Posted in Team Finish Line.
When You Rest, But Your Injury Persists
In the running community, the first recommendation when it comes to injury is usually simply to lay off running and to rest. With some acute injuries, this can be all you need! But what happens when you finally feel better, hop back into running, and boom- you’re in pain all over again. All that rest and recovery feels like a waste of time. How are you supposed to get better?
In general, athletes heal faster than the average person. Your body has increased general blood flow which allows for healing to take place a little faster. It’s important to remember that different parts of the body heal at different rates. Bone fractures generally take 6-8 weeks depending on the location and severity of the fracture. Muscle strains have more variability but can range anywhere from 2-8 weeks depending on severity.
Let’s talk about the different types of running injuries. You can have an acute injury (sudden onset), or a chronic injury (something that has built up over time). For the most part, acute injuries heal relatively well with rest. They can occur because of a sudden misstep, a fall, or a series of unfortunate events. Acute injuries tend to follow the typical timeline of healing mentioned above because it’s just your body healing the injured tissue. Chronic injuries, however, are what bring you into physical therapy or to see someone after rest just hasn’t done the trick.
Chronic running injuries build up over time. They tend to start as a nagging pain that becomes more painful the more you run. They can take longer to heal and don’t typically respond to just rest. Chronic overuse injuries occur in response to repetitive strain on the body and have a lot to do with HOW you’re running. If you simply rest and get back into running without making adjustments to your form/ routine, the injury is likely to come back.
Chronic overuse injury causes are different per person. The cause of Person A’s chronic knee pain will not be the same as Person B’s. Everybody is unique, every BODY is unique. It can just be related to muscular imbalance in your body, your running form and biomechanics, or the way you’re training. It is much easier to fix these issues early on, before your body tissues start to negatively respond. If you have a nagging issue that persists after rest, get it checked out! Simple adjustments can go a long way and help you get back on the road faster and stay there.
Curious about your running biomechanics? Consider a Running Gait Analysis & Movement Assessment