ZocdocAnswersMy leg muscle is inflamed, what are the ramifications if I continue to run?

Question

My leg muscle is inflamed, what are the ramifications if I continue to run?

After an 8 mile unaccustomed cross country run, the next day I had knee stiffness/ pain. I went to a local physician, and he said I got an inflammation from the 8 mile run (He actually used medical jargon and said the anatomical word for the muscle that got inflamed.) He prescribed me ibuprofen pills (600mg) to take 3 times daily for 3 days, then as needed for pain. He also told me to stop cardio workout/ stop running cross country for a week. The next day, I took the ibuprofen pill, then ran 6 miles. Ive been taking the pills 3 times daily, and running at full capacity. My knee feels a bit stiff/ sore but I still run. What are the ramifications for doing this? Thanks.

Answer

This is a tough question to answer, because there is a fine line between feeling a bit sore after a challenging run (which is normal) and continuing to run through real injury, which could lead to permanent problems. The fact that you went to see your doctor about the soreness makes me think that you were concerned about the pain - and this makes your symptoms more likely to be in the "real injury" category. In any case, please continue to follow-up with your doctor. General advice about running and musculoskeletal injuries would be that a runner should stop running (or at least back way off on their training intensity) when they experience an injury. This gives the body time to heal, prevents worsening of the injury, and also presents new injuries that might occur due to compensatory changes to the running gait from the injury. What I mean by this last comment is that it is common for a runner to injure, say, the other leg due to imbalanced stride and limping while running through an injury. Also, generally speaking, it is not a good idea to make an injury with pain medications just so that you can keep running. I can't say in your case whether or not you can keep running, as that would require a physical examination, but I would highly recommend that you ask your doctor what they think!

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