What works for me: Physio

So alongside training and event reviews I’m going to be posting a series of little entries on things that have worked (or not worked!) for me. It might help someone out there who is looking into the same things, obviously it’s all subjective and there are loads of kit reviews etc but I’m gonna throw my two penneth in as an average joe.

Ok, last year I had a pain in my ankle that became a real nuisance after the Keswick half, it wasn’t improving and I kept turning it on trails. Eventually I went for a physio appointment at my local sports physio and following some examination, walking up and down and interview questions I was given some potential answers. It’s not an exact science but it was looking more like a stress fracture than tendons etc. following the appointment I opted for a more rugged, supportive trail shoe the salomon Speedcross, RICE’ed it and made a doctors appointment. Anyway, long story short, I was referred for an MRI that actually focused on my foot and there was nothing fracture wisebut a bi partite sesamoid on my toe joint that I may have been compensating for- leading to putting pressure on my tendons.

A year later the pain is less, I’m scrolling through events online and I spot the Keswick Half… Runners have short memories I tell you. I sign up for some reason and again being used to trail and unforgiving hilly Tarmac is not a good mix for me. So post this years keswick half I’ve been in pain again.

So fast forward to now, I’ve spent the past week RICE-ing and following the discomfort I felt at the two fell runs I did this week, I booked back in to see the physio.

 This is what happened today and I guess this will be similar for most physio appointments:

Start off with general health questions, followed by your issue, training, the pain etc. if you are thinking of going for physio I would suggest taking a couple of notes in of things like; when the pain started, events that may have contributed,  events coming up, any changes in the pain etc. If you’re anything like me, my mind goes blank and its easy to forget key points. Then followed a physical examination where they feel the area for fluid, swelling etc. Sounds obvious but wear something you can roll up or shorts- part of the examination is about comparing both legs to check for things that might point to the problem.

So this time he did an ultrasound:

Ultrasound – high-frequency sound waves can be used treat deep tissue injuries by stimulating blood circulation and cell activity. It’s thought it can help reduce pain and muscle spasm, as well as speed up healing.
Source: NHS

At this point, with an ultra in a week or so I’ll give anything a bash. He also lent me a little ultrasound machine to use until the race, so I’ll report back on how that goes. We then discussed some training options, footwear and a follow up appointment.

So all in all around an hour and some things to consider, pain possibly linked to tibialis posterior muscle, could be a stress fracture, shin splints but it depends on how it progresses from here and I’m going back after the Calderdale Ultra to get some more advice going forward. 

You might not get all the answers but i found it useful for a little piece of mind and also a bit of positivity in that you don’t have to put up with niggling pain, there might be a solution out there! So look out for physios who treat runners, they know that you’ll want to be maintaining fitness and keep running (as long as you’re not worsening the injury) and just because you’re not a pro athlete it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore the avenues that are available to them.

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