Athlete: Do you think strapping my knee (insert any treatment / modality) has any benefit?
James: What is the challenge?
Athlete: ITB friction syndrome (this could be any physical challenge)
James: When did you become aware of the feedback loop (discomfort-pain)?
Athlete: Mid way through a road run on Tuesday. I had a day off on Wednesday, then did a hard session at the track and a spin class on Thursday. I have a race on Saturday. My hip is also not great.
James: You need to NOT race on Saturday. Strapping your knee is not going to solve the problem.
Athlete: I can't not race, I have already payed for my entry (insert justification here).
James: My goal for you, if you look after your body is that you will be running efficiently for many years to come. If you have a different goal, that is your decision. My advice is that you don't race on Saturday, and that we look to address the underlying challenge and allow you to develop greater efficiency moving forward.
Here is a conversation I am yet to have, and suspect I never will have:
James: How did your race go?
Athlete: I was unsure whether to run, my knee wasn't right going into the event. I strapped it up, and took some preventative pain killers. I'm so glad I raced, I ran with a massive smile on my face, had heaps of fun, and my knee is so much better than it was before the event.