Filiz used to be super sporty and fit. About three years before she came to me she had run the Dam2Dam (a popular local 10 mile run from Amsterdam to Zaandam) with perhaps not the correct training and became injured. She experienced pain in her shoulder, lower back and pelvis. The pain was so strong that she had to give up all the sports she was practicing: running, hiking, mountaineering and martial arts, that she truly loved. On top of that, her sleep was affected and she started putting on weight.
Over these three years Filiz went to her GP (or huisarts), a specialist in the hospital via her GP’s referral, several different sports and traditional physiotherapists. She was also put on dry-needling as well as medication at some point. None of this solved the pain she had.
She came to me curious to see if improving her movement would be able to help. As per all clients, I told her I did not treat pain, but would be happy to help improve her biomechanics.
First things first, her goals. Firstly, Filiz wanted to be able to move more freely. Secondly, she wanted to be able to run and go back to the sports she loves.
So we got to work: the first thing we did was take a look at how she moved. Of the different movements I screen I found that Filiz had developed a lot of compensatory movements that probably were either contributing to her pain or were caused by her pain. We had to stop when I looked at her jumping as it gave pain in her knee. The good news was that there was a lot we could influence, but it was going to take some time and commitment.
I sent her off with her homework of exercises for the pelvis. She was the perfect client doing the exercises, some of which were required four times a day. When she came back for the next screening, there was already a lot of change in her movement. She did feel some new sensations and some discomfort – but I had already told her to expect that as her body adapted to the amount of change we were causing. She said she didn’t “hate her bed” so much when she slept and that the pain was less annoying.
As the weeks went on, we gradually worked through different parts of the body, introduced strengthening exercises and began to stabilise the pelvis. This helped make sure that the work we had done to correct movement is more long lasting. Again, Filiz did these exercises regularly at home. Over this time the pain in her hip and back went down, variating in intensity from day to day. She also had no problems with her shoulder and was very happy about how much better her posture felt.
Filiz’s first big achievement was being able to go for regular long walks. With a very stressful job it is important to be able to have activities that help reduce stress, so this already was a big improvement to her life.
After a few months we started doing what you might think of as personal training sessions. Incorporating squats, lunges, push ups, etc. and continuing working on movement, we have taken Filiz beyond what she thought might be possible. I have been able to encourage her to go into movements she previously was scared of. She has much less pain now and is more confident in her movement. She arrives and leaves from her sessions with a big smile on her face. I am so proud of her.
Next step is to get her out running…
Author: Lorna Wilson
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