Know When To Say When

Andy Lang, PTA // Fit For Life Physical Therapy

A body in motion stays in motion.  We all have heard this dynamic statement; rooted in physics.  Regardless of what surface you run or walk on - trail, road, or on a treadmill - it makes sense, doesn’t it?

Yes, it does… but with a few exceptions.  Sometimes the most difficult point in our running or walking careers isn’t carefully choosing our next race, hitting all the mileage on our training program, or determining the most effective fueling strategy for race day.  Rather, sometimes the most difficult thing we face is when to say when. Knowing how to rest appropriately. And, most commonly, when to seek help.

Whether you are at mile 6 or mile 60 of your weekly buildup, inevitably something will flare up, something won’t feel quite right, and - in the worst case - something will be painful, swollen, or bruised.

So, when do you go from the mindset of “running is supposed to hurt” to “this hurts and I need help?”  It’s simple: If you are limping during your walk or run. If you are not sleeping because of it. If you heard or felt something pop or tear, then yes you should seek help.

If you have ache or pain that develops on a run, but you can slog through it - meaning as you warm up it goes away - you may be safe to continue.

However, in some cases this could be a red flag for developing a common overuse injury like Plantar Fasciitis or IT Band syndrome.  It’s likely that if you are developing one of these common injuries, they will reoccur or be worse in the morning or will leave you limping before the end of your run.

If this is you, know you are not alone.  We’ve all been in your shoes and we have all ignored some nagging injury that we refuse to admit we have.  So, if this is you, what do you do now? Maybe blame your shoes? Blame the terrain you run on, your training partner, your genetics?  No. No one is to blame.

Life is full and these things happen.  It may just be a matter of resolving a muscular imbalance that you didn’t know you had by having a trained professional watch your running gait and suggest a few strength or flexibility modifications.  It could be that your current footwear doesn’t provide your feet with the support they need mile after mile and you need some help from the shoe whisperers at Fleet Feet or FrontRunner.

So what can you do?  If Rest Ice Compression Elevation (RICE) isn’t working for you, Fit for Life Physical Therapy inside of Fleet Feet and FrontRunner can help.  Fit For Life Physical Therapy offers free injury screens which take about 10 minutes and will provide you with some helpful advice regarding next steps in your care.

We are here to keep you walking or running on the road, trail, or treadmill.  Contact Fit For Life Physical Therapy at (614) 981-1979 or with your injury prevention, maintenance, or rehabilitation needs!