There was an expression, back in the day, that went something along the lines of, “No pain, no gain”. Many of you might remember this one. The idea is that it’s not worth the sweat unless it hurts a little. Based on that, many of the patients limping into my NYC podiatry office with ankle sprains, stress fractures, heel pain, tendonitis and various other foot and ankle mishaps must be realizing tremendous gains.
As anyone who reads this blog or sees me in my NYC podiatry office knows, I run. It’s one of the more fun hobbies I enjoy. Good for the mind and body, and hopefully for longevity. But I must admit, I have at one point suffered from each of the top five lower extremity running injuries- patellofemoral syndrome, iliotibial band syndrome, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, and my favorite, heel pain. Each of those maladies progressed to almost full healing, but despite stretching, using good shoes with custom orthotics, and pacing myself, there is usually at least a little pain. The question is: Is that so bad?
Those who run, or participate in any competitive sport on a regular basis basically become accustomed to a baseline level of foot or ankle pain. Let’s face it, we are relatively sedentary throughout the day, and then spend a few hours a week exhausting our bodies with physically demanding exercise. I daresay our grandparents never did this. And as your NYC podiatrist, I can work within those parameters to minimize pain and injury, but perhaps not totally eliminate it. Our competitive spirit is hard on the body, but as long as we can learn when to stop, how much pain is bad, then it might just be ok to have a minimal amount of tolerable pain.
We need to recognize that there are areas of inflammation and to absolutely know the limits. If the body says stop, it’s a good idea to listen. A short term investment in rest can yield long term benefits in injury reduction and productive exercise years.
So before beginning any exercise stop in to see your NYC podiatrist. We can work together and ensure that the pain is yielding only gain, and not loss.
See you in the office.
Dr. Ernest L. Isaacson