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Let’s say you’re walking down the sidewalk one day and you get a tiny little pebble inside of your shoe. You feel it instantly, and it hurts for a moment. You might even yell, “ouch!” So you stop. Take off your shoe and turn it upside down and shake. The pebble falls out. No big deal. You move on.

Now let’s say, instead of you immediately taking out the pesky pebble, you keep walking on for a while thinking it isn’t that small and will probably work its way out of your shoe on its own. If that actually happens, then you’re set.  (Runners do this a lot because, after all, who interrupts their run for a tiny pebble?) 🙂

But…what if the pebble remains and shifts position. Now it’s become an even bigger pain!

By the time you stop to shake it out, you’ve now got a little bruise on the underside of your foot – and it hurts. So you shake it out – and at the same time, shake your head, thinking why did I wait!  As you continue walking, you can feel that pain and bruise. Ouch. So now you’re walking with a slight limp, hoping you can shake it off as time goes on. 

Now let’s say, instead of you finally stopping to shake that pebble out, you leave it in there – not just for the rest of your walk, but for a full month. By the time you take it out, it’s bleeding and really sore. You’ll need to bandage it and will unfortunately be walking with a limp for a while.

So what’s happened? Even though that pebble is gone, you’re now walking differently. And will be for a while. You’re compensating.

Unless you re-train your body step by step, to return to the more authentic way you moved prior to that bruiser in your shoe, you’re now moving differently. Potentially forever.

You might think this story is silly. But the reality is, this kind of thing happens every day with runners.

Welcome to what happens when you suffer a minor “tweak,” or pesky little running injury. The process is the same. And the results can often be the same. 

Ever noticed how one minor little issue can all-of-a-sudden, cause an issue in another area? This is why. One area of the body having to “pick up the slack” because of compensation.

How do you avoid this situation, which can literally haunt you for years?

  • Stop when you feel injury-like pain, no matter how far you are from home. Walk. Call for a ride. Whatever it takes. But don’t keep going unless you are absolutely sure it’s not an issue. Don’t lie to yourself.  Stopping in time could be the smartest decision you ever make, saving yourself days, weeks or months in recovery time.
  • Find out the root cause of an injury.  Rest just makes symptoms go away temporarily. In order to fix a problem, you need to identify the root cause and address it head-on.

What’s the best way to find out the root cause?  Get in touch and we’ll discuss it. Perhaps a Virtual Gait Analysis would be your best option.   Click on that hyper link to learn more and then reach out. I’d love to help!

Food for thought!