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When Should You See a Physician for Your Running Injury?

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

It doesn’t matter how great your form is. One day, you will get an injury. Injuries are a runner’s reality – or any athlete’s for that matter. “The data suggests up to 79 percent of all runners are injured every year,” says Stephen Messier, the director of the J. B. Snow Biomechanics Laboratory at Wake Forest University (quoted from The New York Times). “It’s become a serious public health crisis.”

From the high-impact nature of running to the long distances and natural wear-and-tear of an aging body, running injuries in Houston and throughout the U.S. are common. Of course, there are many ways you can mitigate your risk for injury:

  • Wear the proper shoes
  • Gradually increase your mileage
  • Learn how to strike
  • Know your body’s limitations

Knowing When to See Your Houston Sports Doctor

Many runners are excellent at “pushing past the pain,” a philosophy that may help you make it to the next level as a runner, but could also increase your risk for making an injury worse. There are a few types of pain that should always raise red flags with runners:

  • Sudden onset of pain at the start of a run.
  • Pain that worsens throughout a run.
  • Pain that develops after a run.

How Long Should You Wait Before Seeing a Doctor?

This is a good question. In most scenarios, you cannot know if a sudden running pain is only something minor and temporary or if it’s the beginning of a more severe injury. When you first notice an injury, stop running, and take two or three days of rest to see if the pain lessens. If, after five to seven days, the pain has not entirely gone away while you are at rest, schedule an appointment to see your Houston sports doctor.

Follow your physician’s advice and take the prescribed medications. Once you no longer need medications, give your body a couple of days to readjust – medication-free – before going back to running. As always, go back to a lesser version of your pre-injury running routine, giving yourself time before you ramp back up to 100 percent!

Schedule An Appointment With a Houston Sports Doctor

To schedule your appointment, call (713) 756-5546. You can also schedule your appointment online. If you think you may have a running injury, give yourself a few days to rest. If the pain doesn’t go away, call Houston Institute for Sports Medicine and Orthopedics.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.