Two months of frustration – the abridged version

3855024990_fb4f529394On October 21st, I finished the Columbus Marathon in 4:14:54. For me, it was a PR over Pittsburgh of more than 25 minutes.

Problem is, I ran through knee pain that started around mile 5 or 6. It wasn’t bad, but in hindsight, seems like a mistake.

For several weeks after the race, I had random pain twinges on the inside of my right knee. I know the drill with this type of situation. Rest, maybe some ice, and no running until it subsides.

After a month of the same, I decided to be an adult and call my doctor. Again, I knew the drill from a similar cycling injury about 10 years ago.

  1. “Examination” in the doctor’s office, consisting of questions
  2. Off for an X-ray that “won’t show anything” but is necessary for insurance
  3. 8-10 sessions of physical therapy
  4. If no results, an MRI

I’ve been tortured treated at Mountain River Physical Therapy for the last 3 weeks or so. Long story short, my hips and pelvis weren’t functioning quite right, and I likely had an imbalance in my leg muscles. Essentially the quad muscles were overdeveloped from running and hamstrings, hips, and abductors were underdeveloped. All of this combined to cause my knee to stop tracking properly.

You’d think I’d take my own advice, but about 8 weeks before Columbus I stopped lifting, and only ran. Slowly but surely, this led to problems that I didn’t feel until race day.

But back to the torture, I mean treatment.

In addition to teaching you movements that essentially train your body to move functionally again, there are two treatments they apply. The first is called ASTYM. You can read the science behind it here. For the most part it isn’t painful, until they hit a rough spot. Picture a rigid plastic shoe horn digging into your body. Fun, huh?

The second, and less frequent therapy, is called “Intramuscular Manual Therapy” or dry needling. It’s like acupuncture, but deep in the muscle. Essentially it causes a sensation like a muscle cramp at the site. In the moment it either feels like nothing, weird, or actually painful.

Good times.

All of this effort appears to be working, and I’m optimistic I’ll be able to start running again soon. We’ll see….