Asking yourself, ‘should I run with an injury.’
If you’re reading this, it’s likely because something isn’t feeling right. Take heart because nobody feels 100% all of the time, and even with the very best training and recovery regime running is a physically demanding sport. Researchers have estimated that 37 to 56% of regularly training runners sustain an injury each year – so you are not alone in asking should I run with an injury – it happens to the best of us.
Here we will outline some of the main physical hurdles you might face as a runner and the types of running injuries, and offer advice on how to deal with them, answering that age old question of should I run if I’m injured!
how long should i have off running if i’m injured?
The good news is that the body has a very impressive ability to repair itself. But everyone will heal at their own rate and recovery from injury changes from person to person. As a very rough guide you should expect to be off running for a week with a mild muscle strain and a month for a more severe one. Running with an injury is usually a bad idea, so don’t run until you’re pain free and can walk normally without discomfort. Build back up gradually and be guided by how it feels.
How I can treat my running injury myself using the PRICE method.
Most injuries can be treated at home using the P.R.I.C.E. method. Price stands for:
• Protection • Rest • Ice • Compression • Elevation
This should be enacted immediately after the injury and carried out for three days. If things are not improving at all after three days, seek medical advice.
Protection: You want to protect any further damage to the injured area. Don’t walk on it or try and keep running if injured.
Rest: Don’t use the injured area! Simple really.
Ice: Apply ice packs or use ice blocks from the freezer wrapped in a cloth. Apply for 15-20 mins every two hours.
Compression: During the day use compression socks or bandages on the injured area.
Elevation: Raise the injury if you are able to reduce the fluid and swelling.
How will I know if I need to rest for longer from my running injury.
We’ve agreed you aren’t going to run until you are pain free! When you start up again make sure you do so gradually and be guided by how it feels. If you have aches, swelling or twinging – these are all signs you may need to rest a while longer.
Should I run with knee pain?
Knee pain and iliotibial band syndrome are common problems faced by runners, so you may well be thinking should I run with an injury to the knee. As a sidenote – women runners can be even more susceptible to knee problems due to the angle of the thigh bone in relation to the wider female pelvis. This causes the kneecap to pull away from the midline during weight bearing activities – like running.
Our advice on whether or not to run is to wait until the knee area is pain free and then build up gradually again. Build into your recovery plan buttock muscle exercises – as it can be a weakness here that presents itself as knee pain.
Can I run with a stress fracture?
Stress fractures result from biomechanical stress on a weakened bone.
Unfortunately the answer to your question – can I run if I’m injured with a stress fracture is absolutely not. Complete rest from running is needed to allow for complete healing.