Questions to ask yourself when you have a running injury

 Man sitting on track with running injury

When you experience a running injury, do you know what questions to ask yourself to fully understand WHY you have this injury now?
 Remember, running injuries usually are caused by 3 factors:

  1. Training Errors (ex.  going out and trying to run 10 miles when you haven’t ran in months)
  2. Biomechanical Errors (running form)
  3. Structural Issues (lacking joint range of motion or poor muscle strength)

Knowing this and when you have an injury, try asking yourself these questions and see if it can help solve your problem of WHAT caused your injury and WHY did this happened.

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1.  What caused my injury and when did my pain start? Sometimes a certain event like falling, starting a new training method, or just starting to run can cause an injury.  Also, did your initial pain start months ago making it more chronic pain vs I just started running this week and now I have pain.  Also when does your pain start when running.  Does it start when you start running and then decrease?  Does your pain come on at mile 3?  Do you have pain after running?  Understanding when the pain started and when pain comes on during a run is essential. 2.  Did a previous injury or problem lead me to get this injury? Many people will have pain or a previous injury on there left leg and now they have pain on their right side!  Why is this, probably from over compensating and avoiding the initial injury. 3.  How would I describe my pain?  Sharp, Dull Ache, Burning, Numbness and Tingling.   Sharp pain is very alarming and can be from a joint, a muscle strain, and will usually identify the target injured tissue.  An achy pain is usually associated with arthritis, tendinitis, or bursitis.  Burning pain can be from a nerve entrapment.  Numbness and tingling usually means something is pinching on a nerve. 4.  Did I train too much, too soon? I am a perfect example of this.  I started training for a half marathon 2 months prior to the race and ended up getting chronic calf strains that never went away.  I increased my mileage from 3 mile to 8 miles to 10-12 miles over a 4 week period and then I started to get injured and was not able to run the race.  Try following the 10% Rule = increase in weekly mileage should be no greater than 10% of the previous week. 5.  What did I do different that may have caused my pain?   Did you start a new training method or style?  Did you change your shoes?  Did you start sprinting or track work?  Did you run on a new running surface?  If you were able to run for a couple of weeks and then suddenly experienced an injury, what changed?  Or was is overloading principle and just training too much and your body could not tolerate the workload.  Once I ran for a month pain free, but one morning grabbed the wrong sock (yes, it was early and I was tired).  So my right foot had a runing sock and my left foot had an old cotton sock and I ended up getting a blister on my left foot.  Seems stupid but when running long distances, every little thing matters. 6.  What kind of surface did I run on? If you run on the same side of the road all of the time try switching to other side frequently or running on side walk.  Most road have a slight angle that causes an apparent leg length discrepancy when running causing some one sided problems. 7.  What currently makes my pain worse? Pay attention to what positions or activities throughout your day increase your pain.  Is your pain worst first thing out of bed?  after prolonged sitting?  after standing at work.  This will give good information of what other activities increase your pain 8.  What currently makes my pain better?   This is a great question and no you can’t answer this with taking pain medication.  Slapping a band aid on your pain will almost never work and a runner should NEVER be taking NSAIDS and anti-inflammatories when running.  THIS IS A BIG MISTAKE!  What do you do that makes your pain better?  Stretching?  Heat?  Icing?  What makes it better? Yes Physical Therapy is a good answer 9.  Does running increase my pain?   If so, does it decrease when I stop running.  If this is true, stop running and consult Pursuit Physical Therapy! 10.  Where is my pain at?  This will identify the location of your pain in most cases.  There is something called referred pain where another body part can refer pain to another area, such as low back pain and sciatica, when the problem is in your low back but you have pain down your leg.

Hopefully these questions will help you solve your problem or at least understand why you have pain.  If you are consulting your physical therapist, then you will be ready for all of the question they will ask you!  Hope this helps.  For more questions about our running injury program, what our patients are saying, and what is the best treatment for your running injury, visit

Bonus question:

Where can I go for treatment that will get me pain free faster in fewer visits, with one-on-one patient care, getting back to running as soon as possible? HMMMM?
If you are dealing with a running injury or pain when running, call now to start our PROVEN RUNNING INJURY PROGRAM and get back to RUNNING PAIN FREE! 
This is what our patients our saying!

Dr. Ron Miller with Jenn

I am a new runner who began the sport four months ago. I started with a group running program that helped me ease into the sport and helped me learn to run with correct form. After 2 months I ran a 5K. Just prior to the race I began having some pain in my left knee. After the race it got much worse. I iced and stretched but the pain kept getting worse each time I tried to run again. At this point, it was even painful walking. I was getting so frustrated and discouraged. I had been introduced to Dr. Miller through my running group, and they encouraged me to give him a call. I am so glad that I did. Dr. Miller eased my mind that he could help me be pain free and run again. Through Dr. Millers treatment and personalized plan and care, I just finished a 10K and I’m training for a half marathon. I would highly recommend Pursuit Physical Therapy.

Jennifer P.

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