Runners: 4 Signs You Need To See A Sports Medicine Doctor

Posted on: 19 June 2020

As a runner, you are used to a certain degree of soreness. To some extent, you have to run through it. But there are times when that soreness is more than just tired, tense muscles. Sometimes the soreness is actually due to an injury that should be treated by a sports medicine doctor. So how do you know? Well, the following are signs you need to see a doctor about your running-related pain.

1. The pain is the result of an acute trauma.

Are you experiencing pain not as the result of a hard workout, but rather because of something that happened during the workout? For instance, did you step off a curb and hear your knee pop, or did you trip on a stick and feel something pull in your hip? These are not so much running injuries as they are acute injuries that happened to occur while you were running. If you want to get back out their and train faster, it's a good idea to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. You could have a strained or torn ligament or tendon, which won't always get better on its own.

2. The pain hasn't gone away after a week.

Usually, soreness related to a specific workout or string of workouts subsides within a week. If you've had the same pain and it has lingered for longer than this, then you should see a doctor. There is a chance it's just slow-to-subside muscle soreness, but you need to rule out actual injuries to make sure it's okay to train through it.

3. You have noticeable swelling.

Muscle soreness may cause a little internal swelling, but the sore area won't really look any different than usual. If the painful area is puffy and swollen, you probably have something more serious going on that a sports medicine doctor should take care of. You can ease the swelling by icing the area in the meantime.

4. Your gait is affected, even while walking.

If you can barely walk normally, then you have a lot more than muscle soreness going on. Continuing to walk and run when you cannot do so with a normal gait can cause even more damage, since strain will be placed on parts of your joints that are not adapted to that level of stress. 

Running through soreness is nothing to worry about, but if you have any reason to suspect your soreness is due to an actual injury, play it safe and call the doctor! You won't win races by training through injuries.