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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Running Injury Specialists

One thing I have found out being a runner - it is very hard to find the right person for a soft tissue injury.  I once told my physio "I wish I'd broken my leg instead"... that, medical science knows how to fix!  Knee pain, tendinitis, IT bands, it's all voodoo kind of stuff.  Hopefully the below helps navigate the sea of professionals (and not-so-professionals).

Sports Doctor - Yes!

They can rule in or out serious injury like torn ligaments or stress fractures, and best of all they are free in Ontario (covered by OHIP).  A good starting point.

Family Doctor - No.

I'm sure there are a few family doctors who can make sense of soft tissue injuries, but mostly they are rushed and don't have the in-depth sports-specific knowledge.  Find a Sports Doctor, it's their job.

Physiotherapist - Yes!

They are covered by most health insurance plans (might need a doctor's note) and seem to be able to do a complete evaluation to look past the point of pain and get to the source.  In fact in my most recent case, I almost didn't believe her when she said my knee pain was caused by tightness in my hips... but after working on it and stretching, she was proven absolutely right.  I'm a believer.

Podiatrists - Yes!

Your feet are all you have between you and the ground, and sometimes a small problem there can cascade all the way up.  I have had very good experiences with real podiatrists (doctors) who prescribe high quality orthotics.

Chiroporactors - Not in a million years.

Chiropractors are more miss than hit in my experience.  If you want to talk voodoo, they're it.  The "science" behind chiro is sketchy at best, which is why you end up with them claiming to cure actual illness by cracking spines.  Puh-lease.

In recent years, they got into the business of hawking orthotics as a side business.  They sold people low quality piss-poor orthotics that did nothing for them.  Marketplace did a piece on it, very disturbing.  I don't trust the profession - I'm sure there are a few good apples, but the over the top unscientific claims combined with the various add-ons as cash grabs makes me just stay clear.

Massage Therapists - Yes!

Now be careful here... a lot of people sell massages with creams that smell nice that make you feel very nice after - but do nothing to fix your injury.  That's not what you want.  You want a licensed massage therapist with big arms and a sadistic grin.  If it's not up there with the worst pain you've ever felt, they aren't doing it right.

I hated every moment of it - but it seemed to help, and at the very least helped me feel where the muscles I needed to stretch were, so I could really target them and know it was the right thing.


Don't waste your money or time - both of which are precious!  Find the right people to fix you.  Trust science and not quackery.  Good luck!

1 comment:

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