Chris Miller is my acupuncturist & massage therapist and one of the smartest people I have ever met. Chris is a qualified massage therapist, acupuncturist, personal trainer, has studied naturopathy, dietetics, nutrition, and managed a sports supplement company. I have been to a LOT of physio’s, massage therapists, podiatrists, chiro’s, doctors & acupuncturists in my time, Chris is by far more knowledgable than all of them rolled together. I am fairly certain he takes a perverse pleasure in causing pain and continues to smile slyly and chat away whilst he jams his elbow into my glute and I breathe like I am in labour…. BUT, I always walk out of that room in better shape than I entered and with a much better understanding of why I have the problem I do. If you are a Brisbanite, you need to see him, you won’t be sorry…. Well you’ll be sorry while he’s torturing you, but you will be thanking me after it’s over. He does treatments out of St Lucia & Newstead, you can contact him on 0424168784 or check out his Facebook Page for details.
Lower back and Calf Pain when Running?
Do you suffer from lower back soreness when running? Do you get tight calves or fatigue first in your calves when running? Maybe even sore hammies, sore knees? I bet you have had your lower back and calves stretched, massaged or strapped. You might even have started Pilates or progressed to doing “core exercises”. It – pain – is persisting however.
Well the problem is not so much in your lumbar, calves, or core control, but rather, excessively tight hip flexors (Tensor Fascia Late) and external rotators in your hips combined with poor activation of your gluteals and external rotators.
Tight TFL’s (hip flexors) can contribute to an anterior rotation in your hips, which can cause a reactive strain in your lumbar muscles to maintain trunk position. Following this alteration to your hip position, significant changes in your gait can occur. When running this leads to a shortened stride and the impact of foot to ground occurring on the forefoot as opposed to heal. Consequently, the weight bearing aspect of running is taken through the calf, patella and hip flexor. This causes the fatigue and pain in the calves, patella, and further tightness in the lumbar. Whilst exacerbating the weakness in your glutes and hamstrings.
So what does this mean? How do I fix this? Continue with your calf and lumbar stretches to relieve the local site inflammation. Maintain the strengthening of your glutes and core (abdominal) in your training and Pilates. To fix the problem however, much work needs to be done on your hip flexors and associated soft tissue structures. This involves;
• Trigger points in a circle around your hip joint. Find a sore spot and trigger it for 30-90 seconds. Use a tennis ball, trigger ball, golf ball, friends elbow…anything, just get in there. Score you pain out of 10, 10 being unbearable, and try to sit on about 8. Painful yes, but manageable….
• Stretch hip flexors
• Foam roller ITB and lateral Quad
• Glute control – clam shells, lateral leg raises, glute lifts, posterior bridges are all good. However, the simple squat is the best for hamstring and glute development. To complete a proper squat, make sure your feet are slightly wider then your hips, feet turned out marginally, take your hips below your knees, and as you drive up focus on pushing your knees outwards to help activate your external hip rotators.
If you can’t manage to trigger it yourself, get into a therapist and get some deep tissue work done in the area. You will find that you will experience huge changes in all aspects of your training, mobility and general wellness with a freer hip region.