A really great event named the Marine Mud Run is held every year in the Knoxville area. It’s a great charity event that raises money for the Toys for Tots campaign. The tough part is that the charity event is tied to a 3 mile run filled with obstacles like mud pits, logs, and walls. As you can imagine its a pretty tough event. As I was approaching the finish line swim I could feel some cramping in my hamstrings and knew I had hit my limit. I slowed down and finished a little slower than I started but no worse for the wear. I’m convinced that listening to what my body was saying and slowing it down prevented an injury. There was also a healthy dose of not wanting my patients to give me a hard time for not practicing what I preach. I think that teaching my patients about injury prevention is one of the more important things that I do as an orthopedic surgeon.
In brief, it is important to pay attention to our bodies, more important than following a specific injury prevention strategy. Pain is our body’s warning system and too often in sports or athletic activities we ignore it. When we feel muscles cramping or pain in our joints we really need to pay attention. Often it means we need to slow down and regroup. Most of the time activity modification and relative rest will do the trick and allow us to get back into the game/sport/activity that we want!