Hurt? Look at everything

Just because it hurts while you run doesn’t mean running caused it

Recently, I’ve been dealing with an ankle/lower shin issue. I’m on the road to recovery, in large part because I think I found the primary cause of the issue and have corrected it.

However, the primary cause wasn’t where I was expecting it to be and it was where most runners don’t tend to look. It had to do with what I was doing in my leisure time, not when I was running or, for that matter, doing anything physically demanding.

When runners get hurt or injured, the first thing we typically do is look to our running. This makes sense. The second thing we tend to do is look for other physically strenuous activities. This time of the year, we might look at things like shoveling snow. In the summer, maybe it was a big gardening project. This also makes sense.

The problem is that we often stop there. We don’t think about the less strenuous things we do. However, as my experience has shown, those things can definitely play a role. For me, I was sitting in positions while reading or watching a movie that over extended my ankle in a specific way and over stretched some muscles. When I made sure I wasn’t placing my ankle in this position, things didn’t go immediately back to 100% but the improvements I did experience were rapid and significant.

Thanks to picking up on this leisure time mistake, I am certain that I am on the road to recovery.

So next time you’re feeling something that isn’t quite right, don’t stop looking for the cause after considering your running and other strenuous activities. Consider truly everything. There might be an underlying issue hiding somewhere you would never expect to find it.

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