So you’ve just finished that big race and hobbled your way across the line. Or during that tough track workout, you pushed it a bit too much and now you’ve got that dreaded pain in your knee that just won’t subside. When do you attempt to run through it, take a few days off or when do you seek out a professional? Here is a guideline to determine whether you should keep at it or hang up the running shoes for a while and schedule a visit with your nearest PT specializing in running injuries, to determine what is going on (ask if you have direct access in your state).
Runners know how to handle pain. But how do you determine what pain is normal and what is cause for alarm? Muscle soreness that eases as you run can be normal. However, pain you should be concerned about may have one or more of the following characteristics:
- Pain that does not subside within several hours after running.
- On a pain scale of 1-10 (10 being worse pain), pain that exceeds 3 while running.
- The onset of sharp pain.
- Pain that wakes you up at night.
- Persistent pain that worsens when you run.
- Pain that persists in the same area, every time you run.
A physical therapist can help determine the cause of the problem and recommend effective cross training exercises, identify when poor form may be contributing to your pain, and prescribe necessary changes in training to allow the body to repair itself.
*Resource from: The Physical Therapists Guide to Running, 2011, American Physical Therapy Association