hip pain

It is not unusual to see people who have been informed that they have changes in a joint related to osteoarthritis. Two cases I have come across recently were handled completely differently. The first was informed that, yes there were signs of osteoarthritis but don’t worry you don’t need to stop running. The second was similarly told that there were signs of arthritis but that was about it. No other advice was given or suggestions made. Not surprisingly their point of view about the pain they were suffering was a bit different

Are you missing ankle mobility? Having sufficient range of movement in your ankle is important. If you want to run fast or jump high having good ankle range of movement in dorsiflexion is essential. This is not just in the sporting environment but simply to walk well we need good ankle mobility. The movement that important is the ability to pull your toes towards you. A lack of dorsiflexion is linked with increased injury risk with achilles tendinopathy and patella tendinopathy having been shown to be impacted by a lack of ankle mobility in dorsiflexion.

What are the 5 most common running injuries? Running is such an easy form of exercise to get into and a fundamental requirement for a huge range of sports that it is no surprise that a huge number of people run as part of their fitness regime. Running injuries are very common with a figure of around 70% of those who run getting an injury of some sort every year. This isn't because running is particularly risky rather it's more that it's very easy just to stick your trainers on and get cracking. As a result of the very easy access to using running as a means of getting fit etc people tend to do it without much thought as to what they are doing. When I say this I am talking about how much they are doing in terms of either volume, intensity of effort and also in terms of the skill of running. Whilst I would agree that we are all born to run not all of us are going to run well straight away and we tend to forget it is actually quite a demanding activity. Training load, the volume and intensity bit above, is generally the biggest factor in the causes of injury whilst the actual skill sits about 3rd but its importance increases as you get better at it and look to make more demands of yourself, the better your form the more likely you are to distribute the stress over the correct areas. So what are the most common running injuries?

Squatting is about as natural a movement as you can get but it is a skill that we in Western Europe and the US/Canada rarely practise. As such, as with any skill, not practising it means we lose it. Our lifestyles mean we do not need to squat in order to do anything then combined with a sedentary lifestyle has resulted in many of us losing the ability to do it well. As young children we have the ability to do it but often find that by the time we are adults, at least in the Europe/America, that we have lost the ability simply, I suspect, because we do not make use of it on a daily basis.   Fit young man doing squats on track

During an appointment at Performance Sports Therapy we are able to make meaningful changes in how you move and feel. Unfortunately these changes do not always ‘stick’. It isn't that unusual to get told by people that they felt great for 2 to 3 days and then they stiffened up again. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about because of the reasons why you are feeling tight are not what you might think. iStock-600092726

The term Trigger Points (TrPs) is often used by therapists to describe localised tender spots that may refer pain to other areas when stimulated.  Whilst there seems to be less argument about whether they exist or not there is more about what they might be and there are major issues with being able to find them, perhaps 50/50 at best, and the reproducibility of actually being able to find them, 18%. In fact in 1992 a, admittedly small, blind study was carried out on them using using both those with Myofascial TrP's and fibromyalgia. Yet the best of the best of Trigger Point specialists including Simons, of Travell and Simons writers of the Trigger Point bible, and 3 others couldn't find or agree on any  where they were given as much time as required to find them. For myself they were never a good fit in any treatment I was trying to carry out as the treatment of them seemed to be the polar opposite of what I was trying to do otherwise, that is relieve pain not cause more pain. The treatment of TrP's for most manual therapists seems to revolve around pressing hard on something that is already sore and use the symptoms to help understand what the underlying problem may be and treat that not the symptoms, I've always felt that they were symptoms of an issue elsewhere rather than a problem in and of themselves. There is certainly more evidence to suggest that TrP's  may be a sensitization of the nervous system, possibly centrally. This carries even more weight when you consider that the areas that the referred pain cover are very similar to the path of the peripheral nerves. There is a great short piece over at the HumanAntiGravitySuit giving a couple of lovely diagrams of how the idea of TrP's may be more about nerves.