Friday, 12 March 2010

The verdict

I did 2 more runs before going to the consultant: 8 miles on Saturday and 9 miles on Monday, sandwiching a walk in the dales and an hour in the gym on Sunday. No major ill effects from any of it. In fact, not much impact from the 9 miles (or 31 miles in the 7 days before the consultant appointment) at all.

The appointment itself was relatively uneventful - no need for scans, a basic Q&A on symptoms and a less unpleasant than I expected inversion of my scrotum! In and out within 10 minutes - which equated to about £20 a minute. Nice work if you can get it.

Consultant's view was that it was a sportsman's hernia but that it wasn't yet bad enough to require surgery so he referred me to another physio in the hope of correcting it that way. He said he didn't know the physio who had initially treated me but recommended me to one that he used "when I want it doing properly".

Managed to get a swift appointment and spent an hour at the physios yesterday morning. I've got to say she was excellent. She was experienced in the condition, clearly understood biomechanics in relation to sport and was the first person to truly explain what she found and what the impact would be.

First half hour was spent in assessing muscular imbalances, comparative leg length, checking for flexibility or tightness and so on. After 10 minutes I thought I was fit for the knackers yard: my glutes didn't readily fire (especially the left), my glutes were relatively weak compared to related muscle groups, I had tightness in the left hip, core muscles could be stronger, and my left side was generally far weaker than the right.

Having said all that in some areas I had excellent flexibility and good muscle length - just that this was juxtaposed with areas of weakness and tightness.

All this meant I was recruiting the adductors and muscles around the groin, especially on the left, far more than I should and that was causing the problem - they were being asked to do the work of bigger muscles. This was seemingly triggered by the change in running gait with the toe off point now being behind my centre line (though in fairness to Chi running it does say posture is vital, including fully engaging the core, and I hadn't really done anything other than speed up the leg turnover).

The physio's view is that I'm ok to carry on running but must have a day off in between runs and go no further than 5/5.5 miles for now as she doesn't feel injury wise that I'm strong enough to do more. I also need to stay away from twisty trails or mud under foot.

Looks like I need to go back fortnightly and will move through a plan to get the correct muscles operating, strengthen them, and stretch them, starting with static exercises before moving on to running based ones as, again, she feels I'm not yet strong enough to do more without risk of aggravating the injury.

The exercises I have are fairly tough. The piriformis stretch is painful, another difficult to tell if I'm doing correctly and collectively they all left me feeling quite sore in the left groin by yesterday evening.

I also did a 5.3 mile run along the canal that was quite brisk compared to those I'd done in the previous days, so I do feel my running is starting to come back.

Overall - pretty optimistic.

No comments: