There you are -- early in the morning, before the kids go to school, or your partner wakes up, or before you have to dress for work. You are running. Maybe it’s in the park, in your neighborhood, or on a treadmill at the gym. You are quickening the pace, affirming you are in good shape for another day, sweating hard, and maybe making an injury worse.
When should you seek help? When should you run through the pain? When can changing running shoes -- or even running barefoot (that’s the latest cool thing) -- make things alright? As a former marathoner I know how frustrating running injuries can be. You are training toward an ambitious goal. And even if it’s more moderate daily running just to stay in shape, changing or reducing your routine can be crazy making. And who has time to see a doctor or physical therapist?
Sometimes those professionals -- probably runners themselves -- can be your best friends. As two of them from the University of Washington told me in a recent Patient Power interview ( Sports Medicine: Keeping Runners on Track: http://goo.gl/xDcIb ) they have the wisdom to help you adjust your routine to still stay in shape while allowing you to heal. For example, they temporarily switch many patients to running in water or swimming. I have tried it and it’s a workout! And if your body is healing at the same time and you can get back on the road or trail soon, then it’s a welcome break.
The weather is cooling and fall can be a beautiful time to run as you take time for yourself. But don’t let it be the gateway to a nagging injury. If pain persists, a trip to a sports medicine clinic can be the wisest running course of all.
About the author: Andrew Schorr is a medical journalist, cancer survivor and founder of Patient Power, a one-of-a-kind company dedicated to bringing in-depth information to patients with cancer and chronic illness. Audio and video programs, as well as transcripts, help patients make informed decisions to support their health in partnership with their medical team. Patient Power is at www.PatientPower.info and on Facebook.