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Hear how Physio Dave helped a keen runner with persistent Achilles Tendinopathy

I recently caught up with one of our keen running clients, Patrick, who came to the clinic complaining of chronic Achilles Tendinopathy. Read on to find out how Physio, Dave Burnett, helped Patrick recover so that he could return to distance running again.

Hi Patrick- tell us a bit about yourself and what sport and exercise you do?

As a retired rugby player and triathlete my body has taken a bit of a battering over the years. Nowadays I cycle as my main sport but still enjoy running and swimming.

How and when did you develop your running Injury?

Achilles tendinopathyIt was probably a combination of not warming up properly, pushing too hard and the uneven surface that must have aggravated my Achilles tendon problem. When you are only a short distance out the tendency is to keep going to the end which probably just aggravated the situation even further.

What did your physiotherapy involve and how did you find it useful?

Dave at Physio on the River was great! Things were made easier as I was being treated by him for a shoulder injury at the time and he saw me hobble in and immediately diagnosed the issue – which was a Chronic Achilles Tendinopathy. So, after a couple of sessions of manual therapy treatment and stretching exercises for the calf, hamstrings and glutes (buttocks) we started the Shockwave treatment.

Describe your experience of shockwave therapy?

Shockwave for the achilles tendonI had 4 sessions of Shockwave which involved getting hammered by metal pads 100 times a second! It hurts the first time, although I think this was psychological and then after that it became quite therapeutic!

Whilst you mustn’t run immediately after the treatment, you can stretch and it’s important to do loaded strengthening exercises.

Every week I felt some progress. Once we had finished the Shockwave sessions we were able to progress to more explosive “plyometric” exercises. Apart from a blip when I may have done too much too soon, I was able to gradually build up the time and distance I was running and eventually the pace.

I am making great progress now. The important thing is to listen to your body and take your time. When you get injured after 50, it’s about managing the condition. The shoulder injury also helped as it forced me to go swimming and I was able to do more rigorous plyometrics in the pool. The positive benefits of swimming are extensive!

How are you getting on now and have you achieved your goals?

I’m in a good place now and am hopeful of continuing Park Run regularly and getting to that all important 22-minute milestone. My ultimate aim is to get back to half marathons.

What’s your brief understanding of how to manage your Achilles tendon problem in the long-term?

Should it return I should first  reduce the load, gradually re-load, add plyometric exercises and load even more -with marginal increments and take my time! Thanks very much Dave!

Thanks, Patrick, for sharing your story and illustrating so nicely how we treat and help people manage chronic tendon problems like yours.

Next steps….

If this has struck a chord with you and you’re suffering with a tendon problem, to make an appointment with Dave just:

Book online

Call 020 8876 5690

Email us here

Or pop in for a chat!

Massage Monday – how we can help you recover from the London Marathon!

If you have just woken up after completing the London Marathon yesterday, you may well be feeling stiff and sore! This week I asked our new massage therapist, Rachel Jarvis, to tell us how massage can help you recover from a marathon.

Rachel recently jointed our massage team of three. She is a very keen runner herself and competes in triathlons and endurance cycling events so knows all about recovery!

Rachel qualified with a Level 5 Professional Diploma in Sports and Remedial Massage from the North London School of Sports Massage (NLSSM).

Rachel’s 6 top massage benefits

  • Massage reduces muscle soreness by flushing out the build up of toxins from the muscle and other soft tissues of the body. This reduces soreness or DOMS – short for ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’ which is the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise. The soreness is felt most strongly 24 to 72 hours after the exercise.
  • Massage helps improve blood flow to the tissues which in turn helps the tissues to heal and helps you recover from the fatigue felt after the run.
  • A post event massage allows the therapist to assess the condition of your muscles and identify any particular areas of tension.
  • It helps to restore your flexibility through re-balancing the musculoskeletal system. If you don’t feel so stiff and sore you will move with more ease and be able to stretch further.
  • Massage can help to re-energise you through relaxation.

When is the best time to have a massage after the marathon?

If you have competed in a marathon before, you may have been offered a short post event massage at the finish line. This can start the process and this first massage will be gentle. Benefits can be seen for up to a week after the event. As the days go by after the event, a deeper and longer massage can be given.

Rachel recommends taking the immediate post event massage but it shouldn’t be a replacement for a proper treatment later in the week.

Are there any other self help things you can do to aid recovery?

Rachel recommends:

  • drinking plenty of water to rehydrate yourself and help to flush those toxins through your system
  • keeping active! It sounds like the wrong thing but taking a steady walk or very low intensity recovery run, swim or bike ride can actually help to prevent stiffness and soreness!

What should I do if I sustained an injury during the marathon?

We recommend coming to see one of our Sports Physiotherapists to get your injury checked out professionally. As soon as you can  it’s always a good idea to use the PRICE method of initial treatment:-

P for protection – bandage the injured part to give it support or use a crutch or stick if required

for rest – rest the part for the first couple of days

for ice the injured part. We have some very good ice packs we sell at POTR. They are gel ice packs that don’t lose their flexibility with freezing and have a very good cover to protect you from an ice burn.

C for compression – the supporting bandage or elastic support will help to compress the tissues and minimise excessive bleeding into the tissues and swelling.

for elevation – raise your injured part higher than your heart if you can! So if it’s your ankle, lie down and place your leg on a couple of pillows to help reduce swelling.

Next steps…..

If you’d like to take advantage of our special massage offer – 6 for the price of 5 – a saving of up to £62, or book an appointment with one of our Physios:

Call us on 0203 916 0286

Email us here

Book online here

Or just pop in for a chat first!

Running a marathon? Read these top tips on footwear!

Are you running a marathon? Do you know how often you should change your shoes?

Have you thought about the race day and what you will be wearing?

We’ve asked Dominic Stead of Sporting Feet to give us his top tips on footwear and more!

Sporting feet

Dominic and co-owner Geoff Ross run Sporting Feet – a sports footwear shop with branches in Putney and Richmond. Here at Physio on the River we have sent several clients for advice and the feedback we have received has been excellent. Friendly, informative staff and great products! Read on to find out Dominic’s best advice for those running a marathon.

How often should I change my running shoes?

  • Running shoes typically last for about 500 miles, so make sure your shoes still have plenty of life left in them.
  • It’s often a good idea to rotate a couple of pairs of your favourite shoes so that one of your pairs is nice and fresh for the race (but not brand new!).
  • Don’t buy a new pair less than 4 weeks out from the race. You need time to run them in – literally!

How do I know I have the right shoes for my feet?

  • If you are getting blisters or any other niggles, do go to a running specialist retailer to check that you have the right shoes for your gait.
  • It’s also vitally important to make sure you have the right size and width too. It sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how often runners are wearing the wrong size!
  • In general, the longer the race (and therefore the amount of training you are doing) the more space you should have in your shoes.
  • Running shoes should normally be a half to whole size bigger than your regular shoe size. We usually say you need half to a whole thumbnail of space from the end of your biggest toe to the end of the shoe.

What sort of socks should I wear?

Make sure you wear good quality technical running socks. These are not made of cotton but man-made fibres that keep your feet cool and reduce sweating.

Have you any advice about clothing and the unpredictable great British weather?!

We waste a huge amount of energy trying to regulate our own body’s temperature when running, if we are either too hot or too cold. So it’s essential to get this right.

The trick to clothing is the layering system. Wear several layers of light, breathable fabrics rather than one heavy layer.

  • Just as with your socks, your running clothing should be good quality, breathable technical gear too. These sophisticated fabrics wick away sweat and help you regulate your temperature.
  • When training, work out how many layers you need to wear to stay at the right temperature for different weather conditions.
  • Check out the weather forecast for the day a few days ahead of race day so you can plan ahead.
  • It’s best to have a dry run to prepare fully for the day, so have a nice long run in the shoes, socks and clothing that you intend to run in as part of your training plan.

Special offer!

Dominic and Geoff kindly offer our clients a 10% discount on running shoes. To take advantage of this offer pick up one of their flyers from the clinic and take it with you when you visit their shop.

To find out more about Sporting Feet click here to visit their website. They have an excellent range of both running shoes and shoes for many other different sports. They cater for adults and children alike and have a wealth of experience in this area.

For further advice on your running technique do book an appointment with one of our Physiotherapists who are trained to analyse your running gait and can help you with any issues or injuries you may have.

We also have a Podiatrist, Sas Ahmadi, who is a specialist in the biomechanics of running gait. He can help if you have alignment problems and require custom built insoles to go inside your shoes to support your feet or ankles.

To book an appointment with one of our team just call 0203 916 0286, email us here or pop in for a chat.

If you have enjoyed reading this blog and are interested in our other running blogs then click here.

  • Physio on the River

    The Old Ticket Office
    Barnes Bridge
    Barnes
    SW13 0NP
  • 020 8876 6152

  • Opening Hours

    Mon: 7am – 9pm
    Tues: 8am – 9pm
    Wed: 7am – 9pm
    Thurs: 8am – 9pm
    Fri: 7.30am – 7pm
    Sat: 8am – 2.30pm
    Sun: Closed

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