10 Apr Let’s Talk Sartorius (Guest Post by Diane)
After running for 24 years one can expect the occasional injury. As a new runner I had made all the usual mistakes—running too far, running too fast. The camaraderie of my running peers and the release of endorphins made me feel like a young calf being let out of the barn in the Spring. There was no holding me back.
Over the years you would think I’d learn, but no. I was a repeat visitor to physiotherapy and the massage table.
First Achilles, then hamstring, then the other hamstring, and oh, the nasty little piriformis. The hip flexors, the calf, the glutes, they all came calling, often more than once.
I explored exercise for fitness, health benefits, body toning,and also to maintain good posture. One can don a lovely tailored outfit and enter a room with sartorial flair – with the grace of a swan gliding smoothly down a stream.
But when the Sartorius muscle is compromised things decline quickly.
‘Get Hip to the Facts’:
- The Sartorius muscle is the longest muscle in the entire body. It arises from the anterior superior iliac spine on the lateral edge of the hip bone. From the lateral hip, it descends obliquely across the hip joint and thigh, running medially and inferiorly toward the medial edge of the knee.
- Long and thin, the Sartorius muscle spans the distance of the thigh. It originates at a bony projection on the uppermost part of the pelvis and travels to the upper shaft of the tibia, or shinbone. It functions as an important flexor and rotator of the thigh at the hip joint.
The Sartorius muscle came to my attention several years ago when I was participating in the 24-hour Simcoe Shores Relay. Travelling 240 km from Barrie to Orillia, to Midland and Wasaga Beach and ending in Collingwod – an area with modest mountains that provide a hilly route for the runners.
By the end of my run (30k over 24 hours), I was developing a severe pain and could easily have quit. No fanfare at the Finish Line for me. It would simply be the joy of finishing and hearing teammates call out my name.
Back home it was time to explore possible solutions for my injury. Fellow runners suggested A.R.T. (Active Release Therapy). In spite of the intense agony I recall from the treatment, A.R.T., plus rest, helped. ‘Listen to your body; take time off to recover.’ We all know this but runners have a tough time complying.
At 67 I’m still cultivating this mindset. My coach, Michelle Clarke, recognizes it in me. She tirelessly continues to believe, I too, can learn. We have been getting to know each other through workouts, injuries, and races. Sometimes she surprises me with her expectations; sometimes I’m surprised that she has more insight into my ability than I do myself. Working with other coaches and athletes, she has the opportunity to learn from many experiences. I am so grateful she continues to share her learnings with me.