My rehab journey.
The pain in my left ankle (my takeoff foot) started to occur when I got a pair of orthotics in June of 2018. This was to correct my so-called pronation which had not caused me any problems in the past.
I jumped all the 2018 season with pain in my ankle before I got a two week off-season where I rested my ankle. The pain was reduced, and I started to train normally again in the fall. The problem was that I only experienced pain when I planted my foot in the high jump take off position. Because of that, I trained the entire fall and winter 2018 without doing any high jumping.
I tried to compete indoors 2019, but then the pain came back immediately. I had an MRI and it confirmed I had OS Trigonum Syndrome. Two weeks after, I got the OS Trigonum removed through surgery, February the 26th 2019. The surgeon did not give me any plan or advice on how to rehab, so I had to make my own rehab plan based on pure guesswork.
In April, two months after surgery, I started experiencing pain in a different area in the same ankle. I continued training hoping that it would go away by doing my rehab exercises for my ankles (balance exercises, rubber band exercises for peroneal tendon, tibialis posterior, calf and achilles, mobilization for the ankle joint, etc.) All these exercises were things I experimented with by myself. The pain didn’t go away so I got dozens of MRI´s done and saw three different foot and ankle specialists and no one could figure out what was wrong with my foot. So, I went online, read about anatomy and the nervous system and found long scientific articles and studies about various nerve injuries in the foot and ankle.
At this point, it was obvious it wasn’t a muscular problem because I had gotten an ACP-Tendon injection in June 2019, rehabbed for two and a half months after that to no avail. So, in October 2019, I got in touch with a nerve surgeon in the USA and decided to go to Las Vegas to have surgery. The reason for travelling was that in Norway they didn’t have competence on nerve entrapment issues and they couldn’t even diagnose me. On the 26th of October I got nerve entrapment surgery done in Las Vegas on my superficial peroneal nerve and peroneal nerve.
When I got home, I had to rehab, once again, by myself. This time the surgeon did give me advice on how to rehab, but because of the time zones and his tough working schedule we couldn’t talk a lot. So, I started doing pool training and strength work for my legs, core and back. But I was given no specific advice for the nerve and how to train it. I rehabbed for about a month, before I got in touch with Mike and through Health Optimizing. From there on, everything changed.
I learned that my biomechanics had huge inefficiencies and that I had developed inefficient movement patterns to compensate for the pain in my ankle prior to the surgery. Really, I had forgotten how to walk.
Mike taught me the correct walking technique when he visited Bergen in the beginning of December. I walked for about an hour a day the entire month of December and after week 2 I started to feel a big, big difference in how I was moving.
At this time, I hadn’t started doing a lot of Dynamic Movement Skills work and other strength work, so my peroneal nerve had very little sensation and was hardly working at all I could not feel the bottom of my foot.
In the beginning of January, I travelled to London to rehab with Mike Antoniades at The Movement & Running School for a week, from the 13th-18th of January. We worked for 3-4 hours per day. I also saw David Thunder for treatment.
After a biomechanical analysis we quickly discovered the inefficiencies I had in my running. But physically I wasn’t yet ready to start running. I followed Mike´s strength program along with the treatment by David for the entire week and felt huge improvements from day to day. I run for the first time in two years on the 18th of January at the Running School.
When I got home, I continued to make progress and Mike developed a plan for me for the next two weeks which included a lot of Dynamic Movement Skills – DMS to stimulate my nervous system and to start working my proprioceptive system.
To this point, I have had no setbacks and feel very little risk in the training I’m doing.
The Movement Re-Patterning methodology that Mike has developed is so fascinating and I have learnt so much about brain maps and how we use them in everything we do. Last week, 4 weeks after I started running, I began doing high jump takeoff imitations again and that shows just how much better I have gotten over the last few weeks. The trust in my ankle increases week by week and I´m starting to feel athletic again.
The sensation in the area around the scar has drastically improved over the last six weeks. Before I started rehabbing with Mike, the sensation in my peroneal nerve was almost as bad in late December as it was right after surgery in October. Looking forward to what´s ahead!
I was asked to see Erlend, a 19-year-old high jumper, when I was visiting Bergen in Norway in December 2019. He had had two major surgeries including peroneal nerve entrapment and superficial nerve entrapment surgery on 26th October 2019.
When I assessed his movement, he was understandably compensating a lot in both his walking and his day to day functional movement. He had very little sensation in his left lower limb. The first thing I taught him when I met him, was how to walk correctly to be able to load the foot and the ankle correctly. I also assessed proprioception and his interaction with the ground and gave him a DMS routine to follow to stimulate the sensors at the bottom of the feet to begin repatterning the movement maps. Erlend followed the instructions to the letter!
When he arrived in London 4 weeks later, he was ready to begin his rehabilitation. We worked for 3-4 hours per day on functional movement, the nervous system and his movement patterns , loading where necessary and appropriately and at the same time educating him in what he had to do and how his body and his brain were working and adjusting.
Erlend possesses the characteristics of a lot of elite athletes. He is determined, persistent, and has that mental strength switch, that he can apply when the brain says ”I have had enough now I am ready to stop” and he is able to by-pass the mental and physical barrier to the next level.
He has a lovely infectious personality, is very curious and wants to know why we are doing what we are doing and how that will work for him. He has an insatiable hunger for knowledge on everything to do with the brain and the body.
He ran on his 3rd day of rehab and it was a thrill for both him and the rest of the Running School team to see him move without pain. Along with the treatment he received from David Thunder every day, he got through the first phase of the rehab without any set-backs and a renewed confidence that he was going to be able to train full time and eventually compete again after 2 years of pain and two major surgeries.
I developed a rehab to performance training program for Erlend when he left for Bergen. We liaised almost daily for the next 8 weeks to ensure that the next phase of the rehab was successful. He is working under the guidance of his dad who is his coach to get competition fit.
To speak to Mike about your injury and see how we can help you, email us at email@example.com.