Injury Recovery

Happy Friday, folks. How’s your week being going? Mine has been fairly standard. For some reason I have been so tired. I think it might be the weather. We only finally got a bit of rain yesterday, so it’s been quite oppressive and humid recently.

Anyway, I wanted to do a post on how I recovered from my injury (because I think I’m pretty much fully recovered now). I know I’ve been harping on about my injury and ‘woe is me’ and it does seem to have dragged excessively long (sorry!) so I thought I’d do a ‘lessons learnt’ and tips post.

Quick background if you’re not aware: mid-June I started to get a slight pain in my right leg, near my hip up along my IT Band.

IT Band

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Then after a few too many races, I went out for a run and BANG serious pain all down my IT band to my knee. Game over, no running.

I’m pretty certain I know what I did to cause it. Overuse and not listening to my body. Every weekend I ran a race and was pushing myself quite hard. I was addicted to races (still am…but I think I’m a bit more sensible now!).

Anyway, after confirming with the physio it was hip bursitis which was caused by a very tight IT band, I stopped running. It sucked.

So, then came a long and arduous time of trying to figure out how the hell I can get my leg better.

Number one: stop running. Stop doing the same damn thing that caused the issue in the first place. I even hate typing this it sucks so much. But honestly, it is better to stop completely and heal then try and push through and extend the injury longer. Unfortunately for me I did have to go on the UK Challenge team building event with work which involved a whole lot of running which I couldn’t avoid. This didn’t help. I probably would have recovered a whole lot quicker if I hadn’t have gone. Hey ho.

Post-Challenge, I ran less miles and at less intensity. There was no pain just discomfort thankfully. But still not better completely.

Number two: ice.

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Andy Murray does it and so should you if you’re starting to feel an injury on it’s way. Muscles get inflamed and ice helps reduce that inflammation and calm things down. I was pretty much having an ice bath after every single run. It seriously helped.

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Alfie liked to get involved. He wondered what all the screaming was about

Number three: not only did I ice but I also took Ibuprofen when my leg was really tender. I also used the Ibuprofen gel on my leg before bed and in the morning.

Number four: stretch and strengthen. After extensive research thanks to good old Google I found that I probably needed to work on my strength. All I did was run, run, run. Yep I love it that way, but my body obviously doesn’t.

I knew I needed to loosen my IT band and work on my hip strength.

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The foam roller and I have become best buddies. I seriously foam roll after every run now, and if my leg still feels tight I’ll do it in the evening as well.

This is a great one to do but hurts like hell:

IT Band Foam Rolling

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As for hip strengthening, it’s all about the clam. The least most attractive exercise know to man. Ben laughs at me when I do it.

Clam Exercise

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And side leg lifts:

skinny jeans_final

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I do them every other day (10 on each leg three times). And now I’ve progressed to using a resistance band with them. I’ve found this has really helped.

And this stretch for my IT band has been a big help too:

IT Band Stretch

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Number five: balance. Along with stretching and strengthening I’ve incorporated cross-training into my week. I’ve joined a gym so I can go to classes like Pump for strengthening and Spin for cross-training. Spin is great as it’ll still work my cardiovascular system but without the constant pressure on my joints and legs in every step.

Above all: listen to your body. Only you can know what’s going on and if you’re pushing to hard and too often. If it hurts, it means something significant.

Remember, there are always other races and other days to bust out that workout.

Hope this helped anyone who needed it!

Have you been injured?/ Are injured?

How did you recover?

21 thoughts on “Injury Recovery

  1. Hooray for pump! I love it! 🙂

    I know that I really should stretch after each run, and I do after long runs, but probably not for enough. I love the stretches after pump and keep meaning to make myself a CD with the cool down songs on it, as I think then I would actually do it properly. I tend to foam roll when I have really tight legs, but again I should probably do it more.

    Glad you are getting better- I think you are right- there is nothing wrong with doing races each weekend, but if you are racing them (eg pushing yourself really hard) then you need more time to recover.

    • Yeah it’s something I have been so bad at, stretching and foam rolling. But now I’ve got a good routine which ensures I don’t miss it. I think it’s just about getting into the habit.

  2. I have problems with my IT band being tight too, and I do my best to foam roll lots, but if I skip a few days I can tell! I think I need to note those strengthening exercises!

  3. I had no idea that there was even such thing as ibuprofen gel. Does your leg feel any different than if you swallowed it via pill?

    I injured my shoulder playing volleyball in high school. Honestly I didn’t go to the doctor, I just stopped serving and set instead 🙂 I only aggravated it worse when I was serving so I probably just was serving wrong. Haha. Thankfully it only came back during volleyball season and now that I’m done with that no more pain!

    • I’m not sure about the gel if I’m honest. I THINK it helped. The pill probably works a lot better…psychologically though I think it helped me as I wanted to be actively trying to ‘fix myself’. Also massaging the gel into my leg did relieve some discomfort as well.

  4. Oh Anna I feel your pain on this, I think I said before I had an IT issue both times I trained for the great north run. For me it was mainly rest, and as much as I worried about losing my pace, I actually ran better and PR’d at my last GNR!

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