Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Going militant on the tendon: update

What a difference a day makes. I woke up before dawn this morning, head full of despairing thoughts about jacking in the walk altogether as my tendon is little improved after ten days of anti-inflammatory drugs. By four in the afternoon my left leg was being brutally worked over by a sports physiotherapist who has made it his mission to get me in shape for starting my walk in four weeks' time.

During the day a nurse friend had advised going straight to a sports physio. Cue frantic internet searching and comparing reviews and testimonials. I found a place that sounded ideal and they booked me in for the same day.

It's the start of an aggressive campaign to fix my anterior tibial tendon, and prevent a recurrence of the problem. This physio company specialises in getting troubled athletes (professionals and rank amateurs like me) sorted out at short notice for events such as the London Marathon. The physio who treated me was thorough and competent and really seemed to know his stuff.

It's a two-pronged approach to treatment: firstly, sorting out the immediate problem of the inflamed tendon, and secondly, rehabilitation to identify and treat the underlying bio-mechanical problem that made me vulnerable to this injury. Today's session focused mostly on the former, with acupuncture and teeth-gritting massages of my lower left leg muscles and tendons. My left foot was also firmly taped up.

The physio did also identify tightness in the left thigh muscles, so the rehab process will focus on loosening it up and finding out what's causing it - maybe a weakness in the hip. I've got the first rehab session on Friday and will get exercises to carry out at home. In the meantime it's ice packs every evening, comfy trainers only, and as much rest as possible without being totally sedentary.

So, there's hope, depending on how well my body responds to the treatment.


Friday, 11 April 2014

Tibialis anterior tendon

I didn't know what this was until a couple of days ago. Now I do because I damaged the left one walking in the Luss Hills. It's the tendon that runs down the front of the shin to the ankle and is involved in lifting up the foot, so pretty important for walking.

At the moment, walking becomes difficult and painful after a couple of minutes. The doctor reckons it should clear up in a couple of weeks and has prescribed strong anti-inflammatory painkillers, ice packs and rest. However it could take much longer, especially if it's been caused by a longer-term muscle imbalance or foot problem. Only time will tell.

This is the last thing I needed, five weeks before I'm due to set off.

Monday, 7 April 2014

The rough and the smooth: backpacking the Luss Hills

I've wanted to get in amongst these hills for a long, long time. A work engagement in Glasgow towards the end of the week provided the excuse.


It's fascinating frontier country on the cusp of the Highlands. One of the last ever clan battles took place in Glen Fruin between the respectable lowland Colquhouns and the MacGregors, true Highland tearaways. Nowadays the MoD encroaches with a firing range and, in Glen Douglas, possibly western Europe's biggest munitions store. It's a good place to hide things: stolen cattle, hi-tech weapons, yourself.

I tried out quite a few new bits of gear on this outing, which I may talk about in a separate post. As far as the trip report goes, I thought I'd try something a bit different this time and tell the story through sound and vision rather than verbiage, so here it is:


The rough and the smooth: A two-day walk across the Luss Hills, April 2014 from Stefan Durkacz on Vimeo.