As I’ve discussed before here and here, I have been dealing with a disc injury. What at first I assumed was a hamstring strain, was actually a full blown relapse of an injury I first dealt with last year. It’s been 8 weeks since the onset and I think I am recoverying well.
To manage the pain and increase my core and low back strength, I started PT 2 weeks ago. At this point, I am only going once a week but it is helping tremendously. And more importantly, I’m also doing the PT exercises at home. I would say I complete them daily about 90% of the time which I’m calling a #goldstar. During my initial PT eval, the imbalance of strength from the afflicted side to the other was startling. My therapist noted that she was able to use very little power to push against the muscles on my right (bad) side versus the left which did not have any signs of weakness. I knew that this was a factor based on other symptoms, but after the muscle testing, I was left without a doubt that had I continued to run during the acute phase, I was more than likely setting myself up for further injury due to the imbalance.
She also reiterated the exercises to reduce back pain when it occurs. I think the primary triggers of pain are deadlifting, long car rides, and my office chair. I also was re educated on the disease/recovery process itself and in particular, the notion that the pain will centralize and move up back in to my upper leg and back as I am healing. I’m happy to say that the pain in my calf and ankle, in addition to the numbness is all subsiding. I ran a total of 3.1 miles in June and I did a few 800 meter sprints at my gym. I haven’t done any running whatsoever in 2 1/2 weeks including running during metcons at EpiqX. And while I do miss being out on the trails terribly, I am comfortable with my current fitness regimen and am working pretty damn hard at it which has helped me to cope.
Last week i finally went for an MRI. After two weeks of insurance related delays, I finally was approved. The MRI results showed exactly what was expected – two annular tears and two small protrusions-all in the location consistent with my pain. Interestingly, my MD gave me the go ahead to attempt a short 5-10 minute run, however I haven’t done so just yet. I think I want to be absolutely sure that I am good to begin again, so I plan to discuss it with my PT today. Side note, I did not know I had claustrophobia until I went into an MRI tube-those things are tiny!
It’s funny because despite injuries being pretty common with running, I’ve also had my fair share at the gym just in the last few weeks. Here’s a snippet of this week:
Monday: bloody lip after catching a wall ball with my face
Tuesday: bloody knee due to friction burn after 150 knee push ups
Wednesday: bruised chest after hitting self with barbell
Thursday: rest day thank god. No injuries
Friday: dropped a barbell with what I thought were round smooth bumper plates. Turned out it was not round and it “bounced” into my leg leaving a nice bruise on my ankle.
Thankfully, these were all rather laugh inducing and not serious in any way! But yes, I am clearly not the savviest person in the gym 🙂
Goal now is to string together a few pain free days and head out for a run!!