I first met John on 19th Dec at his clinic in Moti, I went to see him because I have pain in my right knee which causing me pain during running. John got me doing various stability exercises then various movements to test my flexibility and strength in both legs. This assessment showed that my left leg was very flexible, whilst my right leg was tight in the hip, IT band and also lower back and weak in the glutes. John suspected that this was causing the pain in my right knee. John then videoed me running on the treadmill, which was fascinating to watch and illustrates exactly what he was saying in his assessment….you can see the video in this post.
The video (to a trained eye) shows my left leg is working at full capacity whilst my right leg is not because my right hip tilts forward making my right leg come across my body and this is making me loose power when striking the ground and taking off. John said that the pain in my knee is not permanent…John’s plan is the strengthen my right leg, glutes, IT band and hip flexors through physio and showing my how the run more effectively..I will use his running workshop and physio to do this….I feel that with his treatment, advice and strengthening exercises I can move towards my goals…sub 20mins 5K and sub 40mins 10k.
Men’s Health December 2011
Has an article based on Research from Indian Sports Scientists.
The Shock News would appear that Running on Asphalt causes LESS DAMAGE to body cells!
AAA-Running has a different explanation – You can’t always believe everything you read!!
Click on the AAA-Running Logo to read more……
The AAA-Running take on this is:
Running Off-Road probably encourages mid and fore-foot running, placing higher demands on the calf muscle. This eccentric loading is ALWAYS associated with DOMS which will raise the blood markers used in this research.
Overall joint and spinal damage, will however be LESS, as the calf is absorbing most off the shock.
From an evolutionary point of view, this is where the bare-foot runner stores “landing energy”, and then usefully returns it to propel himself forward.
For more insights into injury free running, join a FREE introductory session available up to 27th Dec.
Plantar fasciitis – right-wing vegetable, or heel condition that’s preventing me from running?
The latter, definitely the latter.
But Physio John is on the case and I’ve had my first two sessions of physio to get me up and running again. At the first introductory session I was introduced to exercises which John referred to as ‘neural flossing’ – lying on my back with left knee (the side affected) bent, raised and held across my body and then extended with three different foot positions to ’floss’ the neural connections between foot, calves, thighs and back. These connections are clearly not working as they should as John demonstrated to me with tests that showed my left leg and foot lacking the strength of the right.
He also suggested my sitting position at work – usually a little hunched – wasn’t helping, and so I’ve been working on that, clearing the clutter on my desk that gets in the way of a more healthy posture and trying to get rid of the mental clutter that doesn’t help either…
I had my second session on Friday, reporting that in spite of flossing neutrally for the last week that things hadn’t really improved, or perhaps only marginally. John said not to worry, that these things take time… We also looked in more detail at my sitting posture and even as I write his words are ringing in my ears and my lower back gently pushed forward and my shoulders square.
I had my second session on Friday. This time I took away with me an exercise that had me slowly arching my back while lying flat, working along the spine like wallpaper being plastered, as well as a much better sense that the problem in my left heel is a problem not just of the foot but of my whole body. This holistic, interconnected approach makes sense to me, but like a lot of people I need reminding of it from time to time. And so I’ve already been looking into yoga classes and thinking of other ways I can improve my general health and wellbeing…
The best news though was that twenty-four hours later and after a day full of walking in shoes probably not ideal for a heel condition, I’ve noticed a definite improvement. It’s redoubled my determination to do my homework and improve my posture.
It’s not running, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction…
After my 4th half marathon in September, I started getting lateral pain in my left knee. A few weeks of cutting down the miles went some way to stopping the pain but with the London Marathon looming over my head I figured it was about time I saw someone.
I popped into Moti on Whiteladies in Bristol and had a 15 minute consultation with John. Within minutes he could tell I had been suffering from back pain recently and did a number of tests to get a good impression of what was wrong.
I’ll soon be going back to see John to get an idea of the steps I need to take to improve my posture and hopefully eradicate the knee pain… I think it’s going to be a lot to do with my posture!
Common Running Problems -Badly Placed Poor Centre of Gravity.
Maintaining an ideal centre of gravity is important in allowing pressure coming up from the foot to be balanced throughout the body.Whilst running, the loads on your feet are 3-6 times greater than when you are walking. With your centre of gravityin a poor position the feet and lower legs have to take up the immediate strain of all your body weight. This canlead to the shin, foot and knee pains common to many runners.When we look at your running style here’s what’s ideal and not ideal:Not ideal> Upper body (the trunk) is slightly forward flexed – weakening the body structure.> Centre of gravity is over the foot as it lands – causing high load at a single point.Ideal> Upright trunk – better stability.> Level pelvis – allowing the core muscles to work effectively.> Centre of gravity well behind the leading foot – more gentle loading of the lead leg.In summary..In the ‘non ideal’ position, leaning forwards and dropping the head transfers weight onto the front foot early. The restof the body is not yet engaged in the process so the impact loads are mostly taken by the foot and lower leg leading toan increased likelihood of injury.With better centre of gravity positioning more of the body’s muscles are brought into play sharing these loadsthroughout the body.Common Running Problems – How to achieve a better centre of gravity position.Next we will look at a running alignment problem called hip drop.
I have to say how much I’m enjoying my running these days. A part of this is I now feel I run competitively. I’ve been running in a series of 10k races along the towpath underneath the Clifton Suspension Bridge. In the first race I started off with a particular target in mind, somewhere near 50 minutes, and ran at a pace just over 5 minutes per kilometer. However, I couldn’t keep this up. As my pace slowed to nearer to 6 minutes per kilometer, I’d be overtaken by my competitors, eventually finishing with a time of 55:53.
John has impressed on me the theory of recycling running – keeping the Kinetic energy in the running cycle – preventing “waste” such as noise or excess hip and body rotation. SeeNoisy Running Style. I try and move my feet in a consistent and fluid motion, use my abs to keep my torso stable and my arms pumping in parallel.
Now, with this new efficient running style, I’ve not been tiring. In this week’s race along the towpath my time, at the halfway point, was 26 minutes and 20 something seconds. This was an identical 5k split to the previous 10k race I’d done on the towpath. This time I had much more energy and finished strongly. I recorded a new PB 51:35 (in spite of the conditions which were wet and lots of puddles – some quite long and deep). I had so much energy left at the end. I was even chasing down and passing people along the way!
On the treadmill in the Moti shop, John video’d me running again. The sound I was making was audibly different to my first treadmill feature when I’d sounded elephantesque. The picture evidence showed a difference in the height the base of my shirt rose on each stride. (Pics. and Video available soon to slot in here – PT Ed.)
We also noticed on the treadmill video that, as I adjusted the speed controls on the machine, my right foot came forward and planted on the belt. When I lifted my head up (and tucked my chin in) this didn’t happen and my running motion was a lot smoother. (Side view Pics of this coming too! – PT Ed.)
Since seeing this right foot behavior I’ve made a concerted effort to run as tall as possible and look to the horizon rather than the floor. I quite often train off-road, so this has been something to get used to, but I find that my peripheral vision is good enough to spot obstacles in front of me without nodding my head to look at the ground.
Our client Blogger AnotherDaveMartin returned to the clinic this week for video analysis of his “new” run.
Pictures to follow soon – But, his vertical movement on the TemploLite screen fell from nearly 2cm to around 1cm – We have now established that anyone over 1.5cm should be referred from the Shoe Fit Lab to AAA-Physio in Bristol
Last week I was introduced to the concept of Stealth Running by John. I’ve often wondered whether I should be running at all given the high impact and force at which I hit the ground. This week we expanded on the idea that runners should be going gently on the planet.
I wasn’t expecting a discussion on physics in a physiotherapy session, however, that is what happened and it helped make sense of what was happening on the treadmill. (Last week I made quite a noise on the treadmill and expending quite a lot of energy going up and down in the process). As Force = Mass × Acceleration it therefore follows, the higher one’s foot is coming down to earth, the more force it’s going to exert on touchdown. John showed me how to get a straight and bouncy spine:
Stand upright and take a deep breath in,
soften the ribs on the out-breath and reset the shoulders,
move the bottom and stomach back together as if standing at the edge of a cliff!
rock forward from the ankles and start to walk/run.
By following this routine when starting to run I’ve noticed that my weight is shifted forward and, to stop my self falling on my face, I have to run faster! Genius! This gives me a forward momentum that I didn’t have before…that energy that was previously expending going up and down can now be transferred to travelling forward.
I practiced getting into this running posture in the session with John. Just by jumping up and down in before and after positions I could feel exactly how much more bouncy I felt and how the impact was absorbed by the correctly positioned vertebrae.
I’ve been having a lot of discomfort historically on the right side of my neck in particular, but more recently with my shoulders. The trigger for me to come to these sessions was that midway through a run I would get a really uncomfortable feeling underneath my shoulder-blade and I would have to stop. In the first session, John had made a couple of adjustments that made my back feel great, but during the last 10 race I could still feel the shoulder (although I didn’t feel the need to stop). This week, John freed up my shoulder by making some adjustments to my neck.
The following Sunday I had another 10k race. I found this race really hard going and all my muscles, but in particular my calves, really stiff. I felt that I was continually making conscious changes to my posture to try and run upright. I stopped a few times during the race to reset as I was very conscious of tiring and running with bad posture. Although I had stopped and started I actually finished the race in 54.19, which is my second fastest time!
Hello, I’m Dave. I’ve been running for a number of years. Occasionally I experience neck and back pain, which, in the past, has put me off running for fear of causing damage. I’ve been a frequent visitor to the Chiropractor’s table but with little improvement to my condition. This year I’ve decided to take a different tack: starting Pilates classes, regular massages and, on my massage therapist’s recommendation, sessions with John Stephenson at AAA-Physio.
My first session at AAA-Physio was an eye-opener and 2 things really stood out for me. First of all, John asked me to mark on a diagram where I’ve been experiencing pain. John noticed that when shading in parts of the paper I hadn’t bent from the waist to approach the drawing, but moved with my head and shoulder first. This observation lead to John teaching me how to sit properly…
from a starting in a relaxed sitting position take a breath in wide
Breath out and let the ribs fold softly down
Maintain height through the crown of the head and draw the tail bone slowly upwards.
John pushed my back by the label in the back of my shorts to illustrate how to draw the tail bone slowly upwards. I could really feel a difference in how comfortable my lower back felt and John demonstrated the difference in power in my arms in before and after sitting positions.
My second epiphony of the day was on the treadmill. John wanted to see my running style and, at the moti clinic, was able to video my gait. The overwhelming thing for John was the noise that I made thumping down on the machine. Now, I’m 14 stone, and had always thought that quite heavy however John was been the first person to point out that 14 stone of me shouldn’t make all that sound. In the video I could see that I spent a lot of effort going up and down. John suggested that I try running using shorter steps and landing with my feet under, not in front, of me… Stealth running.
The following day I ran a 10k race using John’s tips, ensured that I ran with switched on abdominals, and kept my neck and shoulders as relaxed as possible. Despite it being a warm evening I ran a personal best (54.08). I hope to improve this time with John’s help over the summer. I’ll keep you posted on how I get on:)