My road back to fitness is sometimes a bumpy one...
It's fair to say the last 3 weeks have been tough, with my training, as I started suffering from hip and lower back pain on my left side. These symptoms really came into play when I ran, and got bad enough that they were then effecting me even when walking. Luckily (or not maybe) I'd already had this on the right side, a few months ago, and had gone to see my Physio who told me it was Piriformis, which is where the Periformis muscle, that runs from your lower back under your glute and attaches to the side of your hip, becomes inflamed. Unfortunately it also runs next to your sciatic nerve, hence the large amounts of pain.
My Physio did a lot of stretches and massage and gave me a bunch of exercises to do. These included hip strengthening exercises and stretches for the Pirifomis and hamstrings. doing these cleared up the issue in under a week and I was back training again, until I got it on the left side. This time I new what to do, but after 3 weeks I was beginning to loose hope, there had been a slight improvement, but nothing like I had previously experienced on the right side.
It got to the point where I woke up one morning, for a training session, and just didn't get out of bed. It was the first training session I had missed in 6 months, but I just felt like I couldn't do it. The odd thing is I felt so bloody guilty, like I'd let the fitness driven part of my self down. I cursed myself for my weakness, but at the same time that lazy devil on my shoulder kept telling me it was okay, take some time out, relax and enjoy yourself.
Circumstances then led to me missing the next two sessions, due to work commitments and my trainer cancelling a session. And, with that little devil on my shoulder, I didn't replace those missed sessions with a run or a bike ride. I did however, out of necessity, keep doing the stretches and hip exercises, the aggravation of the constant pain was too annoying not too. I had also noticed that I was now walking in an unusual way, dropping my hip slightly, waddling down the road. I suddenly felt very old, and I also felt if I didn't rectify this soon I'd be walking like this for good. I even started to notice other people walking like this, but they were all guys in their 70's to 80's!
Now here's the thing, it turns out that actually the little devil on my shoulder wasn't so devilishly bad after all. As during that week of no training, just stretches and specific light exercise of my hip, my symptoms improved dramatically. Indeed, after 5 days I was just short of feeling fully OK. What a relief that is, there is nothing that grinds you down quite so much a constant pain and an inability to function correctly.
With the removal of the pain came a lightening of spirit, and so to, the desire to get back into training. I have to say I was tentative to start with, worried that I would set myself back. Although there was some slight aggravation just after training it soon subsided and a week later I am back training like normal and feeling so much better.
I guess the thing I've learnt from this is that a break is sometines what you need to get your body right. Maybe subconciously by body was telling me this, I just wasn't listening to start with. So if you get an injury, don't despair, seek advice from a Physio or doctor, and don't beat yourself up if you have to take some time out to get yourself healthy again. After all, sometimes training with an injury can do you more harm than good, and there is no better feeling than walking well.
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