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Is It OK To Run Through Pain?

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Nov. 30, 2010
  • Updated Nov. 30, 2010 at 10:06 AM UTC

Forty-four runners participated in a study that closely observed their bodies for thousands of miles.

According a recent study that involved a 45-ton mobile MRI machine that accompanied runners for 2,800 miles, it may be physiologically possible to run through pain. Doctor Uwe Schutz, a specialist in orthopedics and trauma surgery at the University Hospital of Ulm in Germany agrees. “The rule that if there is pain, you should stop running is not always correct,” he says, pointing out that muscle-inflammation-induced pain may be ok to run through without the risk of further tissue damage.

The pain not to run through, according to Doctor Schutz, is the kind associated with a stress fracture. He notes that you may be at risk for further damage in that case.

In the MRI-based study, researchers collected large amounts of unique data about how endurance running affects the body’s muscle tissue and fat.

The 2,800-mile race used in the study was the 2009 Trans-Europe Foot Race. In that event, the runners lost about 11 pounds of fat and 2.5 pounds of muscle.

For More: Web MD

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at Competitor.com and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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