Running With the Elite: Post

No, I didnt really run with them. If anything, I ran after them. On Saturday January 14, 2012, I had the honor of serving on the medical team for the US Marathon Olympic Trials held in Houston. The best runners in the United States gathered to vie for being the top three men and women to represent the USA Olympic Marathon Team this summer in London, England. I treated many of these runners and talked with their coaches and found out how they take care of themselves after a race. The answer came down to a pneumonic, PRICEMS. This simple phrase can save you from a lot of pain and get you back running quicker.

Protection from further injury: Walking as normal as possible will help keep from causing irritation in other areas of your body. If you are limping, you need to rest your injury and see your local podiatrist.

Rest: Pain is your bodys way of telling you that you are doing something you shouldnt be doing, like further running the next day.

Ice: It helps to decrease pain and swelling. Place ice in a waterproof bag or use reusable ice packs and apply it directly over the injury site. Apply the ice for 20-30 minutes three times a day. Do not apply the ice directly to the skin; use a wash cloth or a small towel to protect the skin from damage. Do not use ice when you sleep, as this may cause further damage not only to the skin but to the nerves in the foot. Application of ice may sting or burn for 2-3 minutes which is to be expected then it will help to numb the area.

Compression to squeeze swelling from the foot or ankle injury: Use an elastic bandage and apply gentle pressure to the area starting just behind the toes to a few inches above the ankle, or see your podiatrist as soon as possible to apply it in the correct manner. You need enough pressure to help reduce the swelling; however, make sure its not so tight to slow the circulation.

Elevation to help slow or minimize of the swelling to the site: Remember, the foot and ankle are the lowest parts of your body, and to reverse swelling will require elevation. We recommend elevation of the foot above the level of the heart by placing the foot on a couple of pillows while lying flat.

Motion or stretching an injured muscle: Gentle stretching of a tight muscle will aid in recovery. Never stretch to the point of pain. Hold your stretches for 25-30 seconds. Proper form is a must, and your foot and ankle specialist can assist in showing you the exact form.

Strengthening an injured muscle, tendon or ligament: Specific injuries are associated with strength problems. The injury will return if the underlying weakness is not corrected.

Depending on the injury and the severity, your foot specialist may recommend therapy, strapping, or anti-inflammatory medications. X-rays and an MRI or other tests may be needed to help diagnose the exact problem. Pain to the foot or ankle that lasts for more than 2-3 days following a marathon needs to be evaluated by your podiatrist.

Dr. Jeffrey Bowman, being a former runner, has a few marathons under his belt and can speak to your specific problems with experience. Contact us at or by calling 713-467-8886.

Category: Sports Injuries

Tags: ankle injuries, Ankle Sprains, Foot Injuries, foot pain, Running, Stretching, Torn Muscle, X-rays