Thursday, August 30, 2012

So, a runner goes to the chiropractor Part II

I have been going to a chiropractor since mid July. After having pain for long enough, I decided to give it a try. This post talked about my symptoms, the initial exam, prognosis and plan. I was a little skeptical that I needed to go THREE times a week. Come on. Really? I can barely get myself out the door for work, let alone keep three appointments a week! Alas, it was close to where I was teaching summer school, so I mostly stuck with it. Boy did I need it.

The exam went through a series of steps. First, I would lay face down and the doctor would feel my spine, ask how I was feeling, and see what the status of my messed up back was. Next, he would ask me how my running was going, pain during and after, and how my hamstrings were doing (They had begun to tighten, a possible result of lower back weakness). Then he would adjust my back; first my lower back, then my shoulder area, neck, and finish with my lower back/hip area. 

After the first week he added a lovely component that I have a love/hate relationship with: an impulse gun:

This gun is fierce. See that lady shooting the hamstrings? Yea, that has happened. Often. It's a bit painful to say the least, but the next day I always feel significantly better. It was also used on my back and neck to set my spine into alignment. When he used it on my hips, well, that hurt the most. My hips are in rough shape apparently, so I'm still working on those.

Analysis of progress:

Pain on a scale of 1-10 before visiting: 8. I was in pain washing dishes, and really anything that required bending or leaning.
Pain on a scale of 1-10 after visiting: 4. I still get pain, I always feel better when I go in. Case and point: I didn't go for almost two weeks while I was on vacation. My long run Monday was MISERABLE. I believe this is partially due to not feeling 100% back wise, cramped in a car, sleeping on different beds and using different pillows. 

Next Step: going to an appointment only once a week. With school starting, there is NO WAY I can maintain a three times a week schedule. Nope. Not going to happen! I also want to see if my body can regulate. My doctor said the plan is to wean me eventually to only occasional visits to monitor my alignment; this means I have to STAY in alignment with less visits. 

My overall opinion has been extremely positive. I have loved my doctor, I love that he respects my running, and I love that I have continually run into runners in his office. I've never felt pressured to complete all my appointments; he suggests and doesn't bully me if I can't make it or reduced it to two appointments one week. I have felt better and have gotten less headaches from my neck/TMJ, which I was getting every other week. 

In other news: I'm running a race tonight! The NYRR Back to Football run is going to be out of control fun. Out. Of. Control. Costume pictures will be shared tomorrow. The question isn't what to wear, it's which Packers item to where?! I have a million things but nothing race-ish; cotton tees all around!!! Can't wait to dress up and be silly, it's been a while!

Have you been "dealing with pain"? Do you rest if you feel a pain in your body? Do you push through? How have you sought outside help for aches and pains? TELL ME ABOUT IT!!!

65 days until the ING NYC MARATHON!!!
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