Staying Pain Free

You got a chance to read my recap of the Gazelle Girl 1/2 Marathon the other day and, as I mentioned, I was happy to have finished without the injuries that plagued me during the 1/2 marathons that I ran last year.

Rewind to a few weeks prior to race day.

I had been experiencing some weird hip pain during my training. I noticed that every time I bent down to stretch my right quad my hip would pop in/out of place. Not ideal. Nothing that hurt during running, but it would be sore later that night. It was definitely nothing that I’d experienced before. I took a few weeks to try to understand what was happening, and focused on stretching really well before and after my run to see if it helped. Unfortunately, not such luck.

I had a few friends from work recommend a chiropractor in the area, so I decided to check it out. I had been to my medical doctor a few times last year for IT band, knee and foot pain and the recommendation that I was receiving was basically rest, ice and take some pain killers. Overall it wasn’t terrible advice, but I didn’t want to just keep taking medicine to mask the pain. I decided to try the chiropractor because I figured if I went in for a consultation and didn’t get a good vibe I could just not go back and try out something else.

I went in for my consultation and, after some x-rays, I was told that my hips were out of alignment. What the doctor was saying did match what my medical doctor had told me about a year ago, which was that there was a muscle imbalance between my quads and calves and my knees were taking the brunt of the imbalance. He recommended an 11-week plan of adjustments to re-align my hips. I decided to take a few days to think about it, and had the Gazelle Girl 1/2 on Sunday (my appointment was on a Friday), and wanted to see how I felt after the race.

Post-race my right IT-band did bother me, but it was only right after the race and I woke up the next morning without any problems. As I continued to train for the Riverbank 25k, I had noticed some pain developing in my right calf/shin/Achilles- honestly, I couldn’t really tell where the pain was originating from.

I started to get EXTREMELY frustrated and had a decision to make: either suffer through the summer as I trained for my full marathon in October, or try to be as proactive as possible and give the chiropractor a shot. The thought of training all summer and potentially not being able to cross the finish line (or even make it to the starting line for that matter) was just not an option for me, so I knew what I had to do.

I’m happy to report that my knees have been doing great and other than having really uncomfortable ‘growing pain’ type symptoms in my hips after the first few adjustments things have been going great. He said that my weird leg pain after the 1/2 was probably due to the fact that a) I didn’t train outside all winter and then ran a 13.1 mile hilly course and then b) It was freezing cold at the start and my muscles probably had to work too hard before warming up enough.

I’ll talk a little more about my weird leg pain (technical term) in the coming posts, but I was able to successfully run Riverbank with absolutely NO pain afterward, so there’s a happy ending in sight and my confidence is high that this whole chiropractor thing is working. Obviously, everyone’s body is different, but for me it’s been a great choice thus far.

No pics of the chiropractor yet, but here’s one of me from yesterday. I needed that beautiful green angel-mermaid to get me through the day! 😉


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