When you love your sport or exercise routine, there’s a sense that you would rather die than to be forced to give it up. When you see a doctor who only sees pain relief as the only outcome, then the inevitable outcome is to give up the activity that caused the injury.
However, this post is to let you know that may not be the best advice.
In fact, a recent study suggests that runners don’t suffer more long term damage to their knee joints than non-runners. The study of more than 2,600 middle aged participants found that people who ran more actually experienced less knee pain over time. In addition, the people who currently ran enjoyed less knee pain than former runners.
If you’re an athlete, sometimes the best opinion you can get is from a doctor who understands the drive, demand, and benefit of staying strong and fit. The last thing I would want to tell someone is to give up an activity that is so beneficial for their overall well-being.
Exercise is like a whole-body health tonic, impacting you down to the cellular level.
A doctor that has been physically active for years knows what the common injuries are and what can be done to address them. They know what doctors would be best to address their injuries, and can refer people to go down the same path. They can also differentiate between injuries that can be rehabbed, and things that would force them to take time off.
A doctor who exercises is also someone who probably knows what you can do to stay active while injured. I take care of numerous patients with injuries after overtraining in the gym.
Often times I can make recommendations for substitute exercises that can be performed – as opposed to stopping lifting completely. Bottom line – the next time you’re faced with a choice of reducing your activity, make sure you talk to a doctors who is active in the fitness community.