Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Physical Therapy: Euphemism for Torture?

I've had this nagging pain in my left foot, and a recurring issue with my hip, and then there's the chronic back pain.  (Welcome to Being Over Thirty-Five, right?)

I went to my doc a while back to check on things, my biggest concern being the potential for developing a stress fracture in my foot.  I figured I can expect to live with the back pain but once he suggested a physical therapist, I decided to make sure and get help from them on the hip and back pain as well.

My first visit was last Wednesday, right before heading out of town for work.

Overall, the diagnosis is that I need to develop a LOT more flexibility in my hip flexors and my calves.  (And that the high heels I favor are not helping.)  I also need to build strength in my hip flexors.  The PT, Josh, did a whole lot of muscle massage before having me do some specific stretches to work on these area. He took some photos (definitely the MOST FLATTERING photos EVER taken of me!) of the various stretches and whatnot that he wanted me to work on as my "homework" and sent them to me.  By the time I left, my back, at least, was completely pain-free.  I bought a foam roller on the way home and I've been doing these a couple of times a day ever since.

I went back yesterday for my second visit.  Uh, let's just say the Gloves Are Off!  I had Josh working on me and then an intern.  They had me do three new exercises, MUCH harder than the stretches I've been doing, and really worked me over.  This was no massage; this was a beating!  They did clear me to do cardio and strength training after my appointment, just avoid the legs.  So I hit the gym and hopped on the bike for 20 minutes and then did arms, back and core work, NO LEG WORK.  Josh warned me I would be feeling it today, and he was right.  It felt dangerous to walk around the office - I worried my hip may actually dislodge from its socket if I wasn't careful.  

I was worried about trying to run after work but decided to give it a try.  I decided to just go by feel, not have any set distance or time, just try some intervals and walk whenever necessary.  It went okay.  Coty and I walked our normal half-mile to start, then tried some 2-minute running intervals.  My hips felt... weird, but alright.  My calves were another story.  They were so tight I had trouble WALKING once I started running, but when I was running, they just BURNED.  This was a tough workout, and it only lasted 30 minutes!  

I have another appointment tomorrow and we'll see how it goes from there.  I sure hope I'll be able to run Steamboat - just 10 days away!  It's only 4 miles, and I was just thinking this morning about how if this lovely weather holds out, I ought to be able to finish around 48 minutes this year, even if I take a walk-break half-way through.  (And yes, I checked my race history and that would be a 3-minute PR.... I want to keep my streak going!)

On that note, I gotta go stretch and make friends with my foam roller.

Oh one more thing:  weigh-in on Sunday was a plus:  down 0.2 lbs! First loss in a while, so I was pretty happy about it, even though it's basically a goose-egg.

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