I went to my physiotherapist today, seeking relief from my back pain. My incredibly stiff and sore back had me angled like a 90 year old on Monday, with only modest improvement each day. I’d say I’m up to 75 year old today.

My physio, Natalie, whom I’d seen quite often last year during my ill-fated rowing campaign, is a both a magician and a torturer. She’s been the only one to discover that my chronic issues weren’t in fact back-related, but stemmed from hip misalignment, which caused back pain.

With my lower back muscles completely fired up and tense, and my pelvis very obviously out of alignment (my torso looks like it’s offset from my pelvis at the moment), I sought help. I also gave her notice that I have every intention of both a) riding in the Tour de Victoria in ten days, and b) doing whatever she says to solve this problem once and for all.

Aside from some very vigorous and painful release manoeuvres on my hip flexors, glutes and perio-somethingorothers, it was show and tell stretching time. Lots of work on pelvic alignment, stretching the hip flexors and above all, increasing core strength and stability.

That’s the name of the game, evidently: core strength. It will be my focus moving forward starting tonight. Other than reducing the number of instances where my back and hips seize up, I was told that greater core strength is fundamental in keeping your body in alignment and will make my legs feel lighter, enabling me to pedal harder for longer. Sounds like a good deal to me.

For now, no core “exercises” per se, while we let my body heal. But I foresee a lot of plank work in my future. I have two more appointments between now and next weekend. Stay tuned.

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