Category Archives: Physiotherapy

Janathon

Heading towards Christmas Day and wondering just what to do for January.
Since July when I decided I’d sprint a mile downhill, something went wrong and my hips and left hamstring still hurt no matter what stretches I do. New trainers have helped but I think a run followed by a cycle might be in order with a 50 mile run target to stay sensible.
But as ever, sense doesn’t always win!

Mildly broken still

So following my last update and a spot of hope that my wellbeing would improve I happened upon last Monday.

Which brought with it the feeling that I was going to fall apart. From the inside.

I don’t like accepting defeat to my bodily woes but I had to give in. My back felt swollen (right against the spine was worrying me), my chest felt full of fire and my internal bits felt all jumbled up. A day for doing nothing, basically.

And the next three days saw mild improvement but with the experience that far too much was moving around far too much.

So Thursday broke my resolve and I booked to see the doctor. Well, I phoned him first to discuss whether my self diagnosis was about correct regarding healing, they being ribs and constantly on the move etc, before I explained that the pain wasn’t entirely rib based and things were moving around, it seemed. So an appointment was arranged for the same afternoon.

At which I lay on his couch after a bit of poking and prodding for a bit more poking, prodding and tapping before I spent about 20 minutes trying to get myself upright without splitting in two (getting upright from prone is the hardest thing each day still).

Whereupon he poked and prodded and got me to bend and stretch before booking me in for an ultra-sound abdominal scan because he’s intrigued as to whether I might have shifted some internal organs around. Most concerningly my liver, apparently. He assured me that, while confident I had two ribs in tatters, they’d be fine given 8 weeks to fix themselves. So some hope, then!

So next Thursday is the next opportunity for an update after they’ve had a look inside me, as it were.

As is usual I feel lots better at the moment, having been unable to do anything much for a while, so I’m hopeful all will be ok and I’ll just have to be patient until my ribs are knitted enough to gently jog and pedal a bit more enthusiastically (when I say a bit more…I am sneaking out on the mountainbike for a gentle, upright, not getting out of breath at all since I can’t pedal around the lanes…I can’t simply do nothing, I’ll go insane!)

So, no running, no exercise, no Juneathon…what a rubbish summer!

Running man

It’s been a bit of a rubbish month, March. Well, for running, anyway.

A lingering pain in my left shin from Janathon wasn’t getting any better and after my last outing (a gentle 4 miles around Rye on my last day on site down there, two Tuesdays ago), the pain was clearly becoming a worry. It was simply always present. Any pressure on my leg (walking up stairs particularly) brought on a stab of soreness followed by a dull ache that lingered for several minutes. By the end of a normal day (walking around site and the like) I didn’t feel good at all.

And Cathy was getting bored of my moaning to say the least.

So a week and a half of being office bound gave me the resolution to rest. Properly. With a promise not to put repeated impacts through it until it felt ok.

Impatience kept seeing me bounce on the spot on occasion, which consistently revealed the source of the pain to still be there. The late part of last week brought the first rays of hope for proper recovery. Friday brought with it a test of willpower to not go out and jog since only a little ache was evident. I wanted pain free.

Two short cycles convinced me to have a go today, though, and I’m a happy man.

I set about my shortest 2.6 mile loop with my Garmin set to 8 minute miles and a promise to stick to it, come what may. I found myself concentrating on each and every footfall. I picked up an odd “tick” that had me twisting my wrists inadvertantly to ensure my feet planted down squarely, truly, gently and painlessly. And, despite feeling like a Joey and knowing anyone who saw me (thankfully no-one, I think) would wonder what running had to do with making odd wrist throws and why I was staring at my feet, it all worked.

Not a wince of pain, not an ache. And now I’ve stopped for an hour, not a hint of residual soreness.

I believe I’m cured of whatever it was and have hope I’ll be able to get race fit this year yet. Or race fast, at least. I don’t think I’ve lost much fitness between rowing machining and cycling and weight training and gardening and that, but am sure my endurance and pace will reveal themselves to be pathetic when I test myself when I’m sure I can run properly again, hopefully without the wrist movements.

Which will have to be soon, it seems.

For in the forge of stupidity and in an effort to find motivation in place of races, Viceathon has been born.

Not as stupid as the other “athons”, but a challenge nonetheless. Thankfully the timetable is easy. No “run everyday” or even a blog. Merely decide on a vice you’re unhappy about or others criticise and do some exercise to offset/justify it, just as Cathy explains. And make sure there’s some float in the bank in case of relapse…the thought of a massive exercise catch-up on the last day doesn’t bear thinking about.

Cathy’s selected a mile run or two miles cycled for each “unit” of alcohol (not a normal unit, though – one tin/one pint/one glass of alcohol counts the same…but not pints of vodka, as I pointed out!). I believe we also have a brave soul promising a mile to run per baked product (cake or roll or slice of bread); I might try a mile per swearword but am unsure I’ll be able to run a million miles a day to honour it…and am also unsure I can contain my sweary vocabulary sufficiently to make it at all viable!

I’ve a few days to decide on a vice and an offset, though, and will use all of them, I think. Now…what will you do?

Let Jog-Blog know and we’ll add you to the list, or head over to Facebook any time after tomorrow morning and I’m sure there’ll be a page to sign up to in honour of honesty…

A run. Short but sweet.

Following a thoroughly pleasant week away from work during which the only poor weather was on Tuesday and having done far more mileage on my bike than I normally would in a desperate effort to maintain some form of fitness, I really wanted to go out for a run this evening if for no other reason than to see if I still could.

The podiatrist on Tuesday gave me hope for recovery and the bio-mechanical assessment and gait analysis gave me at least an indication of what’s wrong in my running form so I’ve taken it upon myself to start running again pretty much now. It’s been 6 weeks, after all – plenty long enough in my mind, if not my body!

The invalid insoles I was given have been put into my New Balance trainers – very lightweight racing shoes which I hope will encourage me to tread lightly, think about my stride and footfall and assist recovery without masking errors and further foot damage before it’s too late.

And on top of it all I selected a route along the Greensand Way, a (predominantly) off road footpath that is conveniently located by my front gate. Off road running with odd insoles and new(ish) trainers. Hmm…right back to the good old days of running cross country in the snow in Doc-Marten boots with Richard when he was getting fit for his entry into the army…completely mis-matched apparel for the terrain but all about the feel of the run, not the image! My hope is that a forced change in terrain as well as the podiatrist bits and pieces may change things for the better in the long term so mechanical aids can be dispensed with…cavemen didn’t need odd insoles, after all (who said cavemen normally died around my age, too…that’s simply not fair!),

And today, Matthew, it felt good.

I’m not running fit by any stretch (I did an out and back and took 28 seconds longer over the “back” than the “out”) but it wasn’t about the time or the effort involved, really, merely about the foot and the getting out there.

The little road bit went swiftly, the effort involved in running on dry trails was partly increased by me not being used to the change in stride needed to avoid holes, lumps and many, many stiles which, while prepared for, still amused the part of my brain that calls for steady running above all else. I wasn’t sure whether to do the last link that was explored on Wednesday and decided not to since I reckoned just over 3 miles was enough of an outing to see if I am up to running properly again yet.

It was hopefully a good choice.

My plan is to go for another short outing on Sunday and, next week, to investigate the path that surrounds the site in Rye – not sure how long that is but it has about a mile of pavement involved, I think, so may be a bit more of a test on the foot than this local one. I’ll see how it goes.

At the moment, though, all is feeling reasonable enough. Fingers crossed it remains that way tomorrow.

1613.16 miles to go.

Foot repair, cycling and age related problems

Today is the day my mother chose many, many years ago to expel me from within so today, mostly, I have been getting older.

As well as celebrating the fact by taking the old folks (and Cathy) to the pub, I’ve got the week off to enable me to see the dentist, get my eyes tested and have a haircut. What a rock and roll week. The icing on the cake being a visit to the local (affiliated to the running track shop) podiatrist to see what isn’t right with my running.

Lots, really.  Several people have been urging me to see someone who knows things over the last couple of years and I’ve dabbled in the past but not really commited until something’s gone wrong and while nothing drastic has changed this time, having to have 2 months off running for an injury is frustrating. So off I went.

Turns out my shoulders are fine, my arms work ok (seems podiatry isn’t the only string to the medicine woman’s bow!) and I don’t have any twisting or odd movement while I run but, largely as a result of my bandy legs, I do foot-strike a bit oddly. Some of it may be down to carrying myself oddly to protect the previously fractured right leg from damage but, while my right foot does most things correctly (slight oddness of alignment between ankle and shin but it self-corrects through foot strike and toe-off), my left rotates weirdly after lift off, strikes awkwardly, doesn’t roll through powerfully and lifts before the toe pushes off, throwing everything else off kilter.

Basically, through the punishment (not much…I didn’t go far!) of no rest days through Janathon, the effects have been exascerbated to develop into (and I’ve forgotten all the technical terms through not writing them down when she offered!) swollen fluid sacks that seperate the ligaments that control the bits around the metatarsal bones resulting in rubbing, pain and the inability to run cleanly.

Simply put, I need to run less and recover more. And heel strike more but I shouldn’t change my running style for fear of other injuries, she says…but I developed away from heel striking as I got faster (it’s all relative to a sloth!) so maybe I’m going to slow down for the longer more intensive runs and be sensible, returning to heel-strike form if I can and see if that manages things without recourse to the alternative…which is what I’ve got to give a try…I’ve now got some invalid style shoe inserts to try over the course of the next month to see if that encourages proper foot use.

So, summing up, I run like an invalid and now I’ve got the shoes to match. Yay! But I’ve also got a doctor’s letter excusing me from overexercising. More yay! (unless I correct things. Bah!)

So I reckon that my cycling will be the way to avoid middle age stomach spread for the majority of my miles. I’m enjoying the bike at the moment – I’ve put over 30 miles in just during the last 3 odd days, so it isn’t a hardship. But it doesn’t quite give the same satisfaction as a run.

So I’ve instructions to try the insoles slowly over the coming week before gentle running and increasing things while staying comfortable until a visit to see how things are doing next month. That I shall do. And monitor how things are developing on here in the meantime.

1649.16 miles to go. I haven’t been cycling that far, I’ve barely scratched the surface (but the garden is looking good!)

Do you dream in colour?

Occasionally.

Tonight, after getting in late from work, I treated myself to some meat (JB is at book club. I’d tell you about it but am not allowed to break the first rule), watered the contents of the greenhouse, emptied the bin then did some weights.

Which was nice.

ps. I can nearly walk. Very nearly. Tantalisingly close.

pps. I’ll get really moaned at and very possibly physically beaten for the book club reference and “joke”. But it still makes me smile inwardly. And outwardly, for that matter. May very well use it again…tune in next month to find out.

Stressed. Broken.

Bah is a term that comes to mind.

I confess to having been a little bit in denial regarding my leg injury but my doctor visit this afternoon gave me a confirmed diagnosis that I’ve fucked things up for Juneathon, the Crisis square mile run, the London to Brighton bike ride, any motorcycling through the early summer, repairs on the house roof, intense gardening (like mowing a huge lawn with any enthusiasm) and just about everything else I rather enjoy.

I have a stress fracture. It’s healing but needs a lot more. It might take between 4 and 6 more weeks before I can begin to use it at all normally and it just about sucks as much as an Indian on open carbs (that’s a motorbike reference before the race police investigate!!)

All from trying to do a little jog in London in April.

Juneathon will, indeed, centre around weights. And press ups. And sit ups. But blogging them will be duller than my usual efforts, so I might just read and enjoy all your efforts. Both of you.

Ok, i’ve some intense healing to do. Must get on with it.

Knackered. Possibly.

I went for some professional advice about my leg today. A physio attached to the Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford. Hopefully reasonably well versed in running injuries.

I’m still on a crutch for all but shuffles around the kitchen or site office and can’t put any weight through anything but the heel of the foot. But all but the swelling to the heel has gone down, hence the visit now the focus of the problem should be identifiable through all the supplementary symptoms.

So at the visit, I did the usual performance and demonstrated the confusion of having a large range of movement and that I can place surprisingly large forces through it when in anything but a vertical plane. I rotated it well. I demonstrated very little side force can be applied before pain. She was confused.

After 45 minutes, she recommended some exercises and the usual rest, elevation and ice (no compression – I explained compression is too uncomfortable after a few minutes and needs removing. She was cool with that). We made an appointment to monitor things next week.

Very good, if not too decisive.

Then, 6 hours later, I got home to a telephone message that she’s writing a letter to my GP so we can make an appointment to arrange further x-rays because she thinks it’s a stress fracture, despite x-rays on the day of the injury showing nothing. Probably wouldn’t show until up to a week later, she said.

Or did the internet say that, i’m wondering?

The hiccup is that I moved in December and haven’t changed surgery yet so the letter is going to a doctor who won’t be able to contact me when it gets to him. And won’t know who I am because he doesn’t know my new address and it’s not in his area. So i’ve got to stop the letter, register with a new practice, get the letter forwarded to them, see a GP, arrange an x-ray and then find out if it is knackered or just thinks it is to decide on a treatment.

I could be doing this for weeks.

Doesn’t my body appreciate the marathon was just a challenge but Juneathon doesn’t recognise injuries?

Will someone have a word with it for me?

Thanks.

Improvement?

I’m certainly trying to convince myself!

Over the last week, i’ve continued largely on one crutch, using the other for the rough terrain at work, but this weekend has been a struggle.

Friday night saw a longer than anticipated stroll between the car and two pubs which made things swollen and sore as I rolled into bed. Saturday had me hobbling along the hedges while trimming them and strimming the boundary of the garden which wasn’t nice but was essential. Soreness prevailed but then, in a desperate desire to say adios to Dave before he spends the summer in the Nevada desert, a trip to London was necessary.

The police didn’t seem to mind me having a crutch clasped to the handlebar as I cycled to the station (had to put the BMX seat above the regulation 3 inches, which was bad, but the only way I can cycle is seated with my heel on the pedal), so it was all good, but the short walk from Charing Cross through the other side of Leicester Square was enough, to be fair. The return was worse, hobbling for a train, and sitting in the carriage with an icy tin of beer held to the massively swollen ankle was all I could bear.

At home, the shin wasn’t hurting but the ankle was, and was huge to boot. Not good. But this morning, all swelling had gone and pain was minimal.

So I finished the hedge and mowed half the lawn.

That made things swell and hurt again, so I’ve stopped and am resting again. Oddly, though, the swelling is still in the ankle but all the pain today is higher in the base of the shin where the problem started.

Tomorrow, knowing things are on the mend and having isolated the odd bits of swelling and pain, i’m going to phone a physiotherapist and arrange a visit so someone can advise me what actually is going on.

Then i’m going to visit a running club and see how to run.

Then, combined with regaining some upper body physique, i’m going to do 10k in under 42 minutes and 13.1 miles in under 1hour 30.

How’s that for a set of targets for an old man?

Anxious

After physio yesterday, it was a bit of a surprise when my leg hurt this morning with little stabbing pains throughout the ankle and calf, so stretching was first order of the day.

Now 20 minutes when i’m thinking of the thousand things I want to catch up on isn’t the best way to start off, but at least it motivated me to a productive day, what with a motorbike ride, worktop glued up, shelves made and fitted and ended in an hour on the mountainbike.

Not quite as planned on the bike front, since the little stabbing pains made me stay on road (manualling and wheelying and hopping still put too much strain on the leg and cause a wince – I don’t want that to coincide with committing to clearing a tree stump or anything, and know I can’t stick to a path, so i’ll stay on road for a while). But after half an hour, I stopped, massaged for a couple of minutes, then turned for home, making a nice hour ride with no real drama.

Certainly, I needed another good stretch, but the pain seems to be reducing, i’m sure, but with 2 weeks to go and not being able to run for a week, i’d be lying if I didn’t say I was still not sure if i’ll make London. One second I will, the next I won’t. I’ll have to wait and see what tomorrow brings, I guess. After all, it’s only 2 weeks since it tore and there are two weeks still to go, and i’ve come so far up to now. Everything I own is crossed in hope. Well, not my testicles, apparently that’s a hospital job to get it sorted, but you know what I mean.

Even if I have lowered my target time.

I’ll settle for making the start line and a finish. Whatever the time, as long as i’m still running. 26 miles is a hell of a long way, after all.

A mince pie and 3mm rain today, the first for April.