On Thursday 9th June, Aston Clinton resident and Elite Physical Medicine client Ruth Nash began an 80 mile walk along Britain’s oldest road, The Ridgeway. Starting in Swindon and finishing 4 days later at Florence Nightingale Hospice Offices in Aylesbury.

Written by: Amy Knight

Long distance walk

An 80 mile walk for a very special man

For Ruth, every step of this epic trek will be made in memory of her father, Greg ‘Higgy’ Alder. A strong runner into his 60s, and Tring Squash Club regular, Higgy sadly passed away in January from a rare form of spinal cancer.

Ruth and her Dad, Greg

Over the last 4 months, Ruth and fellow fundraiser Jenni O’Callaghan have walked nearly 500 miles in preparation for the challenge. The gruelling training, which was emotionally tough under the circumstances, was made harder for Ruth due to a knee injury she acquired.

Feeling the friction

After a sudden increase in hill training, Ruth developed iliotibial band friction syndrome, an “overuse injury” which is common in runners and endurance athletes. She suffered considerable pain over the outside of her knee, where the tissue that crosses the bone had become overloaded.

Fortunately, Ruth has been receiving treatment from Elite Physical Medicine, who used Ultrasound imaging to detect the thickening of Ruth’s iliotibial band and a collection of fluid deep to this tissue.

Ultrasound knee injury

The primary goal of treatment was to settle Ruth’s symptoms so she could continue training. Soft tissue release, analgesia, K taping and practical advice – such as incorporating walking poles and reducing stride length on downhills - all helped to reduce her pain.

In anticipation of the fundraising challenge. Ruth also received a guided steroid injection to further reduce her symptoms. Ruth has been diligently following a strengthening programme alongside her training, which will ramp up once her challenge for Florence Nightingale Hopice is complete. This will ensure a long term solution by addressing her hip strength and optimising her biomechanics.

Thanks all round

Ruth has publicly praised the amazing care team at the Florence Nightingale Hospice, who were “so kind, supportive and, above all got dad’s pain under control, which allowed us to share one last Christmas as a family."

Florence Nightingale Hospice is more than a Hospice, and this is more than just a challenge. Completing the 80 mile walk - 20 miles each day for 4 days - will be a mental and physical push.

The brave trekker also thanked the Elite team for making it possible for her to accomplish the 80-mile feat in her Dad’s memory. She said; "I want to give a big shout out to Andy at Elite Physical Medicine who is helping my knee get through the training!"

Andy's orders

Elite's Director Andy McCrea described Ruth's approach to the challenge. “In our first session Ruth made it perfectly clear that she was completing this challenge “NO MATTER WHAT” !!  Ruth is the perfect patient, she is uber determined and committed to following her exercise plan.

She has followed advice, rested when appropriate and ramped up her training in a controlled, sensible manner.


To follow Ruth's progress and contribute to the fundraising efforts, please visit her Just Giving Page:

Ruth Nash is fundraising for Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity (justgiving.com)

I wish Ruth all the very best this weekend and have no doubt she will not only smash it but enjoy it as well!!