Freya's Story

After suffering chronic pain in her leg — and unsuccessful diagnoses of the injury — Freya had almost lost hope at finding the cause of it. It was stopping her from training and ultimately keeping her from her goal; her half Ironman Triathlon!

I had been suffering from pain in my left hamstring for 15 months, which meant I couldn’t run and even walking was uncomfortable. Two previous physios had failed to find the source of the pain, and continued to suggest strength work even though we were not making any progress after several months. Although the pain wasn’t severe, it was constant and had caused me to give up all training apart from cycling, which I found tough as an active 26 year old and keen runner.

A friend recommended I see Physiotherapist, Tim, who specialised in leg and ankle injuries.

Tim was brilliant and took a holistic approach. He suggested I try to get my eczema under control to prevent inflammation, and built in acupuncture alongside dynamic stretches and strength work. Before long Tim and I found a suspicious bony lump on my lower left hamstring. It was hard to locate because it was only noticeable when my leg was at a right angle meaning examinations when lying down masked the lump completely. 

Naturally, I was quite worried at this unknown lump and Tim immediately suggested I see Dr Noake, a Consultant in Sport, Exercise & Musculoskeletal Medicine (SEM) at Pure Sports Medicine (PSM). The escalation process was fantastic and I can’t thank Tim and Dr Noake enough. Dr Noake saw me that day for an ultrasound and referred me for an MRI. Dr Noake found that the lump was a bone spur. It was affecting my sciatic nerve, meaning the nerve couldn’t glide smoothly and instead sent pain up my leg. The diagnosis immediately made sense and matched the feelings I was having of pain moving’ around my hamstring. 

Dr Noake kindly referred me to a specialist peripheral nerve Orthopaedic Consultant who decided it was sensible to have the bone spur removed. Tim was supportive and provided strength exercises to do in the build up to surgery in January 2020

After three months of rest following the operation, in April 2020 I was given the all clear to train again. Tim and I worked together remotely over Zoom to build strength into my leg again with regular check-ins should anything flare up. We started a run/​walk programme, which was really exciting having not run for 20 months. Tim proactively liaised with my coach, to ensure the rehab complimented the training schedule. With the help of PSM and my coach, by August 2020 I was strong enough to complete my first half ironman triathlon. The race finished with a half marathon, with the highlight running a new PB for this distance during the race. 

I can’t thank Tim, Dr Noake and PSM enough for their support, expertise and guidance over the last 18 months. Coming to the clinic was the best decision I made, and I am so grateful for their hard work in helping me make a full recovery and achieve my 70.3 dream.