Do you have an injury or pain which stops you running?


Do you have an injury or pain which stops you running? Your spine could be the villain!

Are you struggling with an injury or pain that you just can’t clear? Perhaps you have received lots and lots of local treatment to the painful area, injections into the area or maybe even surgery, with no success. If this is the case, no doubt you’re at your wits’ end and feel like giving up on ever finding a cure.

But there may still be hope for you. Rebecca Nelson, Director of Physiotherapy at Apex Clinic & Spinal Physiotherapy Specialist reveals how your local pain could actually be referred pain coming from your spine, even if you have no back pain at all.

Suffering joint or muscular pain? Your spine may actually be the culprit!

At Apex Clinic, over the last 18 years, I have seen many patients whose longstanding pain or longstanding injury has stopped their running in their tracks, and may even have ruined the quality of their lives.  These patients have tried literally everything in a quest to clear their pain, with no solution.   I have found consistently that in the majority of these cases the number one cause of the person’s pain has been referred pain from their spine, even when their spine is often free of pain completely.  After a thorough one hour assessment which I designed, this hypothesis of the spine being the culprit can be proved or disproved.

Stopping pain in its tracks…

Referred pain from the spine is easy to misdiagnose, as it can be felt ANYWHERE where the nerves travel from the spine, meaning it can result in gynae pain in ladies, testicular pain in men, thigh pain, knee pain, ankle pain, calf pain or even pain in the foot- in the arch, sole or top of the foot. This explains why lots of local treatment to the painful area hasn’t been effective, because the pain isn’t originating from that place. Referred spinal pain is characterised by its unresponsiveness to treatment of the local area and has many other subjective and objective features.   With pain which is being referred from the spine, there is no amount of local treatment or local surgery which will clear it.  The pain will continue until the correct area of the spine has been identified as being the origin of the problem area.  Once this area has been identified, it can then be manually mobilised, and the person should start to feel a definite improvement in the pain within a few sessions.

From immobile to marathons!

Daire McNulty from Co. Louth attended Apex Clinic a few years ago.  He was immobile following a sudden knee injury, which left him battling constant pain and he needed to use crutches for even the shortest of distances. Daire had suffered with the pain for four years, which resulted in physio treatment elsewhere and then surgery, with no relief. The simplest of tasks became impossible and his mum had to pick him up and drive him around University between classes, as walking around the campus was impossible.

Upon recommendation to visit Apex Clinic, I diagnosed his knee pain as being referred pain from his spine. Following progressive manual work on his lower back to loosen the specific tight segments of his spine, he quickly started to feel relief after the second session.

After a few months of treatment he started to return to running  and because he enjoyed it so much, he got the running bug, gradually increasing his mileage.  He then took part in triathlons, sprints and half ironman events. At the moment, he is looking forward to the Dublin marathon.   Currently, Diare attends Apex Clinic once every 6 months for a check up.

Daire said: “The difference is tremendous! When I think back to how I was at the beginning of treatment compared to how I am now, I feel like a completely different person. I am doing things I could never have imagined. I’m driving myself physically to the limit.  The change is unbelievable!”

If your pain isn’t responding to local treatment, why not come for an assessment at Apex Clinic Belfast, to see if your spine is the villain in your case.

If it is, we should certainly be able to help…