I went to see the Chiropractor today and learned a few new things, had things confirmed and got to grit my teeth a lot.
What was confirmed?
- Lots of scar tissue throughout my legs (yep – this one I knew).
- Lack of flexibility in the hip and ankles.
- Left Achilles not where it is supposed to be
- Hamstrings tight, calves tight
What was learned?
Left Hamstring – Yes, it hurts and he did some serious work on it.
Yep, I whimpered more than a couple of times (screamed like a little girl) and tapped out on a couple of occasions, when he got a little too frisky with how deep he was digging into the hamstring. I did feel a release of the fascia a couple of times and yes it was sore after he got done and I went home and iced it. When I walked on it later, it felt better than it has been. The pain we go through to get things better.
Right Tibia – Structural Issue with my tibia being twisted, (my words here, he used more clinical terms, I am using how I understood it), so that my foot points out a bit and doesn’t align with my knee. When I told him I had worked on keeping my feet straight ahead, he recommended that I not try to force my foot to be straight when I run and that I just let it land naturally, due to the structural issue I have.
From what I gathered when he talked about it, if I attempted to keep forcing to keep the foot straight I would be at higher risk to injure something else in the chain. Hmmm I am one wondering if this might be part of the reason that my right knee and hip starts to bother me, when I attempt to run with my feet straight ahead. So I will just let that foot land naturally.
Premature heel lift-off (both feet) Probably due to my lack of flexibility and tightness in my calves and hips, my heel lifts off the ground before I finish my full gait cycle through toe-off. Which could be part of the cause for my issues with my hamstrings, calves and possibly my hips.
Yeah things are all inter-related.
Big Toe (both feet) – I have issues with the long extensors in both feet not activating correctly (hardly at all), which is negatively effecting my ability to toe-off and doesn’t help the issues with my gait. He needs to do more research to see how to effectively and appropriately treat this issue.
I have blogged before that I needed to work on my toe-off and when I talked with him about it, he wondered if I was even actually toeing off while I was running due to the premature heel-rise that I have.
Due to the issues I have with early heel lift and my long extensors not activating, one recommendation he had for me to help with this is to wear shoes with a rockered sole.
Which might explain why I ran so successfully in the Skechers and Pearl Izumi’s lately, but have had more problems (especially my hips and hamstrings) with more traditional bottomed running shoes over the past few years.
Left Achilles – yes he could see the thickening of the Achilles with scar tissue and tight calves. Will be the second thing he works on.
The Good News
- The pelvis was aligned pretty well.
- Glutes were activating appropriately
- I had good strength in my legs – running lots of miles should do that.
- The rehab program I have used by Wilk’s seems appropriate
- I can keep running up to 5.0 miles, as long as I run at a recovery pace, ice after and stay smart (okay the last one might be difficult).
Overall, I was VERY pleased with my first visit and session with the Chiropractor and look forward to seeing him again next week.Well sort of, the pain while he is treating is pretty intense, but once I get through it, I know things feel better, it is just a matter of getting through it.
The thing that I was most impressed with was that he didn’t try to bullshit me on the long extensors and what I should be doing to rehab them, he was up front that he wasn’t sure about what would be the best way to treat it and he needed to do more research first. Admitting he wasn’t sure, actually was the correct answer and made me feel better about his recommendations.
While none of these issues identified by him are earth shattering, life threatening or will stop me from running, finding out more about them and learning things like the twist in the tibia, premature heel lift and non-activating long extensors are important things to know to improve my running, so I can run more pain-free – eventually.
Getting the process started to figuring out the next steps is the reason I wanted to got to see someone who specializes working with athletes, even one with Aging Athlete Syndrome.
This visit was a definite good first step.