I was recommended a visit to John by a colleague after living with a knee injury for the past 2 years. John and I are currently working towards getting me back running which is something I have really missed since my injury. In my first 3 sessions, John has taken a really holistic approach to my injury and has identified different links and factors that haven’t been highlighted to me before, but which make a lot of sense. Now we are working on the way I sit and stand in normal life (which leaves a lot to be desired especially as my job is largely desk based) as a starting point to work towards running. I’m not having to do loads of exercises every day but rather I am trying to think about and be aware of how I’m holding myself (or try not to think too much as this seems to be the problem!) and to re-programme old habits. I have booked a 10k race in October so this is what we are working towards, fingers crossed!
Last week I did Neural Flossing, by the end of the week I was experiencing hip pain in my left hip and stiffness when I stood up after sitting for long periods of time. To combat this, John provided me with a different stretch – putting my legs in a sort of figure of 4 while lying on my back, this stretched my lower hip and upper leg area – after a couple days of doing this the hip pain disappeared. The combining of this and the Neural Flossing is working on increasing the degree of movement in my left leg.
This week I went on the treadmill to look at how I walk and run; a muscle in my left hip/upper bottom does not engage when I walk, I almost learn back which could be contributing to my back pain, as well as twisting my upper body while walking and even more so when running. While running I bounce up and down a lot and I put my heel out in front of me, which means that I am not exerting energy in the right places while running.
To combat these habits John gave me the following exercises to work on over the week:
5-5: Setting the treadmill on 5 incline & 5 speed, where I need to engage my core and lean forward to promote me walking on the front of my foot rather than leaning back on the heel. While doing this I put my hands on my hips/upper bottom to make sure my muscle was engaging.
Use the treadmill to lean forward like a ski jumper, and using one leg at a time to practice my leg movement where my foot will land in line with my body (rather than out in front), this is through pretending I was on a scooter with an angry horse leg that goes up, round and down. Then using the treadmill to pretend that I was bump starting a car – this was to help me with leaning forward, bouncing less while running, and running with my feet landing below me not out in front of me.
Arm Swing – stationary – this is engaging my core and standing like a person about to skip – moving my arms forwards and backwards close to my body in an exaggerated running movement, but not allowing my body to twist as I moved. Then doing this while on the balls of my feet – this I found a lot harder due to my inability to balance.
John also sent me a video clip that provided tips on running and form to improve over stepping – it focused on bum kicks, skipping and running barefoot.
This week took a lot of thought as I had to concentrate on a lot of different areas of my body at once, but it’s crazy what difference engaging your core can do.
KNEE CAUSE AND EFFECT
I returned to John for my third physio session this week and we continued to explore the causes and effects of my postural imbalance.
In the week I had been returning to the gym and found that, whilst there have been dramatic and notable improvements in my squat, which had been fairly reduced before, I was still having difficulty at the very extremes of my movement. I found that, when rowing for example, I was able to achieve a very “tucked up’ position only after easing my knee into the posture over a period of about 30 seconds.
ON YER BIKE!
I had also been biking, partly on John’s recommendation, as this allows fluid to flow around the knee and promotes recovery. I am finding cycling to be fine, with no real discomfort except upon extreme hills – which I am still avoiding for this reason. Occasionally I experience stiffness the next day but this is only equivalent to what I experience when sat stationary for an hour or two.
Once again John performed some manipulations, this time on my neck. This was both an alarming and enjoyable procedure; I’ve never heard my neck make so many cracks before, yet I felt as though a lot of built up tension had been released. This too had a remarkable and instantaneous effect upon my flexibility.
Towards the end of the session we practised walking and running. It seems that, due to the muscular imbalance in my body, I over-rely upon my IT band for walking and thus my hip rotates forwards. I was shown how to become aware of this and told to practise on an ergo-rower, treadmill or when walking and running.
Top of right glute painful, John has identified that my right foot veers left just at the end of my stride, meaning my hip twists probably causing the pain. It’s only in the last month.
Question is what causes it; shoes, stance or what?
1. New tyres – popped in to Moti and the attentive chaps spent 45 mins sorting that in line with John’s instructions. Very different but comfy, hope an old foot injury in my foot isn’t aggravated as it always casts a shadow over new shoes.
2. Posture – while standing – ‘peering over cliff’, this is the one I’ve been concentrating on, feet, knees, pelvis and head, oh and chest and shoulders if a man can concentrate on more than 4 things at once! While sitting – pelvis, shoulders and head (superman eyes)
3. Running style – shorter stride landing on ball of foot not so heavily on heel, pelvis, elbows (pushing back and not too far forward), and the head, again. Needs working on at the next session.
I really should stretch more.
Been running and out on MTB, neither very good. Torn between resting and pain of getting fit again once John has worked his magic vs glute and back pain of continuing exercise.
Problem – I think I do a good level of exercise, 3-4 hours a week, often including 10-15 miles (running) off-road, I also do circuits at least once a week, in the hope that it will keep the body in shape, and that I can keep up with the kids and defeat ageing, while enjoying the countryside west of Bristol.
However, every couple of years the body rebels and all sorts of random parts of the body rebel. Back – Knees – Ankle – Neck
Treatment – ring John @AAA-Physio and get myself booked in. Somehow he identifies which bits of my back are the root cause and tells me I don’t sit properly at my desk. He also finds aches I didn’t know I had. A few crunches and 24 hours of thinking not much has changed… ..the old body is revived!
1) I really should stretch more often & use free the exercise sheets on John’s website
2) I shouldn’t wait till my backs ceases up or a muscle locks up before seeing John
3) Chasing balls is for dogs and not middle aged men!
The background: last year I got a stress fracture in my left foot: absolutely no fun at all, and quite possibly the most painful thing ever to have happened. While it was on the mend I came to see John at Moti who diagnosed all the bits of me that weren’t working as they should, by which I mean a foot which didn’t land correctly, a stiff hip, stiff shoulder etc etc. After much manipulation and spine-popping I was back on the road to running.
This year, I’m aiming to get myself back up to running 5 miles in 45 mins (or less). I was running for about 30 mins fairly regularly when a couple of weeks ago, my right calf muscle suddenly went pop. Or snap. Or some other not very scientific diagnosis. So I went back to see John.
The upshot is, after years of sitting at a desk, typing away, (and, weirdly, cycling slightly lopsided as well) I’ve turned into a bit of a spiral (I blame the spinning chair) with very tight neck muscles and hip muscles and so on – all down my right hand side.
So – I’ve been manipulated and spine-popped once more and already I feel freer and more likely to be able to hit my target time/distance by the end of May. Nothing like having a target to aim for.
Going for a run feels like a bit of a leap of faith when I have the spectre of pulled calf muscles hanging over me, but later this week I will be giving my new-found realignment a test run on the downs.
Watch this space…
I’ll be watching with interest – PhysioJohn
Speaking at the recent Physiotherapists in Sports conference, former Olympic USA coach Vern Gambetta called on delegates to consider the whole body and the brain when treating patients. ‘If it hurts, we look for where it hurts, and we rehab the hell out of that, and leave the rest of it,’ he said.
‘You can see a lot by watching’ – Gambetta said, ‘We miss what we don’t see. Sometimes it’s as simple as watching someone from all sides.’
This approach resonates and underpins everything we do in the AAA-Physio clinic at Moti – Which is why we get great results!
So if your are stuck in a loop of; injury – rest – re-injury and can’t see a way out. Book some expert help from the Therapy Team at Moti
To cut a long story short (ish). Basically I was getting very annoyed and frustrated back in June 2012 because my head wanted to run long and fast but my body wasn’t having any of it. My IT Band was hurting every time I reached about 3 miles.
My IT band problem came on suddenly in Autumn 2011. I think it was when I did a 10 mile run having previously only done about 7 or 8 miles. I rested it and then kind of got used to it happening. It became worse in the spring of 2012 when I was trying to do sprint intervals as a build up to the Bristol 10K. I became really fed up when it slowed me down at the Bristol 10K 2012 and messed up my aim of finishing in under 60 mins (by 1 min), so I decided to seek help!
Moti recommended John to me. John is very thorough and finds out what is the cause of the problem and after a couple of sessions he had me running in a whole new way and after quite a bit of thought (there’s a lot of thinking involved) and effort I can now run basically as far as I want to without ITB pain. Have been back on several occasions for re-tweaks and re-aligning after my body rebels.
I didn’t manage the Bristol 10K in under 60 mins in 2013 I think it was because I had been taught a whole new way to run by John. I’m pretty sure I will do it soon because now I think I have mastered the new technique!
Oh, and don’t tell John, but I’m back doing sprint intervals training once a week! (My speed is definitely improving), and i’m still rubbish at doing any of your exercises so I don’t bother!
Hope to be back soon for a re-tweak. Thanks John 🙂
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.