The life and time of an injured runner – Part 1: Physio and 3D analysis

If I ever write an autobiography that will be the title. With my twisted ankle and constantly-in-pain knee, running has become little more than a beautiful dream. I can’t remember the last time I ran without pain. In fact I can’t remember the last time I ran 5k! Usually when the joints get a little too painful I rest, let them heal and then start running again. Only to repeat the cycle. This time I have decided to get them better properly. So that meant physio and a Profeet 3D analysis.

Physio

I was referred to the physio by my doctor and as I went via NHS I had to wait a while for the first appointment to roll around. But roll around it did and last week I made my way there early one morning.

Once I was in shorts Martin, my new physio and knee saviour, had a look at me knee and legs. He then reeled off everything that was wrong with them. That was exactly what it felt like: one issue followed another until they all blurred in my mind under a wall of panic induced white noise. How in the world will I ever be able to run again?

My IT Band, my thighs, my ankle, my toes (what have they ever done to deserve being on this list I will never know), my knee – it seemed like everything was wrong, injured, or needed fixing. It was probably after seeing the absolute panic on my face that Martin said, in the most reassuring way possible, ‘don’t worry, you’ll be running in no time’.

I started to feel much calmer: I wasn’t unfixable! I would be running again in no time! He had seen worse! I just needed to build strength!

And then he mentioned the word ‘bunion’ and I spiralled into panic all over again.

BUNION.

Did any one else grow up watch Sister Sister? In one episode Tia’s aunt had a bunion and had to go hospital to get it fixed. It didn’t matter that a very handsome man carried her out of her hospital room post operation for, I can only assume, epic sex, and it didn’t matter that I had no idea what a bunion was because it stuck with me. And then when I learnt what it was, I vowed never to get one. Who would wear heels so much they do that to their own feet?

Well it turns out a life time in trainers can result in the same thing: a BUNION.

This genuinely panicked me more than my seemingly destroyed legs.

Don’t worry, said Martin, I will give you something for that too.

3D Scan at Profeet

I have already used the services of Profeet, when I went for the SPORT fit earlier this year. Since then I changed shoe and worked on strengthening my glutes (not enough according to Martin sadly!) However it’s not just me that’s changed since then: Profeet have become the only place in the UK to have a 3D Motion Lab. Without anything attached to you, the Profeet 3D Motion Lab can analyse your running. It is then interpreted by a member of the team and explained along with recommendations and insights into HOW you run.

My first task was to run for 30 seconds on the treadmill while the 3D camera worked their magic and recorded everything about the way I ran. As someone who hasn’t run in a long time because it hurts I was quite nervous but thankfully even my legs can handle 30 seconds of running at 10km/h without dying.

When the results came up on screen they were accompanied by multiple videos showing exactly what I was doing wrong / right /indifferently. What became very obvious that my running style is contributing to making my knee hurting. My stride is too long and that in turn completely reduces my breaking impulse – and both of these put extra pressure on my knee.

Then Emma (who I run with regularly and is going to be one of the amazing people I feature in my London ETC series later on this year) decided that if I increase my cadence – so more steps and a shorter stride while running, there would be improvements in multiple areas but especially with my breaking impulse.

Using a metronome app she asked me increase my cadence from 160 steps per minute to 170. So I ran for another 30 seconds at the same speed with smaller, quicker steps. The improvements and results were astonishing with this change alone. With an increased cadence my breaking impulse was vastly better, and the load I put on my left knee vastly decreased.

Of course this didn’t solve everything (I wish) but she also gave me three exercises which will help me to run better, decrease the pain in my knee, and strengthen the muscles surrounding my knees.

I went for the Level 2 assessment and currently Profeet are offering the same thing to consumers at the discounted prince of £100. Level 1 is priced at £50. The main difference between the two is that Level 1 only films you once while Level 2 films you twice. Profeet also offer various other packages too including a mixture of what I experienced during both visits. It’s called 3D SPORT and 3D Pro Fits and all of the pricing information for that is on their website.

What next

Do what the physio and Emma tell me to do: stretch, foam roll, and strengthen.

Also do whatever I can to make sure I NEVER GET A BUNION.

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