Searching for the 'root cause'

I bang on about this ALOT when it comes to running injury. Firstly most injuries aren't actually injury, in terms of tissue damage etc. But this is a topic for another post.  

But if you do have some kind of pain, discomfort, tightness etc. then you have to search for the root cause. It is no good papering over the cracks. 

When I talk about 'papering over cracks' what do I mean?  

I mean things like massage, stretching and standard exercises. I'm not going to start a rant about stretching here, but I generally don't approve, mostly because a muscle feeling tight is not a reason to pull on it! 

I am also not against massage, it has its place, but it's not meant to be used to get an ailing muscle straight back in the game, it's to be used in conjunction to get that thing working properly! 


Why is that muscle/body part hurting/feeling tight? It's generally because something has gone wrong somewhere along the line.  

I bang on about stability, well here's an example, see if this matches anything in your own life. 


2 weeks or so ago I was noticing an aching pain in my hip, it would niggle me at night, but when I was moving around it all felt ok. I did a little mobilisation on it, felt fine, yet it was still nagging. I needed to find the root cause. 

I wrote down when it hurt, what I had done previously in terms of exercise etc. This is what I found.  


1. It ONLY ached after I had biked in the early evening.  

2. It seemed to get worse when I biked and sat in my chair afterwards (where I have the tendency to cross my left leg under my right)  

3. It seemed unrelated to running, if anything it improved with it.  

What did I deduce? The bike may be the cause, I went to look at my bike, sure enough there was a small crack under the left wing of the saddle. 

I fixed this with epoxy glue. 

Pain has disappeared. 


Now this is an isolated story, but it underlies my philosophy, you HAVE to go right back to the root cause. Be that something in your life, your shoes, your sitting or sleeping position. It is no good expecting a bit of massage and exercises to fix things, it won't fix the underlying problems.  


Until next time!  

Happy running!