ITBS Rehab - The first fortnight “Melissa does all the things”

By  Melissa Robertson

After my DNF at UTA I was pretty bummed out, I didn’t want to go anywhere near the race finish line or even read about it on Facebook. But by far my biggest concern was when could I run again?

I talked to my coach Matt Murphy whose advice was to stop running, start Reformer Pilates and look at getting a cortisone injection to get the inflammation down in my knee. I really wasn’t keen on cortisone and am still not keen on it, but at the same time I haven't ruled it out. However I have stopped running and have started Reformer Pilates.... 


What have I done so far?

Reformer Pilates

Reformer Pilates

There was some initial confusion when Matt told me to go and do Pilates. The gym classes didn’t suit and I didn’t know why following a video wouldn’t work. That’s when he taught me about Reformer Pilates (Refer to the stock photo). It’s done on a moving bench thing, and is very hard. But hard in the concentration sense, muscle wise it’s fine. I also feel incredibly uncoordinated doing it. I found a Pilates/Physio place at Charlestown which has classes on that suit me before work, they also have a great 2 week trial period where it’s $25 to do up to 3 classes per week. So far I’ve done my first week and am feeling very “special”. But I can totally see myself keeping this up once a week or so when I get back to running.


The first physio I visited was ok. Not great, just ok. I don’t think he got the whole “Must Run” thing and I felt like I was being pressured into repeat visits. He gave me some hip flexor stretches and told me to try running after 5 days to see how it went. Needless to say I was really not keen on trying running so soon (I had 2 weeks off before UTA and it had not calmed down). I cancelled my follow up appointments with him and decided to reanalyse the situation.

Physio take 2. Matt’s advice was not to worry about a physio. But I really need some guidance with this and I don’t think I can get it better by myself, plus I have no idea when I should try running next. The next physio was at the same place I was doing Reformer Pilates at Focus Physio & Pilates, Charlestown. I scoped it out a little before I went and I feel like the new physio gets it. Plus she’s an ultra runner. I now have a new collection of stretches and rolling and have been banned from doing anything apart from rolling, stretching (with her program), swimming & pilates until my next appointment on Tuesday morning before work.

ITB Rehab Routine

ITB Strengthening Exercises & Stretching

I watched the ITB Rehab Routine video and downloaded the instructions from Strength Running. This was my starting place for trying to improve my strength to get my body back to where it needs to be to run. I’ve since been advised by Aleisha (Physio 2) to stop doing this as I can make it worse if I don’t do the clamshells & leg raises correctly.

On top of this I was also doing Physio 1 hip flexor stretches, some other stretches I got online & core work. Plus a whole lot of rolling, in particular my ITB & Glutes. This past week I got some advice and added in trigger point massage with a spiky ball/baseball and now trigger point my ITB & TFL (The TFL is still a bit tricky to find, but I think i’m getting it)


I got a massage from Natasha at Muscle Karma and OH MY GOD it hurt. But hey “no pain, no gain” she did some major work on my legs but was concerned about my abducter/glutes/something up around there that seemed twisted (that was the best she could explain it). This also very much concerns me... I’m fine if my muscles are tight, but I also need them to all be in alignment.


Ryan lent me his personal ultrasound machine, so far I’ve tried it out once on the lowest setting for 5 minutes. Just massaging it around my knee to see if it helps get rid of the inflammation there. I’m not sure if it’s working, but I also don’t think it hurts.


The only cardio activity (besides incidental walking) that I can currently do. Swimming is not as much fun as running, not even close. But I’m getting used to it and although I haven’t gotten any faster (24 minutes per km) I can now swim up to 3km’s... Possibly more, but I get sick of it by then. Also, why does it make me so hungry??


My knee still hurts a bit even when I’m not running and I’m not sure why. So I’ve been Icing it once a day (either of a night or on my way to or from work in the car), I’ve also got a knee compression sleeve that I picked up at Coles and I put it on of a night at times. So far I haven’t used any Voltaren on it besides the first few days after UTA and haven’t been taking any oral inflammatories. I’m not sure if I should. But I am going to have a go at making an anti-inflammatory tea which is mostly based around Tumeric, but also combines a collection of other ingredients... I can’t really see it hurting, not sure if it’ll help either.


How’s it going at the end of 2 weeks

GWTM For Sale

My knee still hurts, or at the very least I’m aware of it “not feeling right” most of the time. I’m not sure if this is because the bursa is inflamed or if it’s something else going on. It concerns me a lot and until I get rid of that pain I won’t be comfortable attempting to run.

So this week it’s: Swimming, Reformer Pilates, My stretching & rolling from the physio and my next Physio appointment and I’ll take it from there. For now my coaching with Matt is on hold...

I also have a Glowworm Platinum Pass up for sale now that I’ve accepted I won’t be running until mid/late June. And I haven’t entered any other races. However the bigger concern is that GNW100 entries have opened and I need to complete the 100 miler if I want to do UTMB next year (I need the qualifying points - they are the only thing I need). So far I haven’t registered for GNW because I also need to start training for it in June if I want to have a shot at both completing it and achieving my goal of beating Gill Fowler's 100 mile record. I’ll probably still enter and deal with the withdrawal if it comes to that.

I’m not sure when I’ll be back running..... But in the meantime if you need a volunteer for something running related let me know. Also, if anyone has any other advice shoot me an email.


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