Are You Running into Danger?

Are You Running into Danger?

09:22 14 May in News

Avoid running with pain and see your physiotherapist.

Winter is finally gone and the signs of summer are all around us. Warm weather is often motivation for people to get in shape, and what more enjoyable way than a run in the sun around the city or, for the more aspiring among us, a marathon.


People, however, often underestimate how hard running can be on the body, especially if they hibernated over the winter months. That’s probably why I find a lot more patients coming in for treatment in the spring and summer complaining of lower limb pain with vague comments like “I don’t know, it just came on and I haven’t done anything different” or “I’ve been running all winter so I don’t understand why I’m getting pain now.”


The bottom line is that something has changed, which your body is having trouble dealing with. If you’re finding that you’re starting to feel ankle, knee, hip or back pain since the weather got better ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have you just started running again?
  • Have you increased the time or distance you’ve been running?
  • Has the surface you’re running on changed? Treadmill to outdoors? Grass to pavement? Or vice versa?
  • Have you recently started using new shoes to kick off the new season?
  • Do you actually need new running shoes?
  • Have you had a previous lower limb injury?


If you answered yes to any of these then you’ve probably found the reason you’re experiencing pain. But don’t worry: your pain is probably easily managed by simply adjusting your training regime.


That’s because your body needs time to accommodate changes and chances are you’ve simply gone too hard, too fast. My best advice is to slowly and gradually apply change to your routine and workouts. You need to consistently perform an activity at the same intensity pain-free before trying to increase any factor – be it distance, time or speed.


There are still many factors that could be causing you discomfort so the best thing to do if you’re unable to manage your pain is to seek professional advice. If you choose to keep running on that sore ankle or knee and hope it will just ‘sort itself out’ you could be doing yourself more harm than good, leading to a longer recovery time or, in the worst case scenario, having to stop running completely. If in doubt, get it checked out by your physiotherapist.

Be well,

Shih-Ming Yao, PT

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