Aches and Pains: let it go or seek help?

We have all done it: ignore and ignore and ignore until we couldn’t anymore and we finally seek medical attention and wish we had done it sooner. On the other hand it is very normal to feel various aches and pains when starting a training program or ramping up your current program or pushing harder in a race. Many of these symptoms will completely subside with a little time and rest. Here are some guidelines that may assist in your decision.

If you answer yes to all the following statements you can probably Let It Go.
a. The quality of my pain is dull and achey, not sharp.
b. The intensity of my pain does not change my normal gait with running, walking or stairs.
c. The duration of my pain does not last longer than a few hours after my activity.
d. The location of my pain is inconsistent (i.e. yesterday my R knee hurt after my run, last week my L ankle was sore).
e. My pain is not getting worse over time.
f. My pain is getting better with simple icing, rest and stretching.

If you answer yes to any of the following statements, seek advice from a physician or physical therapist.
a. The quality of my pain is sharp.
b. I am altering my gait pattern with running, walking or stairs because of my pain.
c. My pain is present during my activity and lasts longer than two hours after.
d. My pain is consistently in the same location.
e. My pain is getting worse (i.e. intensity, duration or affecting movement).

Still unsure?

Alpine Physical Therapy offers free 10 minute advice consults with our Physical Therapists to Run Wild Missoula members at all of our locations. Check us out online at and call to schedule your free consult.

Happy Training!

By Angela Listug-Vap, DPT, FAAOMPT – Alpine Physical Therapy

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