Well, I met my physical therapist last night and heard the words no runner wants to hear.
“So… what about running?”
“I know you don’t want to hear this, but you should probably take the rest of this week off.”
But, looking on the bright side: it’s only a week! Taking one week off is not going to make or break my training… At least, that’s what I’m telling myself so I don’t get all angst-y runner on you guys.
I was extremely impressed with this physical therapy practice. I feel kind of a LOT frustrated that I spent 8 weeks at the beginning of the year getting treated for this same pain, but ultimately it ended up just being a lot of time spent treating a symptom of the actual problem (which is why it felt better for a while… and then slowly got bad again.) I asked my current therapist, Tiffany, why my previous guy didn’t think about the fact that my piriformis pain was being caused by a overall skeletal issue, and she (in a very diplomatic way) said that no other physical therapy office in our area is as hands on with treatment as they are. Which, as far as I can tell, is totally true. With my previous therapist, I spent a lot of time doing exercises and stretches while he watched. With Tiffany, I pretty much spent the whole appointment laying on the table while she used her hands to feel and assess my muscles and joints to find the dysfunction. I realize that saying it that way sounds totally weird… I mean, yeah, this lady I just met had her hands all over my butt area. At one point I was laying on my side, leaning into her chest while she kneeled over me to feel how each of my vertebra moved and she quietly said, “… Aren’t you glad you have a female therapist?” and we both burst into laughter. So yeah, kind of awkward at first but in doing all of that she identified so many areas that are out of whack that weren’t noticed or treated before.
So what did she find? I have some impingement of my hip flexors, issues with my SI joint, my piriformis muscle is tight which is causing pain on my sciatic nerve, my entire pelvis was rotated towards the right…The list goes on. I feel like 100 year old or something with all of these hip problems. On Saturday I was running with mom and in frustration about my hip pain I said, “Why am I the one with all the issues?! YOU are the old one!!” She just laughed and shrugged her shoulders.
Tiffany said she was pretty hopeful that with regular treatment twice a week I could get back to full on training in no time. I feel hopeful too. This week is lots of yoga and cycling. I miss my marathon group already!