Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Injury Update: Almost a year later to get to good news

Back in January, I had exchanged some emails with the Brian Hill, president of Rehab United, about how to deal with a leg length discrepancy, based on the theories that were developed this past fall.  I basically told him that 24 (freakin!) sessions of PT was a step in the right direction, but wasn't where I thought I'd be - especially having tried ART and Acupuncture as well. He offered to take a second look, and I took him up on this offer.

Shortly before my first meeting with Brian, Ryan posted this link, and this just struck a chord with me.  I know that it is the internet and all, but it really seemed related to the types of issues I had been experiencing.  I remained cautiously optimistic that things might actually make sense.

I met with Brian one afternoon, and after a mere 15 minutes of some observations and tests, he said that he doubts that I have a leg length discrepancy, and that the core of the issue is some extremely tight hip flexors [psoas to you non-physiology folk], and possibly a tight Iliacus that was causing my pelvis to become twisted in a 3D manner.  The image that really brought it all together for me (I'm a visual person, so I need to "see" this to believe it) was the one from the link Ryan posted.  Looking at the pelvic anatomy how the psoas connect from your femur to the lower lumbar (and everything in between), once those bad boys get tight, it can wreak havoc!

He quickly rigged up a contraption that compensates for tight hip flexors, and immediately, all my tests pointed to zero pelvic tilt.  He prescribed some stretches and some rather dynamic exercises, and we scheduled a follow up appointment for 2 weeks.  within those 2 weeks, I made arguably more progress than I had in 2 months of PT during the fall.  Immediately, the stoke factor was through the roof!
So, how and why the tight hip flexors?  I doubt that I could point to one thing, but riding in the aero position for hours on end, running long distance, not stretching the right areas enough and sitting too much are probably the main culprits.  Ironically, it was the right psoas that caused the left knee bursitis/ITBS I dealt with last year.  Go figure.

I realized the other day that having been injured on 1-MAY of last year, this entire process took nearly a %@#$ YEAR to get fixed!  I won't lie, it has been a total energy, time, financial and emotional suck.  But committed I remain to the end goal, and so I press on.  Certainly there were lessons of perseverance learned along the way, along with never give up, no matter what crazy theories and statements ("maybe PT isn't right for you") people throw your way.  No one knows your body better than you, so don't let them tell you what is right, and what is wrong, no matter how many letters they have after their name showing how many certifications they've earned, if it doesn't sit right.

I also want to thank some good friends, fellow dream crushers, who don't accept the status quo in life, that helped along the way.  Frank who, from the east coast, offered advice and videos of rehabbing ITBS, Shawn having always lent an ear, James J and his advice and opinions, Tawnee for giving some pointers and opinions on rehab, Matt, who while across the pond, I can still chat with as if he was driving me across the US, James W with his constant positive comments, Trevor who has "been there" and giving me some recommendations of things to try and also offering encouragement, Slater for inspiring with extreme dream crushing and recommending Doreen (she's awesome!) for specific, "hands on" yoga to release those psoas, and Toby, who "gets" that when you do things like RAAM and 100 mile runs, its hard to find that next adventure that offers the right balance of challenge, experience, adventure that raises the bar.  And of course my family and girlfriend Michelle who had to deal with some frustrations and crankiness on my part!

I do have a few things that I am working to keep those psoas limber so that the next time I see Bryan, it will be either doing a strength session, or having a beer - NOT doing PT!

1 comment:

TRIFishy said...


My name is Gena and I work for a tri store online. I happened upon your blog and enjoyed reading about racing in your life. Good to hear you're healing and can get back to where you want to be! An injury can be incredibly mentally draining. Anyway, I am contacting you to see if you are interested in a simple sponsorship. Please let me know at sponsorships@onetri.com. I just wanted to note that you have been selected as you met our specific guidelines. If you are interested just send me a quick note and I’ll send you more details about the potential sponsorship.

Safe and Happy Training.