Easing the Aches and Pains: Returning to Running after a Bump in the Road
At this part of the training cycle, the miles are starting to accumulate, and you may be experiencing new aches and pains. You may find yourself questioning if you can continue to train through the pain, if you should rest or even if you need to have the issue evaluated by a medical professional. Fear not, your Sports Medicine Team at Orthopedic ONE is here to help!
As soon as you notice the pain creep up, try to develop theories about why you may be experiencing these issues:
- Did your training program change abruptly?
- Have you started to accumulate more miles than your body is used to?
- Did you add speed work?
- Did something out of the ordinary happen, such as rolling your ankle that you can directly connect to the onset of pain?
- Are you breaking in a new pair of shoes?
- Do you need a new pair of shoes?
- Have you had this pain before?
If the onset of symptoms coincides with a change in your training program, adding speed work for example, rest is recommended in order to allow the inflammation to subside. During this period of rest, make sure to use plenty of ice packs to keep the swelling down and consider cross training such as biking or swimming to give your body a break. After several days of rest, you can begin incorporating running back into your training. It is important to keep these runs short, so you can gauge your symptoms and evaluate your progress.
As you ease back into your routine, keep the following in mind:
- Make sure your training program allows for rest days.
- Contact an Orthopedic ONE Sports Medicine Provider to see how you can benefit from a few sessions on the AlterG Anti –Gravity Treadmill.
- Never increase your mileage more than 10%.
- Before you increase the time or distance, it is imperative that you have had several “successful runs” (pain free) under your belt.
- Returning to running is completely dictated by your symptoms. When you return, pay close attention as to what you are feeling as you resume your training.
- Most runners are able to pick up close to where they left off in their training program if they only miss 1-2 weeks. If you are forced to miss more than 2 weeks of your training due to an injury, you may need to either decrease your race distance (move from a full to a half marathon) or abandon the race all together. We understand that this is hard to hear, but it may save you from developing a more serious injury later down the road.
In the following situations, we recommend seeking advice from a medical professional before returning to running:
- If you can’t tolerate a typical day’s worth of activities without experiencing pain.
- If you notice any of the following symptoms: sharp pain, your gait pattern is altered by pain, your joint or leg becomes swollen, your joint buckles or gives out, or you start to experience numbness or tingling.
- If you have tried to self-treat your aches and pains with ice and rest, but your condition has not improved.
- If you have a history of other orthopedic issues including past surgeries.
Remember, you are not alone in your training! If you find yourself in need of non-urgent medical care, you can connect with an Orthopedic ONE clinician via the Healthy Roster app or the Orthopedic ONE Sports Medicine Hotline. Click here to download instructions for both features…help is just a tap or a call away!
Orthopedic ONE is the largest private orthopedic surgery practice in the state of Ohio and represents a group of 60 of the region's top orthopedic experts with one mission: To make each and every patient our number ONE priority. Our team of physicians, therapists and trainers provide orthopedic, injury prevention and rehabilitation services to some of the most elite professional organizations in central Ohio, as well as collegiate, high school and club programs. Our goal is to keep athletes out of our office and back to doing the activities they love.
We invite you to learn more by visiting www.orthopedicONE.com.