Injured, but not couch-bound just yet

What I learnt today: Do not wait until your small niggles have become full blown injuries.

I've had tight calves and achilles tendons in the morning when I get up for quite a long time, but it goes away after a few minutes, and it doesn't bother me when running, so I have assumed it's just one of those things. We all get little niggles, and I'm not as young as I once was (that's not unusual, as the singer wrote), so I can live with being a bit stiff in the morning (not in that way, get your mind out of the gutter!).

After two of my my last 4 longer weekend runs I have had some aches in my glutes (yeah, it's a right pain in the arse, no kidding!) and my old bad back problem seems to be coming back to haunt me every now and then. So I decided it was best to make an appointment at the physio and see what she had to say.

Well, it turns out that all three things are connected. Surprise, surprise. My heels cave in, so I stretch one side of the achilles and the calves far more than the other, multiply by 100,000 running steps this month alone, and it's not surprising that the glutes on the side of my weaker calf gets over worked and starts to hurt, and then apparently it's also not surprising that my lower back on the other side starts to ache as well.

The diagnosis took about 5 minutes. The torture took the rest of the hour. I know it's called sports massage, but I'm telling you, with the pain in the moment and the nice feeling afterwards, I'm sure it could be advertised in seedy magazines for three times the normal price. Not that I'd know of the going rate for a massage advertised in a seedy mag, mind you.

She referred me to a podiatrist ("one of the best ones in the country, works with top sports people, tell them I sent you" - made me think of Foxy's Bisquits), gave me some exercises to do and an appointment for next week.

The good news, and they are most definitely good, is that I'm not grounded. She suggested that after the torture (sorry, "massage") I probably wouldn't be feeling like a run tomorrow or the day after (and at the moment I'd say I agree totally), and that I should probably reduce my mileage for the next couple of weeks and be very aware of form when I run until I learn to keep my feet right and not make the problem worse. How do you do that? How do you check the alignment of your feet as you push off. Guess I need to focus and uhmmm... be very aware.

It could have been a lot worse. It could have developed into tendonitis, but it sounds like we cought it early. Could have been even earlier which might have meant less pain and less money spent on treatment. So, there's a clear lesson there for me. I'm posting it here in the hope that someone with a few persistent niggles might be able to learn as well without having to go through the pain.

13 Replies

  • Oh how annoying! Sounds like you caught what could have turned into a major problem in the nick of time. Funny how all these things join up in a knee-bone-connected-to-leg-bone kind of way, I have similar issues with my right leg and back. God, I sound like Marvin the Paranoid Android, I've got pains in my diodes all down my right side, brain the size of a planet....

  • haha, I think I'd like Marvin the Paranoid Android, and shall defo remember the diodes quote :)

  • Sorry it did make me chuckle in places !

    Well you sound like you did the right thing getting it seen too before it became a major issue. A good warning for others too - don't ignore what your body is telling you.

  • Sounds like you caught it in good time - always good to trust your instincts in these things. Had to laugh at the description of the torture!

  • Thankyou for sharing, so glad they got it in time... the morning stiffness and seedy mags will most definitely help too ;)

  • Sagely advice, hope you get sorted out!

  • Very good timely advice , Tomas, thank you xxx

    Oh I agree with the massage , oh the pain, the pain !. They really do sort you out though dont they ? :-) xxx

  • Poppypug, was that a Dr Zackary Smith quote there? :)

  • Ha ha Zev, not intentionally, but I see what you mean :-) xxx

  • I bloody (sorry, are we allowed to swear in here? sorry!) well hope they sort us out, otherwise it would be too cruel! xxx

  • Good reminder, thank-you. And sorry you were reminded the hard way. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish a niggle from something bigger. It's definitely worth getting checked out if it's reoccurring.

  • Absolutely agreed! I guess the "art" is being able to distinguish, but glad I eventually went, even if I was beginning to think "naah, no need" while waiting for the appointment.

  • Thanks for posting, so glad you caught it in time & an important lesson for us all: listen to your body & if in doubt, get it checked out!

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