http-equiv='refresh'/> Global Therapies: Injuries Part 1

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Injuries Part 1

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There is nothing more annoying than being injured. I know. Currently I'm suffering from an ITB issue - excruciating pain on the outside of my knee when I try (try being a very poignant word) to run down hill. Frustration at not being able to run in the hills seems even more frustrating as I've only been living in Derbyshire for the past 3 months. Seeing the hills so close is mighty tempting.

And that is where I went wrong. Too much, way too soon. The excitement of having hills on my doorstep overrode the common principle of increasing mileage slowly (10% per week is a good guide). So for me coming from running not that far, maybe 8km at best in London on the roads mostly, 10km in the fells was a bit optimistic. I for one should have known better. Now I pay the price with a slow recovery. I think this was the same over-excitedness that takes over common sense of others when they set off on a new challenge.

Now I'm one for being overly cautious about returning to running too soon, though I think I'm in the minority - most people preferring to return to training too soon and doing more damage than they had originally - and a subsequently longer period of inactivity. Given this, it always jumps out and surprises me when the pain kicks in again after what seems a remarkably long rest period. So where am I going wrong. It is slowly dawning on me that rest alone is not sufficient to get me back to fitness. I need to focus my recovery on not only rest, but also strengthening my glutes and my left psoas (hip flexor) which was considerably weaker than on the right.

So what are the possible factors that can contribute to or lead to an injury? We can break that down into two parts: internal and external factors. Internal factors, or intrinsic, are all things that are within us, inside our body or the stuff that is our natural make up. We can change some of these, and some we can't. In this category we have fitness, technique, body composition, anatomical variants, gender, age, past injuries, and finally psychology. The factors that may contribute to whether we get injured which are external, or extrinsic are those which come from outside of us: the environment, equipment we may use and the training and competition we undertake. It's safe to say we have a much greater degree of control over the extrinsic factors - but equally they're all interlinked.

I've given you an introduction the issues surrounding injuries, with some insight into the experience I've been through recently. I did my first rehab running session yesterday, going out for 30 minutes but with 5 mins warm up, then 1 min walk/1 min run for 9 sets, and the remainder of the time walking to cool down. I'm pleased to report that there was no pain in my knee and with the exception of it being a hot and humid evening the run was very pleasant. There's been plenty of foam rollering and sports massage too, which both contribute to a good rehab strategy. For those of you who are interested, I'll write more about the extrinsic and intrinsic factors soon.


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