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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Healing an Injury is like Taking Antibiotics

You know when you hit up your family doc for whatever kind of infection you've contracted and they prescribe antibiotics? What's the first thing the doc tells you to do? That's right, finish your prescription even if the symptoms go away. That nasty infection may still be lingering in your system even if you feel 99%.

I've now learned, the hard way, that the same goes for recovering from running related injuries. So you've developed a system that seems to be helping your injury's healing process so you're being diligent and attacking it every day. You are starting to feel better until one day, everything feels right again.  You're either at 100% or feeling really close to that, so you decide the healing process is done and you stop doing whatever it was you were doing (stretching, massaging, strengthening, etc...)

You get back into your normal routine, slowly, and you hope everything stays peachy. But it doesn't.  There are likely many reasons for this, but I have realized that if you continue to perform your rehab/healing activities past the point at which you feel fine, your odds of relapsing with an injury are seriously reduced. Much like antibiotics, you have to keep 'healing' past the point at which you feel no pain.

I'm currently doing this with my Achilles issue I developed in early May. I'm still massaging myself daily, stretching upwards of 6 times a day and since I'm well past the point of being in pain I can now throw in some lower leg strengthening exercises to ensure this truly does not come back to haunt me.

So the next time you're injured, keep healing past the point when the pain disappears. Spend an extra 7 to 14 days doing the same routine you did in order to heal yourself, and I guarantee your likelihood of re-injury will drop.

1 comment:

  1. Here here! Excellent tip. When I feel better, I hear that little voice that says: stretching for 10 minutes doesn't make that much of a difference, but it does.


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