Well, as some might know. I have a chronic back ( hip, sacroiliac ) injury. I really don’t know exactly till now cause each and every doctor told me something different and failed to make me recover. It might sound simple because everyone gets injured and so. BUT 2 YEARS is way way too much.!!
It was the end of 2003 when I first experianced back pain in my overspeed sessions. The end of the 2003 season was great. I did 10.57 in the arab champs and came 7th. I went on to improve my acceleration and started running consistant electronic 6s in the 60s in training. Then my back went blow. I didn’'t understand then and so I just took rest till the world indoor trials so that I can run, win, go to my first worlds and then we can deal. I rested won, went and then I did so poorly there cause something like a tear happened in my back half way through and I just went on cause this is the world championships. It was liked something got disconnected!!! On the right side of my back at the hip. My right leg was like very loose as if it was poorly connected. It just felt like that. So when I came back home I went to the first doctor
The first doctor told me that its my sacroiliac. Cool. He gave me some anti imflamation medicine. It didn’t work. I took rest till the end of march. Then I started doing tempo. Only. And gym. Tempo and gym never hurt it. and until now tempo and gym never hurt it. Then I went to the same doctor and he insisted that its sacroiliac and that I need a few injections in my back that he refused to tell me the nature of. I took 3 injections on 3 concecetive weeks right into the sacroiliac joint. And guess what. didn’t work. So I gave up on him. I kept doing tempo plyometrics and gym.( They never hurt. only top speed kills me ) and when nationals came at September 2004 I stopped in the final because I couldn’t tolerate the pain. I went to a german doctor who took a fast look at me and told me that my right leg is longer than my left and had me do an x-ray. he confirmed that my right is longer than left and I didn’t believe. Anyway. I had no choice but to listen. He did me special spikes and shoes.
So that looks cool. But then These special spikes and shoes injured my left knee and my back was hurting the same if not more!!!. SO I THREW THEM AWAY. And then my left knee recovered so fast and was ok back again. I went to a 3rd doctor and told him to see if I had any difference in my leg length. After check and measureing he said they are within a safe margin. no more than a couple of mm and that is considered normal. Then I told him about my back. And he said that Ben johnson removed a bone from his knee to be more flexible and free the ligmants and go faster. Just As I heard that I thanked him and ran off.
And still there was pain. It was a whole year and I was still waiting ( and getting older ) after a while I decided to go to the first doctor. May be he didn’t cure me but he didn’t injure me. He gave me a couple of injections in my bakc and I felt nothing but then I had a looong break from training to study for my graduation exams and project. something like 3 months. I came back and my right back has totally healed!!! I couldn’t believe. It was heaven. 1 and a half years of pain and agony and it just all went away. I did block starts and flying starts, top speed 80s 100s 150s surve straight and I couldn’t believe that this was hapening. It was a dream that I just enjoyed for a few weeks and then my left back started!!!
Its started hurting in a wierd way. very wierd. I STOPPED training straight. I was scared cause I tried it before. But it never went away.when I sleep on a hard surface it gets worse. and it kept getting worse and worse no mattar how much I tried to change my sleeping surface. Anyway. I went to the first doctor again and he told me its your left sacroiliac and it needs the same injections and so we did so and nothing happened. It go worse with rest training anything. IT just got worse. I rested for 3 weeks and it was just the same. After I finish warm up its a bit off I tempo it comes on slightly. Gym there is nothing. plyometrics it hurts a bit lighter than tempo. Sprint is untolarable. I decided to train hard on it no mattar what and that I’ll take the pain. The strange thing is that no mattar how bad the pain stopped me yesterday for example. Today I would come back to the same old pain level. When I rest it stays at that level. It never reduces or increases with hard work. Of course I can’t tolerate it through the session but after I go home and sleep. next day. It comes all the way down to like before.
Its been two years. Two years of punishment. I don’t know what this is. The x-ray shows nothing and the MRI shows nothing. And no one doctor says the same as another. After I was flying high all the way to becomeing something special I am dreaming of the day I could walk train and sleep pain free. And the day I could really do top speed. I reached 16.0 in my 150s and I can increase but the pain stops me from going faster. So I put off I can’t train. I can’t. Should I quit??? I can’t…Two years and no one understands anything. NO ONE. No one knows how it feels. No one talks to me the right way. SO I don’t know?? I don’t know I can’t quit. I can’t. I won’t. The last 2 weeks I tried top speed with pain and forgot about it. Now I can’t walk. I can’t sleep. For the first time I know how handicapped people feel like. I watch them on TV and I say. Why can’t they just lift their leg and just try a little harder. But the truth is that the pain is crazy. scary, horrifying. Before I enter the track I think twice and then collect the courage and say " who cares about the pain. " and of course I quit the session half way after I have ran so bullshit!!! Is it no hope?? I have no one to talk to other than this forum. I swear all the people around me don’t know or recognize or ask me about my injury. As for my psycology. I’d rather die than quit now. I was getting there. running 10.99 electronic at the age of 19. 10.5 hand at the age of 20, 10.57 electronic at age 22 and I was still not training good. and when I had the knowledge and wanted to train good. Bye bye. NO no way. I don’t belive this.
I have sent athletes to Toronto to get fixed by Charlie and his crew. That is your only hope. If you want to get better find a way. I started a website and raised thousands of dollars. I have sold things and used my own money…
Charlie can “see” things biomechanically that he can address as well has using his superior network of therapists. He is sometimes present during the therapy and is constantly orchestrating all of the details. Training is great when someone is healthy but the faster you run the more important it is to have expertise. Charlie simply addresses areas in training that many are not aware of and does it at a superior level.
I have yet to do a mentorship but I may bring up another athlete in the future…
When I have more time I will talk about my experience with Charlie and his therapists. I will tell you that it is well worth your time and money. He corrected many aspects of my running that caused my injuries over the years. I wouldn’t hesitate to go there again.
The thing is that my uncle lives in toronto and I was there in 2002 I went the york university indoor track a couple of times. But sadly I never knew charlie then How much I wish time could come back. I was accepted at senica collage and but for some suffering and money problems I had to leave and come back here!
Backing up what the others have said, my week with Charlie earlier this year was the single best investment I’ve made in my training. None of us are exaggerating. Not only was I able to resolve my remaining soft tissue problems, but Charlie’s coaching literally turned me into a completely different runner between Monday and Saturday. It has to be experienced to believe that that much can happen in one week.
Dont give up mate, at least the MRI and x-rays show that there is nothing structurally wrong, the problems must be postural, positional or soft tissue related ie strength or flexibility imbalance, why not try and arrange a telephone discussion from charlie and take it from there.
I had achilles pain for 4-5 years and I found a cure, I must have spent £2000 on treatment including orthotics, which made the prob worse, and then I found a physio a couple of miles from my home who cured me by prescribing an intensive stretching program. This physio is said to have taught colin jackson how to stretch his hamstrings so it just goes to show what expertise is around if you keep trying.
I had low back pain which i cured by stretching my hip flexors, they were V tight from prolonged sitting, and strengthening my glutes and abs.
The best stretch in the world, in my opinion, are the front splits I hold for one min x 3 on each leg, concentrating on keeping an upright torso to keep the stretch balanced be tween the hams and the hip flexors.
I wouldn’t do any more injections, I wouldn’t train through the pain, I wouldn’t give up!
Unfortunately I haven’t got personal experience with Charlie, but I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute to trust the above posts! Try and contact him as soon as possible! You’ve tried everything else anyway…
Let us know FD!
You have a lot of talent. Injuries & pain can be frustrating. The advise here seems pretty sound. Get advise or treatment from those with expertise and high success with injuries.
Back to your post. From what I’ve read, you had a 3 month lay off, then resumed training pain free. It appears that you may have upgraded your sprint training too quickly, which exacerbated your lower back pain. Even though pain free the cause of your lower back pain at speed was still present, or your back had a lower tolerance to speed work at the time. Also after a lay off period there is some de-conditioning/atrophy in the muscles, so gradually increasing the speed workload and muscular strength is appropriate at any talent level.
All or nothing training is not the best approach for injuries. This approach usually results in ‘flare ups’ followed by long lay offs, then when the pain subsides back to full training & the cycle continues. Stick to what you can tolerate unless advised not to by your therapist/proffessional. Charlie & associates would have that experience & expertise.
The cycle you’re talking about is about the exact thing happening to me. Yesterday I was working in the gym. And there was no pain at all. And when I went into the changeing room I took off my shirt and was looking in the mirror and started twisting to see my obliques. I twisted to the right and saw my left obliques and turned to the left side to see my right Obliques. And that was it. As if someone stuck a nail in the place where my back hurts towards the joint on the left side!!! So I was doing full squats, heave latt pulls and behind neck press. All heavy and absolutly no pain at all. And just a simple twist to the side of pain and it was hell. It hurts till now after the pain was slightly gone after I stopped all running. So a simple twist would pain it for the next day. And plyometrics, gym, don’t hurt. Thats what I’m talking about. It confuses me. I can’t think about what this is. Its not muscle tear. I wish it was. I would have done well treating it my self. But this is wierd. Its only when my body starts vibrating that it hurts, that happens a lot at top speed. When I twist too. Nothing with abs and back. Nothing with lateral stress in the gym. Nothing with pulls. When My waist gets streched in pull ups or latt pulls. How could an injury tolerate such stress but at the same time would go crazy at a small vibration!!! How and why? I baught a very big book on physiology to understand. What drives me crazy is how and why?? How?? I need to know. So that if this injury made me quit. What would I tell others when they ask me. Why did you stop??? Should I say. I don’t know and the doctors don’t. Or should I say there was SOMETHING!! all I want is to know. And If I wanted to contact charlie on the mattar How could I? Should I send to the info email. or on the forum. Or… what. I don’t know.
JohnG said it (muscle imbalance), you said it yourself (special shoes made it even worse)…it’s your posture or the way you use your muscles. The bones only move where the muscles (or gravity) pull them. Look at what you wrote in your first post and trust yourself above all the doctors/therapists. What do YOU think where the cause of the problem is?
Try this: lie on your back, knees bent at 90 degrees, feet hip width apart pointing straight ahead, arms straight out from your shoulders, palms down. Cross the ankle of the side that doesn’t hurt on top of your other thigh just above the knee (like your about to stretch your gluteals). Now keep that ankle-thigh-complex glued together and rotate it so that the sole of the foot of the crossed leg rests on the floor. Turn your head to the other side and gently press the knee (of the crossed leg) away using the gluteal muscles. Breathe deeply and relax your torso and shoulders for about a minute. Then rotate back up and switch legs. Do you feel a difference from one side to the other? Does this stretch affect the symptom (better, worse, different)?
On one of the CF DVD’s (?GPP) charlie places emphasis on rotational stretching of the hips and/or lower back. I think CF has mentioned this is a vital area for flexibility is sprinting, as there is a lot of hip rotation involved in sprinting.
its basically a self help CD rom. The program takes you through a series of exercises, designed to assess your range of motion in a variety of different movements, the program then designs a routine of exercises designed to restore your range of movements and advises you to keep retesting to assess your progress.
Its a quality bit of kit, and relatively cheap too, its worth a try.
You have a good point there man. I have thought about that too recently. I have a flexible right side. Hip specially. But my left hip is not even half as flexible as that. It did explain a bit to me. But come on. That doesn’t explain how my right back got injured first and then my left side got injured and my right side became fine. How come?
there is some form of imbalance causing the injuries, you need professional help to realign you. Did you try the link I posted to the CD ROM? Its a good start if you are short of money, no access to therapy etc.
Do you get massage?, a good massage therapist would be able to locate and loosen any areas of excessive tightness.