Join me as I travel around the country to fulfill my goal of running a marathon or half marathon in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Momma Always Told Ya' Not To Slouch...Lessons From My First PT Appointment

I paid $185 to learn how to properly get up from a chair. Ha, I'm kidding, I learned way more than that and really thought my first physical therapy appointment was worth it, but "how to sit up" was seriously one of the things we went over. If you're new here, I started having bad hip pain during training for my first marathon when I got to higher mileage (around mile 17).

Here's the 411:

The Bad: His ears perked up when he heard me say that over the last month my pain had switched from being only in my left hip to also being in my left lower back. He did a few tests and determined that it was most likely a nerve issue, especially due to the fact that icing and foam rolling weren't really helping much. One of the tests was kinda weird: I sat on the table with my feet dangling and he had me point my big toe toward the sky. I tried as hard as possible to keep my toe up while he pushed down on it. My right toe happened to be way stronger than my left. This showed him it was something affecting my whole lower left side (in my mind I'm freaking out at this point thinking "ahh!! it's spreading all over my body!").

The Good: We most likely identified what the problem is. We also did a few exercises/stretches targeted for backs and hips for 20 minutes. One of them was me lying down on the table (imagine the position of someone about to do sit-ups). He sat on my feet and put his hands behind my knees and pulled for a few minutes. He then re-did the "big toe test" and guess what? My left big toe was already stronger! He was really optimistic about the fact that I had improved within 20 minutes. He also commented about my posture while we were just sitting there talking about running. I openly admitted that my posture is atrocious. I'm fairly tall for a woman - about 5'8" but you would never know it if you saw me sitting in a chair because I slouch SO BAD. He said I definitely need to work on that to strengthen the muscles in my back. I honestly don't even realize I'm doing it, so I made it a point to correct myself everytime I found myself slouching at work on Friday. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I had to correct my posture 30 times! This is going to be a challenge, but it will be worth it.

The End Result: Will I run my first marathon on April 30th? Yup. Will I run it without pain? Probably not, but I really don't think anyone is pain-free on their first full. This appointment was never about whether to race Nashville or not; it was simply about trying to race it with a little less pain than I'm having now. I think with the help of my physical therapist that is going to be totally realistic.

However, I don't think drinking a 1/2 liter of German beer with co-workers is going to help my hip. Whoops!

As for my giveaway, I cannot tell you much I have laughed this week. I was having a tough week at work, but your pictures made it SO much better. I hope you guys are ready for the day I announce the winner b/c the pics are going to crack you up. In my book you are all amazing runners and extremely brave to share these pictures :)

Hope everyone is having a great weekend and that you're "Livin' a little" :

13 comments:

ashley (redonk runner) said...

yuck!!! it's always upsetting to find there is an issue with your body that affecting running plans, but super awesome that the PT made you a little better in just 20min. good luck on the next few weeks! :)

2011 Resolutions said...

Awesome on your PT appointment...it is always nicer to see that it isn't as bad as you might have thought!

I am 5'8" also and definitely need to work on my posture for sure and I constantly slouch lol

theAlmostRunner said...

Girl, what's the date of the Nashville Rock N Roll? Maybe I can come up and meet up with ya!

Summer Brooke said...

Hmmmm I am also 5'8 and have bad sitting posture maybe there is a connection between the height and slouchness =) Best of luck on your race!

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

All those weird tests that physical therapists do are so interesting!! It's crazy how much they know how to manipulate the body. You better believe I'm going to be trying to give myself that toe test! haha

Glad to hear it seems to have helped already! Here's to it continuing to do so.

Julia said...

this post made me a little more positive for my doc appt this week! I have been having hip pain and am so scared to go because I don't want to be told I CANT run my first marathon. eek. hoping for the best :)

Hate that you are having that pain but definitely thinking about you and hoping that the PT is the key to helping you decrease it for your race!!

Jennifer said...

I'm glad to hear it's not a horrible issue going on and that you can fix it easily! And beer ALWAYS helps injuries, or at least that's what my liver tells me :)

Pam said...

Glad you had a good PT experience! Hope things continue to get lots better!!

Richelle said...

I'm a big fan of PT, and I'm glad to hear that it's been helping you. It's so amazing what physical therapists know!

Alyssa said...

Yay! I'm so relieved you are running your first marathon! Glad to know the appt was worth it, and sounds like that beer will help too. In my experience, 26.2 and pain free are not synonymous so I think you'll be good.

Annette@(running)In the Right Direction said...

I'm going to PT also for a close call on a stress fracture. Its good to see that you are still running the marathon! Very motivating for me...mine is in September...
Darn..I missed a giveaway...look forward the pictures!?

Mike said...

Hm. Now you have me wanting to know which big toe is stronger. The right or the left?

Samantha said...

Before the exercises my toe on the side of the bad hip (left) was weaker. After the exercises they were about the same.