We are all afflicted with injuries and "niggles" that affect our training and running. Often they appear with little or no warning, and their cause remains a mystery - even after spending time getting treatment from a medical professional .

It can be an extremely frustrating experience, made even frustrating when the injury reappears, after you believed it had been treated and was a thing of the past.

The fifth law of running injuries states: X-rays and other advanced medical diagnosing devices are seldom required to diagnose running injuries.

The sixth law states that in order to overcome injuries, the cause of the injury needs to be addressed and not the effect.

Let's have a look at these 2 laws in a little more detail.

Nearly all running injuries affect the bodies soft tissues, the muscles, the tendons, the fascia and the ligaments, and more often than not, the injury is found close to a joint.

Soft tissue structures do not show up on X-rays, so having the injured site X-rayed will provide no answers, and only cost you.

Diagnosis should be carried out by a medical practitioner who is qualified to assess and evaluate the injured site through manual manipulation and touch.

Diagnosis without having the affected area evaluated by touch and palpation should always be seen as suspicious.

As for treating the problem and not the cause, this is the mainstay of most medical approaches.

It is easier to prescribe an anti -inflamatory, give a Cortisone shot, apply physiotherapeutic modalities or other remedies, and tell the patient to rest up till it feels better, than it is to spend time looking at the patient, and the injury, and trying to identify what causative factors exist.

Only when these factors have been eliminated, can the injury be correctly dealt with.

Causative factors include:
  • Genetic factors
  • Environmental factors
  • Training factors
First treat the causative factor, then attend to the injury itself. This will ensure the injury does not continue to reoccur whenever the body / structure is placed under more stress than it can cope with.

Armed with these 6 laws, I hope you are becoming better able to assess, treat and avoid the injuries recurring, and armed with a better understanding and more insight, are now able to get the assistance you require.

James Greenwood is a competitive tri and multisport athlete currently training for Ironman Canada 2009. A level 1 Triathlon Coach, he holds a post graduate degree in Exercise Science, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA. James is also currently the resident health and fitness programs expert at MyPypeline.com, and has starred in a number of multisport specific fitness videos.
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