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Dealing With Injuries That Aren’t Really Injuries

  • By Jeff Gaudette
  • Published Mar. 17, 2014
Most runners have experienced the dreaded black toenail at some point during their running life. Photo: www.shutterstock.com


Chances are pretty good that you’ve experienced at least one of these “injuries.”

Running is difficult enough when you consider the very real threat of prolonged injuries that keep you off the roads for weeks or months at a time. But what do you do about those more frequent — and extremely painful — annoyances like black toenails and cramps that, while not classified as injuries, can be very difficult to run through?

In addition to treatment and prevention, how do you decide whether you can or should run with one of these very painful annoyances?

To make the decision more confusing is that more serious injuries, like Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis, often begin with pain that is very slight and easy to run through. These “smaller annoyances” are often extremely painful from the start but typically don’t last long. You certainly don’t want to take unnecessary days off, especially if complete rest won’t speed up the healing process.

To help you make sense of these smaller, yet very painful “injuries,” I am going to outline the three most common injuries that aren’t really injuries. More importantly, I am going to detail treatment and prevention methods and help you decide when it’s safe to keep training and when it’s not.

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FILED UNDER: Injury Prevention TAGS: / / / /

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff has been running for 13 years, at all levels of the sport. He was a two time Division-I All-American in Cross Country while at Brown University and competed professionally for 4 years after college for the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Jeff's writing has been featured in Running Times magazine, Endurance Magazine, as well as numerous local magazine fitness columns.

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