Thursday, August 1, 2013

Injuries and Answers

I have been dealing with sore IT Bands for a few months and no matter how much rest were not getting completely better. Then in the last month my feet started hurting. There was pain on my navicular and my arches were hurting and I'd take several days off and then try a short (like 2 mile) run and all the aches and pains would come back with a vengeance.

I was getting frustrated. Not only could I not run, but what was causing all this? I had never been this injury prone in my 11 years of running. I didn't know if it could be the shoes...or having my third baby...or what. I bought Anatomy For Runners by Jay Dicharry which has been a huge resource and from what I learned in the book, I came to the conclusion that I needed the help of a professional to diagnose and help me come up with a treatment plan.

I wasn't exactly sure who I wanted to see. I wasn't sure who would be able to best help me and I didn't want to spend time hopping around finding someone. I really appreciate the alternative care of a chiropractor, but wasn't sure if they could really help me. I considered a physical therapist, but wasn't sure who to see and if a chiropractor could help, the treatment is often quicker. So I researched sports chiropractors. I couldn't really find anything local, but I ran across a place two hours away that looked extremely promising. They appeared to specialize in sports injuries by combining chiropractic care with physical therapy and were all licensed in Active Release Technique. But the thing that appealed the most to me was that they appeared to stay very up-to-date on research and would discard practices that were proven not to be effective.

My husband wasn't very thrilled at first with having to travel, but I convinced him that I thought it was my best option and he agreed to let me make an appointment. I called Friday afternoon and had an appointment for Monday afternoon with one of the four doctors, all the time praying I made the right decision.

Friday evening we had a friend's birthday party and other friends from the town where my appointment was were there and I was talking to them and the conversation went something like this:
ME: Hey, I'll be in Lincoln Monday.
FRIEND: What are you doing in Lincoln?
ME: I have an appointment at a chiropractor.
FRIEND: Which one?
ME: tell them the name
FRIEND: I LOVE it there. They are awesome!

I was feeling a bit more confident as they assured me that they were good.

I had always wanted a runner to treat me, because only runners get other runners. And it turned out that I was given an appointment with the only runner in the office (I did not know this ahead of time! I love it when God does things like this).

Basically he was awesome and completely understood my need to get to the root cause of my injuries and get back to running as soon as possible.

He had me do all sorts of stretches and movements to evaluate my weaknesses and concluded that I was lacking stabilization in my hips. It was apparent when I would do a one legged squat, my knee would dive in. And to paraphrase Jay Dicharry: Running is essentially a series of one legged squats with a flight phase. So there you have, because of my weak hips, my knee was diving in and causing problems with my IT Bands and then my ankles and feet. This is a common problem among women because of the tendency to have weak glutes and the musculoskeletal structure is more lax and Dicharry recommends hip strengthening for all women regardless of injury history.

My doctor is confident that strengthening my hips will help with all the injuries I have been experiencing and gave me two different exercises to do everyday for two weeks until I go back to see him. He also did ART on my IT Bands and feet for pain relief and to break up any scar tissue that may have formed. I'm not supposed to run this week but can start back slowly next week.

Even though I am not running now, I feel so much lighter now that I know what the issue is. I am diligently doing my exercises and am reminded of the extra importance of strength training for runners (especially after pregnancy!)

Praise the Lord for answers! And now I'm excited to start over and do this the right way.

What injuries have you dealt with and how did you resolve them?
Have you even had ART done on you?
How do you incorporate strength training into your training plan?


  1. I'm finally catching up on my blog reading, and so happy to see you're getting answers! It's awesome that you have a plan of action and a medical professional that you trust-so important! I started going to a chiropractor when I was pregnant and have continued to go ever since. My body has never felt or moved better! :)

    1. I love chiropractors! It's amazing how having something out of place can make everything hurt. I just wish it weren't so expensive so I could go more often.

  2. If you have IT band problems, you should get a foam roller! It is a way to do scar tissue release at home and is wayyy cheaper than going to a chiropracter. This article is actually great: It walks you through hips strengthening exercises and how to use a foam roller. I had ITB problems on both sides and now I just foam roll when I can tell they are starting to get sore!

    1. Thanks! My biggest reason to go to a professional was to get to the root cause and now I know it, I'll definitely be doing it at home. I have a foam roller and I think we're going to be BFFs from now on :)