Nedd Brockmann's Shocking 3900km Injuries Men's Health Magazine Australia

The Shocking Injuries Nedd Brockmann Battled Through To Run 3900km 

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the feats of Nedd Brockmann, it’s to never bet against him. But as his Physio explains, “This is the most insane thing I have ever seen in my career.”

It’s hard to believe that little over a week has passed since Bondi turned into a welcoming home party for 23-year-old Nedd Brockmann, the likes of which is only seen on New Year’s Eve. Along the promenade and streets, fans of Nedd’s journey gathered in droves to not only cheer him to the finish line, but acknowledge the incredible feat of endurance he’d achieved in running some 3,900 kilometres from Cottesloe to Bondi and inspiring the world in the process. 

Since crossing the finish line, Nedd Brockmann has raised 2.5 million for We Are Mobilise, with the funds being used to directly combat the crisis of homelessness in the country. Though the cause was certainly a worthwhile and important one, the story of Nedd’s run was also captivating in its own right as he continued to push the limits of human potential and defy all expectation. Daily, he posted updates to his social media, often detailing the nature of the day’s run with trucks blasting along the blacktopped freeway or headwinds pushing him backwards with each stride. 

But as many can acknowledge, there were moments throughout the run where it seemed Nedd might finish a broken man, where the finish might see him crawl over the line rather than run to it. Though Nedd gave some indication of battling through injuries, he never focused on them entirely but now, with the permission of his Physio and founder of The Running Room, Alex Bell, we can now understand just how driven the mind of Nedd’s is as he pushed through extensive pain. 

It’s impossible to comprehend the mental and physical suffering Nedd endured out there on the road, and while Bell has only given one part of the injuries, it makes for a shocking list, elevating Nedd’s triumphant run to new heights. Here’s everything we know about the injuries Nedd endured on his cross-country run. 

Prior to Nedd Brockmann’s Record Run

Just weeks out from embarking on the run across Australia, Nedd experienced runner’s knee in both knees, as well as shin pain with “mild bone stress in the tibia (shin bone) detected on MRI,” according to Bell.

Day 3

Just three days into the run, Bell said he noticed swelling in Nedd’s knees for which they used a “topical anti-inflammatory treating the surrounding musculature and mobilising the knee cap as well as a joint on the outside of leg (proximal tibiofibular joint)” to help with the discomfort. 

With the significant mileage he was clocking, Nedd also suffered from calf issues early on his left side, and Bell recalls using some heel lifts in Nedd’s shoes “to reduce the amount of dorsiflexion (bend) in his ankle to reduce the loading on the calf.”

Over the next few days however, the worst was yet to come and Bell began to notice “the bottom part of Nedd’s right anterior tibia or the bottom of his shine bone becoming increasingly more swollen. This swelling was severe and extended into the top of the foot. So much so that his shoes no longer fit and we had to opt for the next size up and we laced his shoes in a different way to avoid compression of the tendons.”

As Bell recalls, “This swelling was severe in nature and was extremely sore to touch – I can still recall the sounds of Nedd screaming when it was palpated, or when his foot moved unexpectedly taking off his shoes.”

Day 12

Back in Sydney at this time, Bell received a call from Nedd Brockmann’s team who told him Nedd couldn’t run. His injuries were so severe at this point that Nedd was unable to pick up his foot and was planning instead to walk until 1am to finish the required daily kilometre quota. Though Nedd told Bell he was going to simply push on until the wheels fell off, they convinced him to cap his mileage at 42.2km that day. 

Meanwhile, Bell made a number of calls as he looked to get Nedd into an MRI (a difficult task when you’re half way across the Nullabor). After finding one, Nedd’s team drove him the 13 hours to Whyalla, and then back. As Bell explains: “An ultrasound guided injection followed – one injection into the tibias anterior tendon sheath and one into the extensor digitorum tendon sheath. If you ever have to have this done, it’s not pleasant.”

Sports doctor Dr David Samra suggested used a ductus band which is a type of neurological brace that attaches around the ankle “with a rubber band that attaches to your laces,” and assists in pulling your toe upwards. Though patients are typically ordered to rest for three days after a cortisone injection to let the site settle, Nedd had to push on. As Bell explains, “This is the most insane thing I have ever seen in my career…He drove back from Whyalla – a 13 hour drive to get back at 3am. He had a 2 hour sleep and then proceeded to knock out a 100km run.”

“Yes, you read that right. 100km run after having a cortisone injection some 13 hours prior and driving through the night to just start hammering. Just let that sink in for a minute and then prepare for your mind to be blown again. In the week following Nedd’s scan and cortisone injection he went on to run 675km in the 7 days following – that is an average of 96.42 kms per day after being in crippling pain and not being able to lift his foot.”

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