September 3, 2008

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Runners get all sorts of fun injuries, and a lot of them are pretty common. What I hear the most is "I have shin splints" or "I have runners knee", but most of the time these people are self-diagnosing. Why not self diagnose? Seems like everyone gets shin splints or runners knee somewhere along the path to 26.2. Runners World points out why we should think again before assuming we know what the source of our pain is as much of the time its actually harder to pinpoint than we think!

This article hits it right on the head for me! I was suffering from some knee pain during training last year and did some surfing on the internet. I originally self-diagnosed as runners knee. According to the Runners World article, what we often assume is Runners Knee is sometimes Iliotibial Band Syndrome. Turns out I had neither: after a visit with a trainer I was diagnosed with popliteal tendonitis!

Basically, the lesson in the story is that if you are having some pains you might want to go get them checked out. Rehab for injuries often differs based on what the actual source of the pain is ... and if we go about self-diagnosing we just might be trying to rehab something that doesnt need it all the while ignoring something that is truly in need of some TLC :)


Nikki said...

Your comments are so true - it's easy to make things worse if you're trying to treat the wrong thing! Thanks for the link to great RW article.

labcabbie said...

I agree with Nikki - excellent advice! When I was training for the Chicago Marathon, I "self-diagnosed" shin splints, rested and iced, and kept running. Turns out I had a stress fracture and by the time I got to the doctor, it ran up and down the entire length of my tibia. The doctor said I was lucky it didn't disengage. I spent 8 weeks in a boot and missed running the marathon. So self-diagnosis is a bad idea!

Linden said...

This is a great thing to read. But I don't want to be injured!!! It'll go away, right??