Stretching the Truth, IT-BS

Somewhat fortuitously, within days of hearing the diagnosis of ‘shin-splints’ I seemed to stumble across a series of training events hosted by Runners Need set up to help Spring Marathoners. This is a series of three talks, one each in Feb, March and April. Full details of the next two events are on their facebook page if you’re interested.

The first talk, on Thursday evening was about Injury Prevention: focussing on Knee & Shin injury. The next two are about “Nutrition and diet for runners”, and then “Tapering & last minute tips”.

The event was hosted at the store on Great Portland Street in London town, just a brisk 2.5mile walk from work, and was an opportunity to sit amongst all the goodies in the running section of the shop. A little unfortunate that some customers came in looking for a gait analysis, but luckily this didn’t detract from the presentation.

Talking to us on the evening – which was admirably supplied with a range of snacks, both healthy and unhealthy – were Physiotherapist Thomas Dekker, and Podiatrist Wayne Edwards from HFS clinics who have 4 clinics in London.

I’m not sure I can remember all the points that were raised over the course of the evening, but a few interesting tid-bits for you:

Girls are more likely to suffer knee injury than boys – It’s all about the Q-Angle

People with O- blood have a higher susceptability to Achiles Tendon issues

You CANNOT stretch an IT Band!!!
I knew this one already, but it still amazes me the number of people who refer to stretching their ITB.
If you were able to take out your ITB you could attach it to an jumbo-jet and pull it – that is how strong and un-stretchable it is

People with hypermobility (me) are more likely to have high arches, and to suffer from medial bone issues.
I have both high arches, and obviously the shin issue, the mention of potential bone trouble as a result of this though was a little worrying

Interestingly, you can’t really stretch your hamstring too much, if your brain thinks you’re overdoing it then it will shut down and lock the hamstring as it protects the sciatic nerve running through the hamstring. I never knew this!

One lucky participant was offered the opportunity to be a live guinea pig and took to the treadmill so that we may all try and spot the potential signs of a knee complaint that he had. It was really interesting to see how everthing from the lower back, all the way down the chain to the toes plays a part in the injury, and that if the feet don’t strike and release from the ground straight then you are instantly at risk of doing damage to limbs.

The atmosphere at the event was really good, with spaces limited at the event, and a good little Q&A session rounded off the evening.

I thoroughly enjoyed the evening, it was interesting and informative, and with a small discount on offer I intend to get in touch with the guys at HFS for a look at my shin issue. It was funny the next evening as I took to the treadmill to avoid the snow and ice, I spent most of the three miles watching my feet in the mirror trying to see if I could see any potential signs of injury or skewed alignment.

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