Myth 3 – There is a perfect posture/leg length

Have you ever been told that your running/cycling/backpain etc is a result of leg length differences? Interesting. Have you ever met ANYONE with exactly the same length of legs? No? Quite. We are NOT symmetrical. In fact, if you can find me a person who is exactly symmetrical I’d love to meet them. The rest of us have to make do – and there are many many people out there with various leg length differences etc. who are running/cycling etc quite painlessly. No symptoms. Nothing. Does this mean that leg length is totally unhelpful in diagnosing problems? Not quite. I … Continue reading

Myth 2 – you shouldn’t squat

The number of times I have heard people say that they have been told they “shouldn’t squat”- or do anything with any kind of weight – is fairly high. I don’t know who gives this advice out, but I’d like to meet them and have a bit of a friendly word. My main problem with this is that the squat is a normal, regular human movement. In fact, every time you sit down, you do the down portion of a squat, and every time you stand up, you do the up portion of the squat. Why do I get a bee … Continue reading

Where do you tie your shoe laces?

Ok- I’m not looking for the trite answer of “on the top of my shoes”- I’m thinking specifically, and the reason I ask is because it can show a couple of interesting things, and also leads to some difficult to solve (if you havent been noticing) problems. Minor case study I had a fellrunner come in for ankle pain a while ago . It was just one ankle, on the lateral (outside) area. His training had not changed in the past few weeks- similar distance, ascent, training load etc, so none of the classic problems that precede something going “wrong”. … Continue reading

Running injuries are Load management issues

I see quite a few running injuries in clinic. They basically boil down to overload – either in the short term or long term. Short term overload/ trauma: Fall over and hit a rock, twist an ankle, tweak a knee – that tends to be a short term overload. You know you’ve done something specific to a particular thing because you remember the thing that happened. Trauma is a bit of a dramatic word to associate with it, but it is the one that we tend to use. Long term overload/ training error The other end of the scale is … Continue reading

Tissue adaptation- overload and recovery

As biological organisms we adapt. That is pretty much what enables us to survive. As individuals, we don’t necessarily evolve as such, but individual adaptations certainly show a wide range of ability to specialise in specific things. It could almost be said that as an organism, failure to adapt is an indication of something going wrong with the system- or that the system has been overloaded somehow. Rate of adaptation to an external stimulus is moderated by a number of things. How fast we learn, how mobile the tissues are, how much recovery they need etc. If the stimulus exceeds … Continue reading

The girl with the titanium back

Another one from the annals. Yes, I know that the plural of anecdote is not evidence, however, hearing others stories can be empowering to  people. This one starts with a girl of 17 who had had a number of years of back pain, a diagnosis of congenital scoliosis and, following a prolonged period of deliberation, a fairly large operation where titanium rods were inserted into her spine to make it straight. It was only after this that I met this patient – someone going through A-levels, looking at universities, and also looking forward (with some apprehension) to a post school … Continue reading