I never intended to write posts recapping my injury recovered, but then again, I never thought I’d be out for 5 weeks going on what feels like forever. These posts will mostly be for me–to see my progress on paper, so that I don’t feel like “OMG the world is over! I’m making ZERO improvements. Woe is meeee.”, but hopefully they will also help someone who might be dealing with the same thing. But remember, I’m not a doctor, so if I say _____ works for me, you should not take that as me giving you medical advice. I mean, I love to give advice and tell people what to do, but I’m not even close to being qualified to do so, unless you count being bossy as a qualification.
The backstory (abbrev version): I developed ITBS (probably) in mid December, and it got like a billion times worse after my durring/after my marathon.
What is ITBS? It looks like IBS, but it’s not. I’m not sure which one is less fun, but I’m glad I don’t have both, because that would be confusing. Essentially, my IT band is inflamed, and when I bend/straighten my leg, it rubs up against my knee cap causing a a feeling I would compare to someone stabbing me in the knee, but that’s only a speculation. Here is an article with more info if you’re interested.
What’s been happening: I got an xray and an MRI, and everything came back clean. I’ve been taking prescription anti-inflammatories, doing pt, seeing a chiropractor who also does acupuncture and ART (active release therapy), sports massage, yoga, lots of stretching/foam rolling/strengthening.
Progress so far: After the marathon, my pain level was off the charts. Walking, and bending/straightening my leg at all seemed impossible. The limp is now 95% gone, although on bad days, walking is still painful. Things like squats feel fine now, but lunges don’t. Elliptical and bike still hurt–especially later in the day. If I walk too much, or do too much of anything, after I sit down for a bit, everything kind of tightens up, and bending/straightening becomes really painful again.
This past week:
Monday: Physical therapy. Exercises/stretching/astym/electrical stim.
Tuesday: Dr D. (the chiro/acupuncture/art guy) & yoga. Dr. D did all of those things he does. He also found a really tight spot in my calf that he thinks might be contributing to the problem. He dug fingers and needles into my body, and I grunted. It was cute. Yoga and most strength training are pretty much the only work outs that don’t effect my injury. I’m trying to learn to love yoga. It’s a process. I enjoy the poses, and the part where my muscles get tired and I sweat, but I am not a huge fan of the mental part. Shocking, right? I’m also not a fan of savasanah. All I can do is think of the million other more productive things I could be doing opposed to lying on the floor trying to “relax”. It’s not my style.
Wednesday: Massage. Not the fun relaxing kind. She did some heat/icey thing on my calf where Dr. D had pointed out that things were messed up. I may have yelled out some 4 letter words in the process.
Thursday: PT & yoga. New harder exercises/stretching/astym at PT. Yoga was yoga.
Friday: Dr. D + 15 min on the elliptical. Dr D did his thing, and I was actually feeling pretty good. I’d had a couple really good days in a row where WALKING DIDN’T HURT. I was so excited. I tested out the elliptical. I had done it as a warm up in PT on Thurs for 10 minutes, and for the first 2 it hadn’t hurt, then it only hurt a little. I was hopeful. This day it hurt the entire time, but in a dull way, not a stabbing way. I was happy.
Saturday: 25 min elliptical + 30 min strength training. My knee didn’t hurt for the first 10 minutes of the elliptical, then was again just a dull pain. I went straight into some strength training, felt great, got super sweaty for the first time in a long time, and was on top of the moon. Then, that afternoon the pain was back, and hurt like it did 2 weeks ago. Total bummer.
Sunday: Rest. I wanted to test out spin class, but my knee still hurt when I woke up, so I took a rest day, and moped about how my progress earlier in the week had only led me to taking 1o steps back.
This week I plan to do less. Dr. D suggested that I may be over treating, and that I keep pushing the irritated area, but never give it time to actually heal. I am also going to try out a more running-specific physical therapist. It’s tough because I’ve been going to the same place for a long time, and had a lot of luck treating my achilles tendons, but I feel like I need a second opinion from someone who actually runs. I’ll let ya know how it goes!