I don’t know what my right hip has done to upset my physio, but he certainly exacted his revenge...
A couple of weeks into my Pilates challenge, to beat a running injury and get bikini-ready, it was time for my second physio session. I’d been doing my exercises and stretches nightly, but there was a slight hold up with the foam roller being delivered (blame the Jubilee) so I’d only being using that for a few days. Head of Physiotherapy at TenPilates, Cheyne, asked how everything was feeling and I told him I’d been able to up the number of side clams I do every night from seven to ten and that the Pilates definitely feels like it’s building up long-neglected muscles, I confessed my lack of foam rolling, and told him the sports massage had made me more aware of the pain in my hip again.
I jumped up on the table so he could investigate the hip. First up, he asked to see how I was performing the clam, and the good news is I’ve been getting it right, hurrah for me! He then told me to extend my top leg, lying on my side and lift and lower it; I could feel it in my glutes, but it was also aggravating my hip. I informed Cheyne of said hip discomfort, and his less than welcome response was ‘I’m going to get my elbow in that hip’. And he meant it. For the next ten minutes a pointy elbow was carefully ground into my hip joint, and I cannot describe the pain. I’ll try - it was agony. Cheyne tried to distract me by chatting about the French Open, Ultimate Frisby and the weather but after a few minutes I was grimacing, wincing and clenching my fists. He said he was surprised at how well I was coping with the pain, and told me you can tell when someone’s had enough by their eyes. I asked if that meant he waited until people shed tears before easing off, but apparently it’s more of a flicker in the eye. I think my eye flicker response must be broken.
As he finished the elbow-grinding stage of proceedings, he informed me that next he’d be working on my IT bands. Because I hadn’t been using a foam roller for the full two weeks since my last physio session they were still tight, so he needed to loosen them off. Cue more pain as he became a human foam roller, giving my outer thighs a lengthy Chinese burn.
He then checked my knee cap and hip joint and reassured me that it’s definitely a muscular injury, rather than a problem with the bones themselves - I still have youthful hips and knees, no need for a replacement just yet. He taught me another new exercise, that will strengthen the muscles around my knee and stop it collapsing inwards when I run, and showed me how I can tell when my running shoes are worn down and need replacing. And with that it was time to head off with my new moves and strict instructions to do them twice a day. If that’s what it takes to avoid another Chinese burn and hip grinding session I’m on it.
Read my journey to running fit:
Blog one: Can I get back to running - and bikini ready?
Blog two: It's a massage, but not as I know it
Blog three: Laura vs Reformer, round one
Blog four: Feel the (glute) burn
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