Back in the Physio’s Room

This post originally appeared on Ben’s old blog, Running From the Physio.

Ah. My running of the past few years has come full circle. A persistent knee injury in late 2012 brought a spell of regular running to a halt, and resulted in a lengthy spell of physiotherapy and rehabilitation. I’ve seen my physioregularly since for sports massage, but last week was the first time I’d been back to see him for an injury. And really, it was probably all my own stupid fault…

As I mentioned in my last post, I didn’t get much running done over Christmas: a bug struck me down for a couple of weeks. Prior to that, I’d been running pretty well: three Sunday long runs in excess of 10 miles, and plenty of variety in there too. Over the Christmas/New Year fortnight, I ran a parkrun on Christmas Day, another ten days later, and then a 10 mile run the day after that. And that, as they say, was that.

The 10 miler was actually alright: I felt pretty good on it, took it at a pretty gentle pace, and actually enjoyed the run. For the rest of the day though, my knees made it well known that they hadn’t enjoyed the run. Stairs were not fun, carrying my daughter around was not fun, and carrying my daughter up the stairs: ha! In the evening, I had a short session with the foam roller to try and sort things out:

In retrospect, I clearly should have eased back into things a little more: if I’d had time off because of a niggle, I would have done. But with it being a spot of illness, I didn’t really think about it. And… if this was my only sin, I’d probably be back running again already. What followed… was sheer idiocy.

Time and time again, both within my club, and generally through Twitter and running magazines, I’ve been told that you should steer clear of speed-work if you have even the inkling of an injury.

Time and time again, both within my club, and generally though Twitter, I advise people with an injury or discomfort to either rest completely, or to do a gentle recovery-style run.

Medicinal peas!

So, on Monday, with sore knees that still strongly disliked stairs, I must surely have rested, or gone for a nice plod along the canal, right? No, of course not. Like a complete lunatic I went to a club track session. I completed, I think, 8 laps of the track. Although that somewhat overstates how much I ran: two warm-up laps, five laps of the session, and then one “is this as bad as…. ARGHHHHH, yes it is” lap. That last lap was taken at a very slow jog, for about 150 metres, before even that was too painful, and I made do with an awkward hobble.

On Tuesday, I went to work, pumped full of a combination of painkillers that I found in our medicine drawer: things were not looking good for getting back out again that week.

On Wednesday, I felt sorry for myself.

On Thursday, I felt sorry for myself.

On Friday, I continued to feel sorry for myself, but also decided to do something about it. I managed to secure an appointment later that same day to see my physio. Part of me had been quite scared about taking this step. My rehab from my previous knee problem had taken months, and I couldn’t really bear to consider that this could take a similar length of time. Of course, looking back, I have to admit that I wasn’t very… assiduous at completing my daily exercises.

And so, on Friday afternoon, I found myself back in the physio’s room. After ascertaining exactly where the pain was, and which movements triggered it, and which did not, I received an ITB massage. Generally, I get on fine with sports massage: while plenty of people complain about them, I don’t find them too painful. An ITB massage though, that hurts. Still, I left with instructions to massage the ITB with my foam roller, a set of exercises to complete each day. Oh, and those horrible words “Don’t run before our next appointment.”

I made our next appointment for as soon as I could.

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