Running shouldn’t be a pain, in your joints at least.
I have treated a lot of runners over the course of my career. It never fails that when I ask them about previous injuries during their inital intake, they say they have had none. Then, when I probe more about each specific joint, they say, “Well, that doesn’t hurt, it just takes a while to warm up”. To which I respond “Seriously? What are you, a ’85 Dodge Shadow?”. Visuals help with teaching. haha
We should never have to warm up joints. Joints should be available when asked to perform, unless of course there is a disease process in place. The normal reason for joint stiffness, using the feet and ankles as an example, is from what i like to call the, ‘speed wobble’. This is when you run, roll your ankle, and it’s not bad enough to stop you but it’s achy for a day. Or an old ankle sprain that was severe and not treated properly. By proper treatment from an Osteopathic perspective is to ensure all 26 bones are able to move within the foot to ensure proper function. If the foot can’t move like a spring (as it was designed to) it takes a while to warm up. All it takes is one untreated injury, a change in running posture and then an impact to proper function.
When running, you may get sore muscles as you increase distance, but when you have joint pain and/or swelling, that isn’t normal. This is when you need to call us! I have never had an athlete tell me that the severe joint pain they had got better once they sucked it up and ran more miles with it. You know who you are!
Listen to your body, and you will have a long active life. Ignore it, and it will nag you like that mother in law you keep forgetting to visit.
Morale of this blog…joint pain is not normal. Seek treatment immediately to prevent ‘bigger’ problems down the road.
David Ellis, DOMP, Diploma In Osteopathic Manual Practice, Oakville