Mercy Health's Orthopaedic Dream Team Offers Tips to Help Runners Be Well

(CINCINNATI; April 28, 2014) – With Cincinnati’s Flying Pig marathon fast approaching, many runners are ramping up their running programs to be ready for that race and the other races that take place once the weather turns fine. Mercy Health’s orthopaedic dream team, which provides advanced, quality care with compassion in your neighborhood, offers the following tips to help runners be well and keep in good health throughout the running season.

As people start and continue their running programs, many wonder which pains are acceptable and which warrant a trip to the specialist.

Some doctors break down pain into three types: good pain, concerning pain and bad pain.

Good pain is the pain associated with getting in shape. Runners should expect some discomfort with hard exertion. General muscle soreness after a hard workout is OK and is almost like a badge of honor for having worked hard. Good pain does not impact running and goes away before the next scheduled workout.

Concerning pain is pain that persists during the run but does not hinder it. It might linger after the run but doesn’t cause swelling or limping. This pain usually means one of two things:

• The runner is working a little too hard and needs a break to prevent worse injury
• A more serious event has occurred and the runner is about to break down 

Runners experiencing concerning pain should treat this pain with an extra day off to be sure they’re on the mend before running again. They should also focus on stretching and cross training to help avoid injuries caused by overuse, build strength, improve joint range of motion and muscular balance and elasticity and help with muscle recovery.  
Bad pain is pain that affects running. Runners with bad pain may experience swelling or limping and the pain will not go away during the run. Any runner experiencing bad pain should stop running, give themselves at least a few days’ break, ice the affected area and, if possible, cross train for a week. If the pain persists, it’s time to visit a specialist.
Most pain falls into one of two broad categories - structural or dynamic.

Structural pain is pain that occurs something is torn, broken, arthritic or otherwise damaged. An example is a stress fracture. This pain often needs rest to allow things to heal or possibly surgery to correct the problem.

Dynamic pain is much more common in runners. Runner’s knee, also known as iliotibial band pain, is an example of dynamic pain.
This type of pain occurs when the muscles are not strong enough or flexible enough to move the joint correctly during the running cycle. These pains can cross over and mix with other pains. As with most running pains, runners should take swelling, limping and worsening performance seriously and see an expert for evaluation. A running coach, sports medicine specialist or physical therapist can help determine what the runner can do to correct the issue leading to pain.                                                                                
Rest can be the best treatment for a variety of injuries. Once your injury has healed and your doctor has cleared you, you can start to work with a sports medicine specialist or athletic trainer to regain movement and strength. This will prepare you to get back into running activities safely so that you can enjoy your sport for years to come.

Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine expert Matthew Busam, MD, an avid runner, developed these recommendations. He practices from Mercy Health – Cincinnati SportsMedicine & Orthopaedic Center, Western Hills and Crestview Hills. To find out more about Dr. Busam or to schedule an appointment with him, please call 513-347-9999.

Mercy Health Physicians, as well as physicians, physical therapists, athletic trainers and locations of Mercy Health – Cincinnati SportsMedicine & Orthopaedic Center (CSMOC) and a partnership with Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine comprise The Dream Team. The Dream Team consists of 35 doctors practicing from 15 locations in neighborhoods throughout Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

Returning every patient to normal function as quickly, compassionately and safely as possible is the goal of Mercy Health’s Orthopaedics, Spine and Sports Medicine team. Together with physical therapists and athletic trainers, they provide comprehensive orthopaedic care for the foot and ankle, hand, wrist and elbow, hip, knee, shoulder, neck, back, joint replacement and sports-related concussion.

You can meet the team, learn more about their areas of specialty and find their office locations by visiting To find a Mercy Health physician in your neighborhood, or to learn about the services provided at Mercy Health, please visit or call 513-981-2222.