I had an unplanned visit to my physio last week as I had been suffering from a bit of ITB pain. I was sure that it was just down to a fairly significant increase in my running training (by about 100%, rather than the recommended 10%a week!).
It was a recommended experience for a number of reasons-
• Get your form assessed – Although like many runners I’m always trying to improve my form and hoping to run past a shop window to see my reflection from the side, you can’t beat the view of a specialist third party. What was interesting for me, and it showed the knowledge of the therapist, was that I had a very minor medial rotation of my left femur as I run. He said that if I was running the odd 10k, or even a marathon it wouldn’t cause concern, but know that you’re going to be on your feet for 12, 24 or more hours at a time, this slight misalignment will likely cause problems.
• Get a proper massage – No matter how much time you spend on a foam roller, or performing self massage, it is unlikely to be as good as a deep tissue massage from a professional. I had a full 30 minutes of treatment on my hip, and quad on just one leg and the benefit has been immeasurable.
• Learn new specific exercises for treatment – In all the running books I’ve read there numerous exercises recommended to ensure good running form and to prevent common injuries such as Runner's Knee or ITBS, and these are all good. From your therapist’s assessment you will be given specific remedial exercises to correct whatever the imbalance you have. Granted the general exercises won’t do any harm, but it is all about all the muscle groups working in harmony and balance. Not only that, but doing the exercises with your therapist you again get that third party viewpoint to ensure you have proper form with the exercises so you are getting maximum benefit.
• You get back on the trails sooner - and with more confidence that you’re not doing any further damage. It can be a great motivator to know what you do when you run is taking you towards your goals, not away from them as we often do because we don’t go to the therapist.
• You get to talk about running - specifically about yourself (everyone’s favourite topic) with someone who has an interest in what you do. That’s worth going for by itself!
So my suggestion to all of you is that you should go to your nearest running savvy physiotherapist and get yourself checked over. If you’re lucky enough to have perfect form you can then use the rest of the session for a bit of a rub down, and who doesn’t like that!
“Human beings, who have the almost unique ability to learn from the mistakes of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.” – Douglas Adams
Training 7-10-2010 (23.5km Trail)
Training 9-10-2010 (21.3km Road run)