Saturday, December 16, 2006

Pinpointing the Pain

ORN: 3 miles, run/walk, considerable pain at the end

The quest continues.

On Wednesday, I had my first physical therapy appointment. The PT guy was helpful and appreciated my goals. He gave me a bunch of stretches, with two new things that I learned. First, I needed to stretch the upper, hip-end of the ITB just as much as the lower, knee-end. So, I have some new ways to yank the top end around.

Second, he told me to hold all my stretches for at least 30 seconds. He said since tendons are elastic and the objective is to lengthen the ITB so it will move around the protrusion of the femur more easily, I need to hold the stretch so that the tendon won’t recoil to the original length. So, I’m giving that a try.

And he asked me to resume running ahead of my next appointment on Monday, which will include some electrostimulation thingie to break down the adhesions.

Which leads me to today’s post. A magnificent day in Indiana, sunny and 56 at mid day. How cool to be able to run again. I was like a kid on Christmas morning all day, anxiously awaiting the chance to get out and run.

And while I didn’t exactly get a lump of coal, the pain came back very quickly.

Only 300 yards into the run, I felt the ITB along with a host of other leg-oriented complaints. The latter were related to not running for two weeks and grudgingly went away. The ITB did not. I could feel it moving back and forth across the femur protrusion on the outside of the knee. By 1.75 miles, when I involuntarily yelled in pain, I walked for a while.

And thought about this all the way back home.

I noticed that the instant I stopped running, the pain stopped. When I walked, I felt it, when I ran for a while, it just hurt badly.

For the first time, I could locate just where the pain was. But, since it doesn’t hurt when I stop, I’d forget where. So, when I got home, I make a quarter-sized circle with a Sharpie. That’ll tell the therapist guy the location.

I wore my Brooks Adrenelines today. I’m going to try my adidas Supernovas tomorrow. Does the shoe make a difference?? I just don’t know.

So, we persevere. And long for a pain-free run.


Darrell said...

Joe, it sounds like you are doing all the right things. It's too bad that patience is such a difficult skill to master.

I hope your temporary tattoo is helpful to the PT.

Anonymous said...

Ah, bummer. I like the sharpie idea though, hopefully it'll help. Now just don't wash for a few days!

Anne K. said...

Hey, Joe - the last time I colored on my knee with a black Sharpie, it was to disguise a hole in my black tights!

Love you,

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't know much, but a friend had an ITB problem, and she solved it by riding the bike for a while. Give yourself a little time, and don't rush your recovery. The warm weather is fooling us, and you ITB will heal and carry you forward...

Anonymous said...

I never would have thought to literally mark the spot. Great idea! I hope the therapy is a success for you.

Anonymous said...

Shoes absolutely make the difference. I had a friend with bad ITB and went to a local running store and was fitted properly. She finished Chicago marathon 2 weeks later.

The stability shoe she was wearing caused too much turn when stabilizing her foot. SHe switched to Mizuno.

David said...

I've come to believe that everything starts where foot meets ground so shoes will make a difference, especially if they're worn down.
I had that zapping stuff once for a shoulder problem. I guess it helped. I would venture to pronounce you in dire need of a good massage to break down the knots. It's amazingly effective.