Training with an Injury, When is it Okay?

Training with an injury

At TFC Podiatry, we understand how frustrating foot and ankle injuries are when you are active or training for an event. Training with an injury is hard, whether you’re training for a marathon or for the next season of sport. If you’re active, there’s a good chance at some stage in your training you will develop an injury. When you do feel that familiar pain of an injury, it often comes in a few other feelings such as disappointment and confusion. Disappointment because of the prospects of ongoing pain and confusion because of the uncertainty of what the future may look like with an injury.

Without a health background, it’s hard to assess how you should alter your training. It’s hard to decide whether you should rest for a week, keep training, or cancel all race plans. Too often people leave it too late to call their Podiatrist after an injury and both the injury and the training have been sub-par because of this. Good training should be all about consistency and injury management is a vital part of this.

5/10 Pain Rule

Unfortunately, when it comes to injuries and training there is no one size fits all approach. In general, it is usually safe to continue training if the pain is less than 5/10. However, it’s important to note if you have an injury that is causing pain this should have a management plan to ensure you can reach your goals. If you train continually at a 5/10 pain level without any plan to manage the root cause, this increases the chance of the injury becoming chronic and limiting you into the future. 

Setting Goals With an Injury

Setting goals around your training or sports with an injury is difficult, trying to work out how much training you have to miss and how this will affect your performance is something that takes consideration. Providing diagnosis and treatment of an injury should always be goal-driven. Working with your Podiatrist to set goals around your training is a great way to increase your confidence on reaching your goals. These goals will depend on timing, diagnosis, and fitness levels. 

Helping to Manage Pain During Sport

Depending on the level of the injury and the management plan, sometimes the injury doesn’t have to be cured before returning to sport or racing. This sometimes means that injury has to be managed during sports or races. A classic example of this is bracing or sports taping, this often shows that there is an existing injury that is being managed however total rest is not needed. This may be used to prevent the injury from getting worse or it may be used to help control pain and improve performance on game day. 

Take Away Points – Training with an Injury

  • Training with an injury can be Okay if it’s a mild injury
  • Setting activity-related goals should consider the injury
  • Pain/ injury may need to be managed on race/ game day

Seek Help

Without experience in injury management in sports, many of these steps are difficult and can feel overwhelming. Seeking help from your local Podiatrist will help you gain confidence, set up a management plan for your injury and set achievable goals in sports. You should leave your appointment with a clear diagnosis, management plan, and idea of the level of training you can continue with.