A blog by runners. For runners.

Do I need to see a doctor for my running injury?

running injury doctor

Most running injuries occur as strained muscles, overuse syndromes, and occasional stress reactions that can be treated with rest, ice, and gentle stretching. However, there are key signs when a running injury is more serious and requires the attention of a physician.

Here are three signs indicating you should schedule an appointment for further review by a medical professional:

  1. Pain before, during, AND after a workout. Constant pain is a key sign that there is major inflammation. Rest is the only way out of this situation. It is important to schedule an appointment if your pain is present even when you are not running, such as with walking or climbing the stairs.
  2. Pain at the site of injury that wakes you up or disturbs rest. Pain during rest is an immediate sign that your injury needs to be examined. This also includes pain that is present when you are watching television or sitting at your desk.
  3. Inability to stand on one leg. Serious injuries make it difficult to maintain balance and coordination. If you are unable to comfortably stand on one leg, it is time to visit the doctor for a bone and muscle scan.

Minor running injuries and pains are often caused by training errors: going too fast, too far, or not resting enough. Overtime, these injuries can add up to more serious ones, including stress fractures, muscle tears, and ligament injuries. Take proper care of yourself by finding a training plan and training paces that are appropriate for your ability. The right plan will allow you to improve without injury. However, if you ignore early warning signs including unrelenting muscle soreness, fatigue, decreased motivation to run, immune compromise, and frequent colds, you may put yourself in danger of a more serious injury.

Written by Danielle Bressoud. Danielle is a licensed physical therapist, practicing for 7 years, and running addict living in Massachusetts with her husband and son.

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