The bane of every runners’ existence is that moment when a part of their body is hurt, isn’t working quite right and training comes to a sudden halt.
It could be anything from muscle strain, inflammation, tension, painful tendons and even swelling that looks a lot worse than it feels.
With so many recommendations and suggestions for diagnosing and getting through an injury—and trying to resist the urge to bang out a few miles despite your discomfort —how do you know the best way to get back on track with your training?
Of course, injury prevention is the most important part of any sport.
But if you’ve got a challenging race coming up and that tight knee is giving you so many problems, it’s hard to imagine making it a few miles.
You’ll definitely want to assess the severity of your problem and how much time you’ll need to recover.
Don’t Be Your Own Doctor
This may seem like an obvious tip, but the minute you feel something is “not right” it’s best not to diagnose yourself.
And don’t assume that a sprain, fracture or inflammation will heal on its own.
If the injury causes constant pain and it’s hard or uncomfortable to walk at all, it’s probably time to get to the root of the problem. This is especially so if the potential injury is in your ankles, knees, and feet.
But what if you have tried the common remedies like heat, ice, compression gear, athletic tape? And you lathered on muscle soothing balms and rested for a few weeks but nothing’s helped?
How do you know which doctor or specialist to visit for help?
While bones and internal issues are usually best addressed by orthopedic doctors who will be able to order and examine x-rays, some problems such as developing corns on your feet or bothersome toenails that can make uncomfortable to run, are better treated by a podiatrist.
If you know for a fact that your injury is running related and you need a specialty doctor who can get you back to training, you may also want to consider a sports injury doctor.
While there are dozens of specialists who can diagnose your injury and expected healing time, not seeing a doctor at all can obviously prolong your pain if invasive measures are needed, such as injections, and in the worst case scenario, surgery.
Your doctor will know best if running will exacerbate your injury or if it’s best to simply take it easy.
Not sure if your doctor is pointing you in the right direction?
Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion for the same diagnosis. As long as you leave it to the professionals, you’ll be in good hands.
Physical Therapy, Medication And Medical Alternatives
Physical therapy is usually administered after an accident or serious injury. It helps a patient regain motion and full use of their limbs while strengthening the body and helping prevent further injury.
However, physical therapy could also be an option if you experience swelling or pain from milder and less serious injuries.
The good thing about getting physical therapy is that many therapists can teach you slowly and safely how to return to running and exercising.
Many can provide helpful long-term tools that you can use in your training—some you probably never considered before.
When it is time to consider popping pills to treat the pain?
Many athletes don’t want to put medications in their bodies and others need a little assistance getting through the healing process.
Depending on what type of medication/anti-inflammatory/
If you chose to get a prescription for your discomfort, make sure you know the side effects. Be conscious of how long you will need to take them before returning to training.
Some doctors may advise against physical activity while the medication helps your body heal.
You may also want to take advantage of medical alternatives such as acupuncture or dry needling for some aches and pains.
Tense tendons and tight muscles may benefit from this therapeutic method that can help relieve pressure points.
Reflexology can provide some relief as well. During this “zone specific” therapy, technicians focus their pressure on troublesome soft tissue with their fingers, releasing some of the tension in the painful area.
Keep in mind, this may only provide temporary relief of ongoing chronic pain.
Keeping The Body In Check
If you are not conscious of the precautions to take while recovering from and preventing injuries, it could set you back in your training.
But what about adding something to your athletic routine that could help your body even before you demolish those miles?
It’s important to stretch before and after a run. Stretching is especially helpful when preventing injuries since the muscles, joints and ligaments and loose, warmed up and ready to work.
The type of sports nutrition used can also play a major role in preventing aches, pain, and ailments like muscle cramping. An option like NDX Nutritions’s Kramp Krusher energy chews are the ideal option for athletes because
Kramp Krushers are ideal for endurance training because it provides that boost of energy to improve performance. It is packed with up to 84 peak performance trace elements and minerals like calcium, magnesium, copper, potassium, and iron.
Suffer from muscle cramps during your run and want to try something that will optimize recovery time? Kramp Krusher gummies are fast-absorbing and easy to digest while you’re hitting the trail. These are easy on the stomach, and you’ll love the tangy and refreshing flavor.
More importantly, Kramp Krushers prevents lactic acid build-up, the common cause of muscle cramping during workouts. These energy chews promote better muscle-brain communications while also aiding in faster recovery. Expect less soreness when incorporating this product into endurance workout regimens.
No matter what injury you’re facing and healing from, make sure prevention and recovery are number one on your list!