So yesterday I visited a physical therapist for the first time ever because a friend of mine visits him often and told him of my situation (bursitis, possible stress fracture) combined with the lack of insurance. He told her they offer a free 15 minute assessment for this very reason, to make sure people are on track and not going to die. After that it’s up to how much and how often an individual can afford to come back.
My 15 minute assessment turned into a 30 minute session, though a harried one. I am forever grateful because he gave freely of his time when he usually makes a lot of money to assist me with my tibia and crooked pelvis. It was mighty gracious of him.
I already spoke of my crooked pelvis a bunch of months ago so knew it was an issue that I believe was beginning to make itself evident via the trail running. There is so much uneven pacing on technical trails that my footfall and gait can sometimes be altered significantly as there is a lot of leaping and jumping over, under or off rocks or roots. It has certainly created greater strength in my hips, which he did point out.
As he held my feet and did the various tests to determine rotation, flexibility and length of the legs, he explained what he was looking for and what he found.
My right foot has less flexibility and decreased rotation therefore causing supination. However, it has greater turnover leading to me landing directly on my mid-foot and in a way is better at load bearing during the process.
My left foot has greater flexibility and increased rotation therefore is able to complete a cycle meaning I start off on the outside of my foot but roll inward. However, because my left leg is longer, the left foot has decreased turnover which leads to the foot getting dragged more often than not and is not that great at load bearing during the process.
The inner tibial muscle on my right leg gets a workout during the process and with the crooked pelvis in addition to the altering of my gate to compensate for my busted hip, it got a little stressed. He doesn’t think it’s a stress fracture at all and more so a shin splint. He did some adjusting, such as putting his elbow in two key spots in my ass; not the same place on both sides mind you, I’m a total original, one-of-a-kind human. He also produced magical tape that doesn’t mind my sweatiness. When I have had issues on my right side, hindsight tells me it has been due to overcompensation. He explained that because I am a forefoot runner AND supinate, my foot is reaching out an additional six inches which is carrying my foot too far from my body. This explains the constant issues with the tibial muscle as well as the rolling of this ankle on the trails.
The ITB on my whole left side gets a workout during the process and the longer mileage pissed off the ITB at the hip which in turn pissed of the bursa. This explains why the outside edge of my left foot and ankle are prone to tendonitis and why the whole left side is more often than not my problem area. When I first started running solely on trails back in November, my left side starting at the hip/glute was not very happy. There was a lot of foam rolling, Sticking it out, laying on a lacrosse ball and icing.
When he finished poking me in the ass and doing some wonderful spine stretches, he declared me no longer crooked. Of course the best part of the entire visit was the end when I looked at him and said, “Okay, so you know the final question is can I run.”
He told me to head out, give it a try and see how it feels. He recommended orthotics to help even me out in the long run (haha) to sort of retrain my feet, the taping for support in the short run, and making sure I keep my feet under my body at all times.
Now just gotta make it through the 50m in one piece.