Back to normal running? well… almost

This website has been very quiet for long time and I decided to open back with an in-depth analysis of the injury affecting me since last July and how I finally managed to get rid of it now.

But let’s rewind to mid-June when with Riccardo I was in Misurina area for an altitude training camp. Back then is when it all begun, but I don’t think the trainings loads to be the cause, while instead a serious sickness which hit me for 3 days and literally drained my body from the energies. When it was over I slowly tried to go back to training mode my feeling was fine but I really felt powerless. To conclude then this period I decided to test run the last stage of 5 Days of Italy 2019 in Padola. There during the run everything went well but the day after I could feel a small pain localised in the lower part of my gluteal right muscle.

At first I didn’t really pay much attention because it kind of felt like some sore muscle like pyriform or so. and I just rolled it with foam roller and took some extra sessions of bike as alternative training. Days went by but the pain didn’t stop, instead as it happens, the body to save a hurt area tends to compensate with other parts and what was a small localized pain became a quite intense pain inside the glute and running down the right hamstrings mostly after orienteering. What was weird was once I warmed up the muscle, the pain became less (still it was there for every single step, but it was less).

Because of that I anyway felt like I could keep on training and competing and…looking back that was the worst decision I possibly took. I then run Sellaronda Ultra trail (60km and 4000m ascent), O-Ringen (5 days orienteering races), 2 weeks training camp in Norway and tested some of World Champs races in Norway. I arrived at a point where the only moment where I was really not feeling any pain was when I slept, because otherwise every movement involved some pain. Only after these period I decided to see a physio and renounced to run some planned races. Just to give an idea, the physio with the adjustment chiropractic movements had to fix eighteen, yes, 18 compensations that my body made to allow me to keep on going. However the cause was not clear and in some moment it seemed to be over, discovering only one or two days after that nothing changed.

Since then I still underestimated the whole thing I thought about a muscle problem in my glute, something like the obturator muscle or small gluteus muscle. There were still some races or runs which I promised to do and despite the pain I did like the tests for World cups in China and Rosetta verticale VK. Useless to say that in both cases I felt some pain and that the final result was both terrible and depressing looking back at the work done.

But this was the moment I realised that there was something more serious than when I thought. So at first I begun decreasing the training loads to under 1 hour per day taking away all the fast and intense trainings. This helped, but still it was not a solution. Only after a magnetic X-Ray I finally got a more clear idea of what was going on inside my body. And slowly after some rest I begun with some rehab exercises until after 8 months I was again running without pain!!!! Which is great but the end is not quite near. There is still probably one month of slow running and rehab to get back to “normal”

Below some breakdowns of the various things which I feel are more interesting

The Pain
At first there were only a small spot under the right gluteus muscle which felt going inside the hip. Continuing with the racings and trainings the painful area grew to all the glute, side hip and hamstring. At one moment I had the feeling that my leg had to “pop out”, with this I mean that it felt that some ne could pull my leg to relieve the pain (which it didn’t). The worst positions where sitting while driving and moving after I was immobile for some time, like waking up. While instead when running the worst was running in the forest, weirdly really steel terrains were not so bad and instead downhills felt worst.

The Diagnosis
Summarising the technical doctor report, the part where my small gluteus muscle was supposed to attach to the bone was partially off. On top of then because of a high jump or some trauma, the membrane around my femoral bone was inflamed and swallowed and pushed down the whole leg. And to finish the hamstring tendon had a longitudinal cut.
After getting this diagnosis it kind of made sense all of what I felt as a pain also the fact of wanting the leg to pop out. It was because of this trauma and consequent stress on the joint.