Category Archives: The Recovery Room Blog

Common sense for any active person

At The Recovery Room sports injury clinic, we see many different sportspeople with varying goals and reasons for taking part in their chosen sport. These goals can be to maintain or help change body shape, meet new friends, stress relief, improving your performance etc.

Here is some simple advice on how to reduce your risk of injury:

Rapidly increasing your training distance or intensity is a recipe for disaster. Remember to slowly increase your training times with the difficulty of your session in mind so your body can adapt, remember your resolution should last the year!

The same is true with the frequency that you run, remember to have rest days and slowly build up your training days.

Appropriate warm up, using dynamic stretches, your goal is to increase you heart rate, body temperature, elasticity and range of muscle movement especially on those cold winter days.

Cool down using static stretches.

If you are starting a new exercise programme it is wise to get checked out for any areas of weakness or tightness and regular sports massage can help relieve those aching muscles.

Run, Cycle and Swim

Thinking of Running, Cycling or Swimming?

Tips for staying active:

Build up your distances slowly and beware of a change of terrain, this will change the intensity of your exercise.

Warm up with dynamic stretches to raise the pulse, temperature of muscles and improve the mobility of your joints. Focus more on hips and shoulders for swimming and from the hip down for cycling and running.

Swimmers shoulder:

Rotator cuff impingement:

Soreness and pain on overhead activity through repeated overuse in swimming strokes.


Mix up you swimming stroke in training sessions to avoid overuse. Always stretch the shoulder muscle after use to prevent tightness and compression of the tendons in the shoulder. This will decrease the friction, inflammation and pain. Focus on stretching the chest muscles to prevent the shoulder joint becoming imbalanced and pulled forwards.

Strengthen the rotator cuff, upper back and core muscles to help your body position in the water. Use your legs as they will give you a lot of power in the stroke (triathletes may wish to preserve the legs more for cycling and running).

Runners/ Cyclists knee:

Defeating the road

Strengthen the glute medius muscle at the side of the hip to stabilise the knee. You should be able to do 35 reps x 2 sets of the side lying clam to protect yourself from knee injury.

Make sure your saddle height is correctly measured for you (see last newsletter).

Foam roller or get a sports massage directed to the ITB at the outside of the upper leg (yes this is really quite painful- but worth it!).

Avoid too many hills in training (slowly build up the number of hills).

For more details on the signs and symptoms:

Running injuries and Prevention


Running injuries are very common especially to the lower extremity (from the lumbar spine downwards). This is partly to do with the repetitive movement of the legs, hips, knees and ankles. Some common training errors can lead to unnecessary injury, especially from overuse, increasing your run duration, or intensity too quickly. This can lead to imbalances in the system causing some muscles to become fatigued, tight or inactive.Common Running injuries include:

  • Referred leg pain from the lumbar spine (main in the hamstring or calf)
  • Hamstring tendonopothy
  • Hip Bursitis (pain on the outside of the hip)
  • ITB friction syndrome (Runners knee) see blog post
  • Parellar tendonopothy (pain at the front of the knee)
  • patellar femoral joint pain (pain at the front of the knee)
  • Hamstring strain
  • Calf strain
  • Achilles Tendonopothy
  • Plantar fascitis

As prevention is better than cure, keeping to the 10% rule (not increasing you run in intensity or duration of more than 10% per week) will reduce the risk of overload. A regular foam roller session or sports massage focusing on the leg muscles will improve recovery and take the pressure off joints. Strengthening the glute muscles will help to protect the knee and hip (as long as they are firing correctly- you may need to get this checked).

Stretching the leg muscles,  especially the calf muscles , quads and ITB. Core strength can help improve running economy improving the integration of the lumbar pelvic muscles to the lower limbs.

Are you looking to go to a bare foot or minimalist running shoe?

  • Increase duration slowly and start with shorter runs than your normal distance
  • Stretch the calf muscles as the toe (forefoot) running style will put extra pressure on the Achilles tendon and calf muscle.
  • Strengthen the calf by using calf raises or heel drops.
  • Strengthen the toes and forefoot by using toe tapping or strumming techniques.


If you would like any more help or advice please feel free to get in touch on 02380 192677 and ask for James.

Runners Knee The ITB

Pain at the outside of the knee ITB


I often hear people in running and cycling clubs talk about pain at the outside of the knee that gets worse with exercise. The talk of the dreaded ITB that attaches at the outside of the knee that causes friction that produces inflammation and then pain. Many people that present in The Recovery Room sports injury clinic after running or cycling through the pain until it eventually prevents them from exercising.

Signs and symptoms of ITB friction syndrome include:

Gradual onset of pain at the outside of the knee made worse with exercise, can get progressively sharper.

Pain that is worse when running up and down hills-due to a shorter stride pattern increasing the friction and irritation.

Physical Therapist Assisting Patient


Poor mechanics while running as weak glute muscles allow the knee to fold inwards.

Poor saddle height causing increased irritation at the knee.

Tight hip abductors that increase tension of the ITB and pressure at the knee.

Over pronation (flat foot).

Sudden increase in duration and intensity of exercise.


Treatment and prevention:

Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation

Soft tissue therapy into the glutes, TFL and  ITB. OR use a foam roller on these muscles.

Correct faulty firing patterns of the glutes and strengthen using side lying clam or hip abduction exercises.

Correct saddle height.

Rest or modify running to reduce pain- walk up and down hills.

Correct poor foot mechanics using orthotics.


Manual Therapy Treatments…

What to expect from our treatments…

The initial consultation will involve a full case history to understand how the symptoms started and what makes them change. We will discuss your medical background, including any medication conditions and previous injuries.

After evaluating your history we will look at your posture and carry out a physical examination allowing us to form a diagnosis and treatment plan. This will include muscle, joint, ligament and neurological testing.

During this process, we will need to see the alignment of your body. We recommend you wear shorts and sports training tops for easy assessment. Toweling techniques will be used to make you feel comfortable.

After you assessment, we will explain why the problem occurred and ensure that the rehabilitation programme will prevent your symptoms from returning.

Our aim is to allow you to ‘enjoying living an active life’.

Treatments are always carried out following your consent after you have been informed of the treatment that is going to be administered.

Although sometimes treatments can be painful, we try to limit any discomfort without reducing the effectiveness of your treatment. Levels of pain will be monitored by YOUR level of pain perception.

The treatment that we provide include:

Manual Therapy of the spine and peripheral joints using Maitlands and Mulligans techniques. This will reduce joint pain and improve movement patterns of the joints.

Remedial Massage: Used as a method of treating injury to reduce muscle pain, spasm and help joints articulate correctly. Massage is often used for soft tissue pain and trauma.

Sports Massage is used to help sports people prepare, maintain and recover from strenuous exercise regimes.  Sports massage can also effectively release soft tissue tension from non sporting individuals through office based stress and posture problems.

Trigger Point Therapy: Relieving knots that can cause muscle pain and refer pain to other parts of the body.

Ultra Sound and Electrotherapy modalities: For soft tissue injury.

Posture analysis: Looking at the alignment of different body parts to understand the cause of your symptoms.

Gait and biomechanical analysis: during walking, running and sport specific activity.

Stretching: PNF, static and dynamic techniques to improve range of motion and posture alignment.

Strengthening: Core stability assessment using bio feedback devices. Use of Core Stability programmes that are proven to reduce back pain and protect your limbs from further injury. Neuromuscular training to re-establish coordination and muscle firing patterns following injury.

Sport and Occupation Specific Rehabilitation: Understanding the requirements of your job, sport and lifestyle will help tailor a specific programme based around YOU.