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RUNNING INJURIES • SPECIALIZED ASSESSMENTS • SPORTS MEDICINE
Beaverton, Tualatin Medical Clinics
When Is It Unsafe to Keep Running?
At some point in our lives we will experience a running related injury. This may be a minor ankle sprain which may not affect our running or it may be something major involving damage to joint or bone such as a stress fracture or torn cartilage in the knee.
In his book "The Lore of Running", Tim Noakes M.D., mentions two categories of injuries. Intrinsic and extrinsic injuries. Intrinsic injuries are the result of something inherent in your running such as improper form, too many miles, the wrong shoes, lack of variety in your training, too much pounding running down hills, etc.
Extrinsic injuries are the result of an external force acting on the body such as in contact sports (soccer, martial arts, etc). The injury causes tissue damage such as a fractured bone, hip labrum tear, or tendon rupture. A fall, while running, can rupture a ligament in your foot. These injuries are very painful and will usually force you to stop running. Having an extrinsic injury may require medical intervention such as a cast, use of a walking boot, or even surgery.
Disruption of healthy tissue can also be caused by over stressing tendons and ligaments. If you keep running on a painful Achilles tendon, for example, there may be a point where it will fail. This can happen suddenly with a rupture or gradually and develop into a tendonitis.
I have seen many runners develop stress fractures due to improper training and poor form. When bone reaches its breakdown point, like other structures in our bodies, it will fail. These types of injuries will not heal with a few days of rest nor will the pain subside with modification of your training such as slowing down or avoiding hills.
Intrinsic injuries, typically seen in runners, are mostly the result of the connective tissue surrounding the joint, muscular, tendinous, and ligamentous tissue, working beyond their capacity or tolerance. Pain goes away as soon as stresses diminish when you stop or run slower. Following a period of rest, Dr. Noakes states, "all running injuries will recur only when the athlete again reaches that weekly training distance equivalent to the breakdown point". These are the types of injuries which may allow you to keep running along the
guidelines of sustainable Running. Other injuries, such as a stress fracture, need to heal, all running should cease. Hip labrum tears will not fix themselves. There are numerous musculoskeletal problems that simply will not heal simply by resting. A comprehensive evaluation by a medical professional will define the extent of the injury and determine the necessary treatment intervention.
Following a period of rest in order to help heal damaged tissue, non-impact cross training and running-specific strengthening exercise are advised to offer a break from running as well. By raising the threshold of tolerance to the stresses placed on the tissues surrounding the joints training can once again resume. However, how do you know when it is safe to start running again? Read here. Running Recovery Schedules.
For more info Contact: HANS KROESE, P.T. BSED, MOMT, SPM - Telephone 503 927 1012 - EMAIL: email@example.com