Thursday, 9 August 2012

Injury - will the Osteopath be able to take her own advice!!

Hi All

Well the Olympics are here and I have been building my preparation for the game for the last 4 years and blow me if I get injured just before the start!!!

I may jest in my building for the Olympics but I thought I should put pen to paper to report on my injury and how as even an amateur 'jogger' it has been one of the hardest things to get my head around over the last 3 weeks.

About 3 weeks ago,..well actually 23 days and 4 hours...not that I am counting, I returned from a hilly run over Norbury park to suddenly feel my left calf tear at the musculo-tendinous  junction.  Now, I pride myself in being pretty tough and have kept going in both running events and volleyball matches with injuries but this was different.  The pain was so acute I was stopped in my tracks - literally!  Luckily my daughter was with me and the car was not far.

Over the next 3 days I rested completely, I iced and strapped the area...all good on the 'taking my own advice' far!  The calf responded well and I decided in my joggers wisdom rather than my Osteopathic wisdom that it would be fine to have a little jog out to "test" the leg as by now I thought it couldn't have been that bad after all.  So I am sure you have guessed but it was not good, in fact so bad that this time I was stranded on Bookham common and had to physically limp my way back to the car and struggled to drive myself home.

Limping I arrived at work and booked straight in for treatment and was "told off" by members of my team at Fine Fettle for even thinking I was fit to go back out running.  Treatment done I then took a whole 7 days off (yes I was advised to take more) However 7 days was not enough to stop me limping so my Osteopathic wisdom advised more rest and eccentric work to the area. By now I was mentally in pieces as running is my love and to have it taken away for even a short time torture!!

So over these 7 days the Olympic started and although I love the winning bits I have to say my heart goes out to those that don't achieve what they had set out to do and especially those that get injured.  The odd thing about being an Osteopath with a heavy interest in sport is that you actually are really interested in the injuries, you want the camera to be on the athlete so you can see what the manual therapist does.  I am often found shouting obscenities when the "magic water" tipped on an area cures the problem and the athlete writhing in pain is suddenly cured!!! That said it made me reflect on my feeling of being injured.  I love running (yes to close friends I know I whinge about it too) and when I can't run I am lost.  I use running to relax to see the country side and to get that great feeling of improvement and achieving goals. As most people know I used to play National League Volleyball and that was my passion and running was just a way to keep fit for that but now I've retired running is my "fix".

The GB team has done fantastically in these Olympics but spare a thought for those that didn't get to where they wanted and especially those athletes that got injured.  Only yesterday GB Decathlon Daniel Awde was out of the games after injuring his knee.  Not long before his injury he had run a PB of 10.71 in the 100m.  How must that feel after 4 years (or more) of life changing training and pure hard work?  I just can't imagine what they are going through after the years of anticipation and hard work and it certainly puts my little calf strain into perspective. I still remember Derek Redmond in 1992 when he tore his hamstring during the 400m semi final and insisted on completing the lap - what guts and courage and how emotional we all were watching his father jump past security to help him continue!

So back to my injury, now in perspective when compared with others, I decided against advice to give it another go strapped in green levotape!! (yes like the athletes at the Olympics) Running however was still not an option as  I found out on Monday and I again decided enough was enough I wanted to get back out for a run.  This time I decided in my wisdom that I would get a lift up the hill to Bockets farm and gently run home.  This would have been about a mile - perfect ...BUT I decided after 2 minutes that it felt great so I added on a 2 mile loop.  WHEN WILL I TAKE MY OWN ADVICE?  So after 1 mile I was reduced to tears and doing an odd run and walk style to get home.  Although there were tears they were from realisation that I had to stop running for longer than a week, in fact the realisation that perhaps 6 weeks of rehab may be more advisable.

So ice pack back on and active rest prescribed I started to think how would I advise a patient..... 10 years qualified and another 4 years before that training and it took me all that time to do the right thing? I suppose it just makes me human and I have to say I very rarely tell athletes to completely stop training if I can avoid it as I know that feeling.

I have now joined the local gym as I may not be able to do ballistic type work with my calf yet but I can still exercise if I do the right thing.


I have to be honest and say I don't really like gyms (even though I am a qualified gym instructor) and I had to drag myself down for my induction.  I arrived nice and early to fill in the forms and just before walking into the reception met a past student of mine so had a lovely chat with him.  I then turned to reception where I knew the receptionist so another lovely chat and a giggle.  I was starting to enjoy this gym lark...I was then passed onto the receptionist who filled in the forms and she was a patient at Fine Fettle so again I had a lovely chat...this training was great I was having a whale of a time!!  Why had I avoided the gym for so long?

I arrived in the gym and stood outside the instructors door waiting when blow me another patient and friend rushed up to greet me, this was great even if the hug was slightly sweaty!! Then the door from a nearby studio opened and ....I knew the instructor...this was fantastic. Perhaps I could just get the runners high from seeing people I knew at the gym!!! ? This training was going to be easy!!!!

My induction instructor arrived and I suddenly realised he was waiting to start whilst I was having my social fix!!  I made my apologies to friends and patients and tried to pretend I was giving him my whole attention.  The guy was really good and half way through I thought it was fair to say I was a gym instructor too and had actually worked at the old gym about 10 years ago.  This worked well and we whizzed through the induction.

I arrived home after 20 minutes of induction and idle chit chat!! and felt like I had really trained.  Shame I didn't actually do any training.  My partner had cooked tea as I was so late home..this gym stuff was really going to be fantastic!!!


So I had to actually go to the gym to work out.  I had instructions from my own  Osteopathic Wisdom NOT to go on the treadmills yet and not to do any classes that involved impact through my left leg.  EASY I thought until I looked around and I was just longing to get on the treadmill, they had TV and everything and the Boxercise sounded good!! All went well and I trained hard on the cross trainer (with low resistance - Osteopathic Wisdom), the bike and the rowing machine.  Weights for my core - which to be honest is non existent and boy did I feel it a few hours later!! Coughing is not an option at the moment.

One thing that did shock me at the gym was the amount of people lifting weights incorrectly, especially young lads egging each other on to lift really big weights that they had no way of lifting without recruiting the wrong areas and putting their other joints in danger.  My advice is to lift weights properly  and forget what other people are doing - for example try to isolate the muscle you are training,  Don't use momentum to do your biceps curls use a lower weight that allows you to isolate the area and not use your lower back to assist.  Osteopaths really don't wish injury on patients and we often advise people on how to train properly to prevent injury.


So now I am into this and loving being back to exercise, I hadn't realised I was so addicted!!! I arrived at 6.50 am this morning in my padded shorts for a 45 minute session.  How hard could that be?  45 minutes was half a work out surely.....

My Osteopathic wisdom advised no out of saddle work and to work up the resistance depending on any pain felt.  No pain felt so off I went.  Hell for leather for the first 35 minutes trying to compete with everyone in the room even the instructor!! I even had thoughts positions to reduce wind resistance and perhaps a sleek helmet to help me go faster but with or without a visor? I still have the competitive streak but hardly worth it as we all on static bikes and lets face it unless I have a bike slightly further forward than others I was never going to come first over the line!! Shame I didn't figure this out until the end.  Next time I will gently ease my bike forward before we start.  Anyway lots of huffing and puffing and of course I pushed myself to have a higher gear than the next guy but I have to say he looked a little less red and sweaty at the end.

The lady the other side of me was stunning and how I wished she hadn't sat next to me.  I was dripping sweat by the end and she was quietly glowing beside me!! There I was mopping down myself and worse the bike and floor too after the session.  On the plus side I did not venture out of my seat which would have put pressure on my achilles - that was the hardest part.

So what next...well tomorrow is a rest day with some basic eccentric work on my calf but Sunday I am back for spinning. Well I am if I can sit down by then.....

Will keep you updated and perhaps I may convert to the gym?  More likely I will combine the two as my love is running outdoors in the mud sweating as much as I like with hills that are not optional, instead just the way home.  Don't think they will every re create that in any gym! Will they?

Happy training


PS well done to the GB womens volleyball team in the London 2012 Olympics.  These girls held their own at the event without any funding.  A massive achievement!  Lets hope they get funding for RIO!!!!! I'm going to book my ticket!!

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