Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My physiotherapy experience

At the end of September I blogged about a fall I had experienced while skating. That post focused mostly on the after affects of the fall, but it seems like that actual impact itself did quite a number on my body. I'm still not one hundred percent sure that the fall lead to the subsequent problems I've experienced, but after having my first physiotherapy session it seems like a good chance. When I fell I banged my right knee and my left hip hard on the ice. I had a bump form on my hip and there's still a tiny pink mark where it hit. I took a week off from my normal running routine after this incident as I was plagued with a cold. When I got back to running, bad things started to happen. My left knee started to hurt, a lot. To the point where I feel like my knee is actually going to tear itself a part.

I visited the Health Services clinic at the U of A a week or two after the pain began. At the time I was told it was probably my IT (iliotibial) band and I should do some stretches for it. I did as I was told (although granted, perhaps not as regularly as I should have) and waited two weeks before trying to run again. The same thing happened. After about ten minutes the pain had returned and just as bad as it was before. I went back to trying the stretches and waited a further three weeks. Last Saturday Andrew and I tried to run again. We decided to try a five minute on, five minute off routine to see if easing myself back into running would help. It didn't. We agreed as we walked the rest of our route home that it was time for me to go back to the doctor.

Monday morning I headed off to Health Services and saw a second doctor. This doctor agreed with the initial assessment that it was probably my IT band and it was time to go see a physiotherapist. I set up my appointment after leaving Health Services and now I've finished my first assessment: It's my IT band. Although, instead of just in the left, it's actually tight in both hips. I suppose I should explain what the iliotibial band is. It's a large muscle that runs from the hip (why I suspect my fall may have had something to do with my current problems) to the side of the knee and also connects to the glut muscle. I've been told that my hip tends to "pop out" which pushes on the IT band and then pulls on my knee. This seems to be why I tend to only have pain while run--the constant motion builds up until it forces me to stop. The other structures of my knee are solid (yay).

I now have a specialized strengthening and stretching routine. Four different strength moves four to five times a week plus three stretching moves every day of the week. I have to go back in two weeks (just before Andrew and I head back to Ontario for Christmas) to see how things are coming along. I'm going to have to make a concerted effort make sure I go through this routine as directed. I want to make sure my IT bands get better so I can get back to running. I had hoped at the very least to run another half marathon next year, and maybe even move up to a full, plus I was toying with the idea of trying a Women's triathlon in Leduc. For now, we'll see how things go. I'll keep on with alternative forms of exercise until I'm given the go ahead to get back to running.



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