Hello, Healthy Runners!
Have you been injured and thought to yourself…I should just stop running? As an injured runner you may have been told to stop running and rest in order to get rid of your pain.
Well meaning doctors are just trying to make you feel better and get rid of your running injury. However, this could be a recipe for preventing you from getting back to the sport you love!
In this blog, I will break down 3 reasons to not stop running when you have a running injury.
Click the video below to watch the LIVE video within the Healthy Runner Facebook Group
When you stop running due to an injury, you start to lose the fitness that you’ve built up through training. Think about how you feel when you go a few days without running. Maybe you’re too busy, maybe you’re just not feeling up to your run… when you get back out to the pavement, you feel a little weaker, a little less able to get through that run. If you have an injury and your doctor tells you to stop running for 4 to 6 weeks, you’ll really feel the difference in your running capacity when you get back to running. Through your training you’ve built the ability to endure the effects on running on the body. You can continue to run through an injury, but perhaps modify your training for that week so that you don’t lose this fitness.
When you rest due to an injury, you stop engaging your muscles, right? This means that your muscles are starting to atrophy and breakdown. By consistently training as a runner, you build up muscle strength, muscle tone and the ability to make it through your runs without compensations due to weak musculature. Taking time off from running for a few weeks will cause these strong muscles to weaken. You’ll lose the running fitness previously mentioned more quickly than you’ll lose muscle strength, but it only takes about 3 weeks of inactivity for muscles to begin to atrophy.
Let’s give an example with this one. Think about being in a stabilizing boot. This prevents any range of motion from happening at the ankle and forces the hips to compensate due to the added height on one side. When you finally get out of that stabilizing boot, your ankle range of motion is going to be significantly decreased, your hips may feel tighter, as well as your hamstrings. When you train consistently, you’re making sure that you’re stretching and through your running, you’re establishing good range of motion. Stopping this due to inactivity will cause muscles to tighten and your range of motion will decrease.
With the right guidance and instruction from a healthcare provider, you can continue to stay active through an injury. Obviously there are some injuries that you just cannot continue to train through – and that’s OKAY! We want to make sure we are staying healthy and smart above all else. However, certain injuries are simply set backs that we can work through to stay active, doing what we love!
If you are still worried that you may do more damage continuing to run with an injury, click this previously published blog article https://sparkyourtraining.com/should-i-stop-running-if-i-have-an-injury/ to learn about the 4 serious running injuries to never push through that will require you to stop running.
Thank you (running friends) for taking the time to read and I hope you enjoy the podcast episode!
Duane Scotti, PT, DPT, PhD, OCS
The SPARK Healthy Runner Program includes:
– 100% customized training plan developed and monitored by myself as your running coach and physical therapist!
– 100% customized strength plan developed and monitored.
– Modifications to your plan as needed.
– LIVE on-boarding coaching call by phone or video chat.
– Weekly workout analysis and accountability.
Click THIS LINK for a FREE 20 minute phone consultation and let’s chat to see if this program is a good fit for you!
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“I developed IT band syndrome during my first marathon training cycle last year and ended up in physical therapy for about 3 months. I was told not to run if I had any pain at all. I lost so much time “recovering” that I ended up deferring my registration to the next year. I spent the next summer training for the same marathon when about 6 weeks out, that familiar IT band pain returned. I could barely finish a mile. I didn’t want to go back to my physical therapist because I knew what he was going to tell me. Stop running. I was so frustrated and started to feel like marathons weren’t for me. I stumbled upon the healthy runner podcast and learned that I don’t have to stop running in order to recover from injury! I was skeptical about an online physical therapy session. But I reached out to Dr. Scotti and he was able to give me the tools to mitigate my pain within the first session! I was able to complete my training cycle and made it to the finish line of my first marathon with his help! I highly recommend!”
“I’d been dealing with Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy (PHT) for about 4 years and had been doing PT, but still had lingering pains. I just figured I’d have to suck it up and deal with it because that was as good as I was going to get. But then, I came across a podcast of Duane being interviewed by Jason Fitzgerald on PHT and how he overcame the injury, and my curiosity was piqued. I met with him virtually and he has been a GODSEND! I’m able to sit as I type this! I can bend over and get in and out of cars without pain! And, I’m RUNNING again!!! It is amazing to be able to do things that I haven’t been able to do without pain since 2016!!! Thank you so much Duane for being an incredible PT!!”
“I suffered from IT band syndrome for four years before seeing Dr. Scotti in April 2020. Before then, I couldn’t run more than about 10 minutes without stabbing pain near my left knee. I’d seen various orthopedists, physical therapists, and chiropractors looking for some relief. My career needed me to run a mile and a half within a certain amount of time, and it was impossible to do so with the knee pain. I saw Dr. Scotti and he immediately got to work! That first visit, he helped me understand the anatomy and underlying cause of my knee pain (aka IT Band syndrome). Once I understood what was happening, the course of treatment made so much sense. Not only did he have online videos of all the recommended exercises to treat the problem, his “healthy runner” Facebook group, Podcast, and YouTube videos held a wealth of information and supplemented my plan. I soon understood that running wasn’t just a casual hobby – it’s a sport and one that deserves dedication and focus. Without his dedication to the sport and his community, I wouldn’t have realized this! Over the next few months, I had many ups and downs – victories and failures – and even some tears! Two steps forward and one step back. Dr. Scotti always checked in between appointments and tweaked my plan if needed. By August, I was regularly running 3-4 miles with barely any pain! If I did get pain, it was because my dedication and focus were lacking – and I quickly picked it back up and overcame. I’m so thankful I took another chance at having my knee looked at and trusted someone else. I run regularly now and am really enjoying it. I can’t thank Dr. Scotti enough and would highly recommend him to anyone having trouble.”