Assuming you are like 75-80% of runners, you will have something get sore or painful over the course of a year’s running time.
Below is a protocol for dealing quickly with any running-related pain no matter the region of your body or initial cause (minus acute trauma).
- Onset of Pain (ie- you run a hard track workout, and your left Achilles tendon is very sore on the warm-down)
First 48hrs Following Injury
- Do not stretch the area immediately surrounding the injury.
- Ice area for ten minutes as often as possible for first six hours following onset of symptoms
- Take a Large Dose of Vitamin C from a high quality source (ie- Ester-C) for tissue repair
- Take 200-600mg of naproxen sodium or ibuprofen every 12hrs if swelling is present (and if permitted by your doctor)
- Use a compression bandage or commercial compression sleeve in first 24hrs to remove inflammatory waste and promote healthy circulation to the area
- Rest for 24hrs, assess pain, and train lightly at 50% normal load if pain is mild or absent
- If Symptoms Persist Beyond 48hrs
- Continue above protocol for 3-5 days
- Discontinue Icing after 5 days (it restricts circulation, and therefore healing time will slow)
- Discontinue NSAIDs after 5 days (same reason as above)
- Begin to actively stretch the area 2-3 times per day
- Go for a professional massage after 72hrs if possible, or use a foam roller extensively to release tension in the area
- Train lightly at 50% of normal load or XT; Take total rest for three days if symptoms persist
- Increase protein consumption, hydrate well, and eat 2x your normal amount of fruits and vegetables to increase healing and repair
If you follow the above advice to prevent and treat injuries, you will take one step further to being a consistent, healthy runner throughout your career!
DISCLAIMER: While this advice is sound, always consult with a medical doctor before altering anything in your diet, training, or approach to illness or injury.