Thursday, February 21, 2008

Injuries, Assesment, Treatment

So you've been running for awhile now and your weekly mileage is slowly increasing to total distances you once only dreamed about. But somewhere along the way, your body has started to turn on you a little bit. You have twinges and nagging hot spots throughout your legs. Tight neck muscles, sore feet or maybe a sharp pain in your knee. You can't figure out for the life of you how any of it happened and you are of course wondering what it is and how to treat it.

So... you hop on to one of your favorite running forums and create a post, asking your fellow breatheren if they've experienced any similar sensations or pains. You want to know what it turned out to be in the end and what their treatment was. So we'll use an example... you have some pain on the bottom of your foot near your heel. You start collecting your answers and the ones you get mostly talk about Plantar Fasciatis. Since 5 of the 7 replies mentioned this injury, you assume that thats what it is. You ice your feet and keep on running thinking nothing of it.

This happens all too often in the running world and a lot of serious injuries can be prevented by a quick visit to a sports orthopedist(SO) or athletic trainer(AT). NO.. NOT your PCP. Your PCP is going to have "some" idea as to what the issue COULD be.. but an AT or SO not only specialize in the field of sports medicine.. but chances are they are not only going to be able to diagnose the problem, but show you a way to treat it and how to prevent it in the future. Asking advice on a running website is NOT the way to go.. PERIOD! In fact... I wouldn't even go there at all. I'd go immediately to a doctor. What possess's people to do this is beyond me. It boggles my mind!

Back to the heel. If you think about snowflakes and how each is very much individualized... the human body is the SAME WAY. Everyone is different. Hell pain in my foot could be Plantar Fasciatis, heel pain in YOUR foot could be a calcaneal bursitis, achilles tendonitis, a bone spur and a whole list of other injuries you've never heard of. So leave the diagnosis to the experts.. and quit asking for advice on the websites. Joe runner from Kickapoo, KS knows about as much about your ankle as Jake Runner from Walla Walla. Ever notice how the ones giving you advice on these websites, never give you their qualifications for giving such advice? If it was me running those sites... the injury forums would disappear completely and a forum for physician recommendations would appear instead.

Take care of your bodies!