Pain Science, Mindfulness and Healing Chronic Injuries with Maddie

Proximal Hamstring Tendinopathy: A Journey to Healing Chronic Pain


In today’s episode, we delve into the world of pain science, mindfulness, and overcoming chronic injuries, with a special guest, Maddie. Whether you’re an athlete or not, Maddie’s story will empower you to take the right steps in overcoming this debilitating condition. This blog post will explore Maddie’s journey, diving into the complexities of pain science and the power of mindfulness in her recovery.

Maddie’s Running Journey

Maddie hails from Lawrence, Kansas, and her running journey began in 2008, just before she started college. She initially swam but picked up running as part of her dryland training. Little did she know that this newfound passion would shape her future. After college, she ran marathons, including the iconic Boston Marathon, and embarked on a quest to run a marathon in every U.S. state.

The Onset of Symptoms

In 2016, while pursuing her nursing degree, Maddie started experiencing heel pain on her left side, followed shortly by the right. Nursing school meant long hours on her feet, and she continued running, often pushing herself through the pain. Despite the agony, she hesitated to seek professional help, leading to a prolonged battle with chronic pain.

The Complexity of Symptoms

Maddie’s PHT experience was far from typical. Her pain wasn’t confined to a pinpoint location on her foot; it radiated from her heels to the tips of her toes, varying in intensity and sensation. This complexity confounded healthcare professionals, leaving Maddie feeling isolated and hopeless.

The Mental Toll of Chronic Pain

Living with chronic pain took a toll on Maddie’s mental health. She experienced moments of helplessness, hopelessness, and even mild depression. The uncertainty and inability to find a solution left her feeling like she might never run pain-free again. Simple daily tasks like cooking, brushing her teeth, or walking her dogs became unbearable.

Exploring Pain Science and Mindfulness

Maddie’s journey took a turning point when she discovered the Run Smarter podcast and learned about pain science and mindfulness. This newfound knowledge opened her eyes to the connection between her thoughts and her rehabilitation. It was a light at the end of a dark tunnel, and she decided to dive into it headfirst.

Embracing Mindfulness

Maddie began incorporating mindfulness practices into her daily routine. She practiced belly breathing and paired it with empowering mantras, such as “hurt and harm are not the same” and “pain does not mean panic.” These practices helped her alleviate pain and reshape her mental landscape.

Managing Flare-Ups

One crucial aspect of Maddie’s recovery was recognizing and managing flare-ups. Rather than blaming herself or her body, she analyzed various factors contributing to increased pain. She created a game plan that included adjusting her running routine, practicing meditation diligently, and reframing her negative beliefs.

The Power of Having a Plan

Having a plan, even a simple one, can provide a sense of control over the uncontrollable. Maddie’s action plan helped stabilize her mindset during flare-ups and maintain her progress.


Maddie’s journey showcases the significance of pain science and mindfulness in managing chronic pain conditions. Her story is a testament to the power of self-awareness, positive mantras, and having a structured plan to navigate the ups and downs of recovery. Whether you’re dealing with a similar injury or seeking to improve your mental resilience, Maddie’s experience offers valuable insights and inspiration for anyone on a healing journey. Remember, hurt is not harm, and pain does not mean panic – you can overcome and thrive.