or your car. If your pain starts getting worse with each step, it's time to stop your run.

  3. If a muscle feels tight, try foam rolling or some gentle self-massage.

  4. Get plenty of sleep - sleep helps with recovery and can help you heal more quickly!

  5. Is this an injury that you've had in the past, and have been treated for before? If so, dust off those old PT exercises (if you haven't been keeping up with them), and give them a try once per day.


If you follow all of the above advice for 5 to 7 days and your pain does not improve, or worsens, it's time to seek professional help. In Georgia, Physical Therapists can see you without a referral for 8 visits or 21 days, so a PT can be your first stop to assess your injury and get you on the road to recovery and back to running. A PT is also trained to screen for more serious injuries or medical conditions, and may refer you to an orthopedic physician, or other appropriate healthcare provider for further assessment based on their findings.


While ignoring your pain and wishing it away is not a successful way to deal with injuries, proper activity modification, manual treatment, strength training, mobility work, and gait re-training are! If you are having pain with running or other activities that has kept you from your sport for a week, come see a Precision Performance Physical Therapist, so that we can help you get back to doing what you love!


Wishing you happy and healthy running,

Dr. Elizabeth Karr PT, DPT

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