Tuesday, 16 July 2013

So I have a labral tear; I have some questions.

8 months to find this out.

I could go on; trust me I've got a lot to say on the matter. Like for example, me telling three highly trained individuals (physio's) on three separate occasions that I strongly believed they were overlooking something - for none of them to listen; not to mention issues with my GP and similar with the NHS.
And it's still not over. I'm being referred to Glasgow General for my treatment plan as Dumfries Royal Infirmary doesn't have the skill set required.
So anyway, the whole thing has irked me somewhat! The injury happened as a result of an awkward fall during a run and because no-one has listened to me in the time since, it may develop into a more chronic problem with age; think hip arthritis and then replacement!
Looking back over the last 5 years, I've actually had 15 different running related injuries;
Sprained ankle; grade 3 (both)     (historical and recent)
Jumpers knee (R)                          (when mileage is increased dramatically)
Upper back and neck sprain        (this tends to happen when I include heavy weight training)
Quad strain (R)                              (minor problem, happens a relatively few times)
Hamstring strain (R)                     (minor problem, happens a relatively few times)
Achilles tendinopathy (both)       (plagued me for years when just resuming running training)
Posterior impingement (L)          (picked up as a football injury and remains to this day - meaning I have had
                                                       to give up fell running)
Achilles bursitis (L)                     (3yrs ago whilst trying to battle through above injury)
Planter Fasciitis (both)               (usually whilst recovering from a long distance event)
Hip flexor (psoas) strain (R)       (frustrating; happens towards end of speed phase)
ITB Friction (both, mainly right) (happens with high mileage, painful, especially the rehab)
Hip bursitis (both)                        (only occurred recently due to incident which caused.....)
Hip labral tear (R),                        (tried to run for 3 months with this due to misdiagnosis)
and of course.....toe nails falling off  (regular occurrence with long distances)
My mate Rob thinks I have a propensity to attract injury i.e. that I have poor biomechanics. That may be the case but I just think I'm unlucky. This injury is a good example, so too is the posterior impingement. That said, there definitely appears to be a biomechanical deficiency with my right side.
No-one likes getting injured and anyone who has read this blog will know that I have turned every stone looking for answers regarding how to avoid and inevitably deal with them; it would clearly be advantageous to get to a stage where I can just train without the burden of constant injury avoidance.
Having said that, relative to where I was 5 years ago, before I took running seriously, I’m content with what I’ve done and I dare say, if I have to give up running, then I’m sure I’ll reflect on this period of my life with some satisfaction. But there will always be that question. So;
1.       Does anyone have words of wisdom they would like to share with me?
I’ve done my fair share but to date the level of feedback has left me questioning why I write this blog. I fully believe in the power of collaboration as I know many others do e.g. John Kynaston and Debbie Consani. I give advice in the absence of strategy but for every likeminded individual (willing to share) it seems there are 50 or more who only ever want to keep. And don't get me started on those who leech off the insight of others only to palm it off as their own! I get between 50-300 readers per post (and I know that is miniscule) but I need help here; how about it?
2.       Should I simply give up running?
This has crossed my mind and I think that may have been slightly transparent throughout some of my most recent posts. However, as with any love affair, breaking the ties is a very difficult thing to do. I have invested a huge portion of my life and what little finance I have over the last 5 years. To cut it all adrift now would be heartbreaking but perhaps it is the ONLY avenue left for me? Then again, it might be of use to know that I have already prepared my plan for a gradual return to running once I have this labral tear taken care of. 
3.       Does anyone know of someone (a consultant) who might help me?
My thinking here is that there must be some kind of special sports injury consultant somewhere in this country who knows exactly what I should do to fulfil my running potential. They can cast their eye over my history of injuries and ‘hey presto’ I’m given some magic remedy! Surely? For example, what is with this tape more and more people seem to be wearing over certain muscles and joints? (I know what it is, I just don’t know if it will help me).
The only thing I have not done is to have my running gait analysed. So once I am able to run again I will arrange this. Aside from that, I really don’t know where to look or what direction to take. I'm also planning to get a pair of five fingers or barefoot trainers and use them to go walking in - often.
The real issue is that I don’t want to go through another lengthy period of training for it all to come to nothing again. Surely that’s understandable, especially with two young kids requiring more of my spare capacity. But by the same token, I’m loathed to give up running unless I know I have done everything to keep the dream alive.


  1. Maybe some light at the end of the tunnel, mate.

  2. ha, hence my previous comment to you on your blog re 2015!

  3. I too have suffered with plenty of injuries since returning to running, it's incredibly frustrating. I love running, hate being injured.

    A few things that may help are:

    Get a slow motion video of you running, look at asymmetries.

    Have a range of running shoes, all of which fit your properly - loosing toe nails is likely to be related to poorly fitting shoes. Mix your shoe types - some minimal and some less minimal.

    When you run with minimal or no shoes keep your runs short and slow till you've built up the bone and soft tissue strength. Learn to feel the ground contact, from landing, mid-stance through to toe off. Each of the phases should be balanced and gentle.

    When going minimal you needn't go with five fingers and these may in fact cause more problems with they don't fit well. A range of companies now have good minimal shoes - I now own three zero drop/anatomical last shoes from inov-8 and one from vivobarefoot and love them all.

    Cross train more. Hill walking is a good way to soften the loading on the body whilst still getting good range of movement and aerobic workouts. Lean to slow down and not hurry training.

    Eat and sleep well, get plenty of sunshine, these together a even more important than training as if you don't fully recover you'll invariably get injured.

    Avoid combining stress, so if you've had a stressfully time at work or in the rest of your life take it extra easy when training and racing. When the rest of your life is well settled you can afford to add a little more stress on the exercise front.

    1. thanks Robert, I've got all of this stuff covered (or thereabouts) as highlighted in previous posts but I'm particularly drawn to what you say about your own injuries.

      I was moseying along just fine until it was suggested to me that all of the injuries were not normal. It's played on me so much hence this post. I suppose it's comforting to hear that others such as yourself are troubled by this too.

      Thanks also for the tip about the barefoot stuff, I think I'll invest in a pair from Inov8 or vivobarefoot.

    2. My injuries have typically been lower leg and foot, but I've also had hip flexor problems as well. I believe a lot of my problems stem from not doing much exercise during my thirties when I was busy starting a business and raising a young family, then in my late thirties I started running again and got the running bug which lead to ultra running. So from nothing to running ultra's in my first year and half back running is probably a bit too much too fast for my body to adapt perfectly and symmetrically. I'm sure old habits and injuries plays a part too, favouring one side or the other.

      I do feel that learning to and strengthening oneself for running barefoot or near barefoot is an asset, and should be part of all runners training. It's a lot about getting back in touch with your bodies movement and sensory feedback, being aware of how you move and load your body starts from the soles upwards. The less you have under your feet the more immediate the feedback is. Once you have the skill to run barefoot it can help even when you are shod. I believe there are lots of similarities between barefoot running form and the ultra shuffle that runners often adopt to ease loads of fatigued feet and legs.

  4. I'm afraid I can't offer much help above what has been said above and you've already blogged about. I hope those wiser than me are able to offer you some help and direction.

    On the plus side, you finally have a proper diagnosis. That is the first and most important step.

    Recover well.