Wednesday 25 August 2010 the shouting.

I've had another physio appointment since my last post, and a short holiday.  I've have some additional exercises to do, but now I'm just waiting for an appointment (which I had expected to have already happened by now, but the clinic are dragging their heels to be quite honest) for a dynamic ultrasound from a London-based specialist to confirm what I suspect is pretty much a tick in the box, that I have an abdominal wall tear.  This is likely to be a tear in my abdominal oblique muscle on my right side.  This would probably explain why when reproducing the pain for a physio/consultant a sit up with a twist to the left hurts a lot more than just a normal situp.  It's possible that I also have Osteosis Pubis alongside the tear, which could have developed as a result of the subsequent weaknesses that have developed in the area.  My rectus abdominis on my right side has lost muscle mass, as shown in the MRI picture that I put in a previous post.  I' ve been working on my glut max and medius, as well as abductor strength, but to be totally honest I don't think it's going to make a blind bit of difference to me in the short term. 

It's highly likely to be torn and no amount of rest of exercise is ever going to fix it.  I read around and it says this is one of those career-ending potential injuries for sports professionals.  Even this week I read in the news that a couple of UK and England footballers are duffering with groin injuries which have all but ended their careers.  They have been all over the world for operations and not got any better.  This has pretty much left me pondering wether it's even worth going any further down the investigation road at all.  I'm certain it's damaged, and only some attempt of surgical intervention might (and I stress the might) improve it.  Then there is the risk of the operation itself.  Any surgery is risky, and let's face it in my case, this would be pretty much akin to getting cosmetic surgery.  I'm not a professional runner, and as long as I don't aggrivate the injury by running or doing sit-ups then I can live a more or less normal life.  So, I don't really need the operation.  What if I died? My little 5 year old boy with no father, just becuase I was selfish enough to want to be able to run.  So, I can just toss in the towel, not face unecessary risk through surgery and do something else.  Sport of pretty much every kind would be more or less ruled out.  The physio told me the number of people who could run the distances I have done, with the poor biomechanics (leg length difference, curved spine, twisted pelvis) that I have is small.  Most people would have probably given up soon after they started the sport.  I can't think of any good reason to risk and operation at the moment, so it's looking like that's it.

I started running just 4-5 years ago, and then after suffering knee and hip pain discovered I had all these issues.  I had some orthotics which seemed to help, but may just have shifted the problems elsewhere if I think about it.  Every year I have run I've suffered various injuries.  All runners get them, but I've been out for longer than most.  I think it's just my bodies way of saying, "you're not cut out for this, stop it".  I've been doing the exercises but the motivation for doing them is rapidly decreasing.  I'm not even sure I can be bothered today. 

I was away for a few days a week or so ago, in Tenerife, and managed to walk from the coast, sea level obviously, up to the top of the volcano in the centre of the Island at 3718M.  I did this over 3 days and my groin didn't cause me major problems.  I don't for one second think I could walk very long distances, but the odd 10-15 mile walk is within my capabilities I hope, so I think I'll just have to settle for that.  I don't really think there is anyone or anything to blame, it's just the way I'm built; not well enough for my body to suffer continuous overuse in ultra's.  Sadly, I can't even run a few miles now, so I can't even do any shorter distance events.  For the sake of completeness if I do every get a definitive diagnosis I'll post the details here, just in case anyone else ever suffers the same. 


  1. Rich, I don't quite know what to say. I can fully understand your reasons for not wanting the surgery, just feeling gutted for you.
    If it's any comfort, you have done some amazing things that only few will ever experience, and have helped so many people on the way, either through this blog or on the MdS forum.
    Whatever you get up to in the future, keep in touch with us through the forum or on here as you have made many friends.

  2. Hey rich,

    I read your blog every now and then and I felt this one deserved a comment. Firstly in my opinion I believe all injuries can be recovered from. I know that’s a big statement but if you have the finances and are willing to completely change the way eat, live, train and think the body will always recover, or even better won’t get injured in the first place. Obviously I don’t know who you’ve already been in contact with but I suggest you get in touch with Matt Wallden at: or email Specify Matt Wallden.
    Matt is a C.H.E.K. level IV practitioner with huge amounts of knowledge.
    If he can’t help I’m sure he knows someone who can, I’m almost certain surgery wouldn’t even be a consideration.

    Best of luck.

  3. Thanks for the comments. I've got to get a diagnosis just so I know what's is really wrong with me, but if it is an abdominal tear (essentially a hernia)then all the background reading I have done suggests that it won't fix itself, and surgical intervention is required. If there was anything I could do to avoid surgery then I'd do it. If someone could guarantee that if I followed an exercise regime for 6 months or a year then I'd get better, then I'd do it. As it stands, no one can tell me that. I had a call from the London clinic today to say they next week will give me an appointment date for the Ultrasound. This alone is going to set me back at least £500, on top of all the consultations and physio I have already had. I don't think Private paid surgery is within my means. I have no idea what it would cost but I imagine somewhere between £5k and £10k; probably the higher estimate.

    I'll get the test done just for peace of mind, but my gut instinct tells me that it's a tear.

    Thanks for the link i'll take a look anyway.