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10 Laws of Running Injuries

Well I made it through my run today – hooray! And let me just add that after not really running for 3 week except for one 14 miler, 20+ miles is little on the hard side. Mentally, it was fine but my body is sore. Clearly cross training on the elliptical does not use the same muscle groups as actual running. I’ll take being sore though. I’m just glad I got to run.

While watching football today with Mario and my neighbor, I was reading through The Lore of RunningDr. Noakes has a section on injury prevention that I found to be quite informative.  The 10 Laws of Running Injuries was my favorite section. Here is what Dr. Noakes has to say about our running problems…

1) Injuries are not an act of God (you do something to get them)

2) Each injury progresses through 4 grades. Grade 1: and injury that causes pain after exercise and is often only felt hours after exercise has ceased. Grade 2: An injury that causes discomfort, not yet pain. and is insufficiently sever to reduce the athlete’s training. Grade 3: An injury that causes more severe discomfort, now recognized as pain. Grade 4: An injury so severe that it prevents any attempts at running.

3) Each injury indicates a breakdown (I guess that’s why I get injured towards the end of my training – I’ve broken down my body quite successfully.)

4) Most injuries are curable – Hooray!

5) Sophisticated methods are seldom needed

6) Treat the cause, not the effect – I really appreciate this one. My lower leg hurts and I know it comes from my weak hips. I can feel it when I walk and even tell when I sit down. That is the cause of my injury and that is what needs to be treated.

7) Complete rest is seldom the best treatment – I like this one!

8) Never accept as final the advice of a nonrunner (MD or other) – I can totally get behind this one. I love my running community friends because I often times feel they know better than a doctor I might go to because my leg hurts. They are runners and they feel my pain 🙂

9) Avoid surgery – According to Dr. Noakes, the “only true running injuries for which surgery is the first line of treatment are muscle compartment syndrome and interdigitial neuromas. Surgery may also have a role in the treatment of chronic achilles tendonitis.”

10) Recreational running does not appear to cause osteoarthritis – People tell me all the time I’m going to have arthritis when I get older (refer back to number 8). Noakes points out that modern studies show that evidence supporting osteoarthritis in long distance runners is for those elite athletes, who run many miles during their career. Although I may like that to be me, it’s not.

Well there you have it. The 10 Laws of Running Injuries. For any of those runners who may be injured, I hope this can be helpful!

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


2 Comments Post a comment
  1. fitandhealthmag #

    I agree with no. 8 – a runner’s advice prevails over that of a nonrunner, even if that nonrunner is also a doctor. Of course, I don’t mind taking advice from someone who specializes in injuries involving runners.

    October 14, 2012
    • ttrodriguez #

      Agreed! Runners know runners best 🙂

      October 14, 2012

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