Yes, I'm in physical therapy again. I know, I know. I'm ashamed to say how much I spend on race fees & physical therapy co-pays each year. You think one has something to do with the other??? (duh)
I was just coming off physical therapy for severe IT band issues (my other leg) when we moved to Washington. I really, really missed my Cincinnati physical therapists. They knew me. They knew my determination. They knew my strengths and weaknesses. It's so difficult to make a change, but when you move out of state - things change!
I knew I had to find a new physical therapists when I moved to Vancouver. I asked around at a couple of local running stores, and ended up at a place that wasn't a good fit. I stuck with it until I was released, but my results weren't great. I wasn't pleased with my treatment, and I grew weary of hearing my physical therapist boast about her own running pace, distance goals, overall fitness compared to mine. Being new to the area & coming off a cross country move, I was overwhelmed with life in general. I didn't have the time or energy to seek out another new doctor and therapist since I was simply trying to figure out where schools, grocery stores, and coffee shops were located.
To make a long story a lot shorter, about a year after my first round of physical therapy here in Washington, I ended up finding a new doctor. My new Sports Med doctor is nice, but he works in a clinic that reminds me of a cattle stockyard. They move herds of patients through each day, and don't have time to really know their patients. Sad, but true. Don't get me wrong. I think he's a great doctor, but I wish he worked somewhere else! I also wish he was a runner so he would stop saying, "The problem with runners is ____.". Actually, he hasn't said that to me in a while, but you can see how frustrating it would be to hear that when you're in the middle of marathon training &injured. Anyway, moving on.
Despite the stockyard type environment & occasional derogatory statement about runners, he's still a great doctor. He put all his cards on the table, and told me to not attend physical therapy within his clinic. [gasp] Instead, he sent me to ProActive because the bulk of their clients are athletes. [You probably hear angels singing from above right about now. There's a reason for that.] At the Salmon Creek ProActive clinic, I met two really wonderful PTs who get runners. Neither one are into distance running, but they do appreciate their own sport of choice. They deal with a lot of sports injury cases, and it really does make a huge difference in the overall outcome. I see people in the clinic recouping from what seems to be a stroke or possible car accident. Unlike someone recovering from such a life changing event, I have the energy & will to keep moving. I've learned that some physical therapists have "cookie cutter" treatments. No matter what, they're going to provide you with treatment X,Y & Z. If it weren't for severe, stubborn pain come mile 10, I would be hammering out an 18 mile long run next weekend. My therapists know that I need to keep running so I can (hopefully) run the marathon in mid-June. They have never once told me to not run. Well, not yet, anyway. I'm sure the time will come, but it hasn't so far. Right now, I'm to...
1) cut back my weekly mileage in an attempt to let the swelling go down.We're trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. In the mean time, my IT band is "scraped", massaged, and gets an ultrasound treatment each week. They really work with me in terms of what my current abilities are, and we go from there. It's personalized treatment like I had in Cincinnati, but each of my therapists have their own sports/fitness background so they understand my need to keep moving. I feel as though it's a great fit for me.
2) Keep up with cross training.
3) Wear a medicated patch on my leg to help reduce swelling.
4) Ice, stretch & massage the area.
5) Run a semi-long run Sunday morning. (8 to 10 miles)
6) Report back with oodles of details Tuesday morning.
I'm not saying any of this as an advertisement for ProActive. They don't even know I have a blog. I'm writing about this to encourage you to find the perfect fit for you when it comes to doctors, physical therapists, running groups, etc. If something in your gut is screaming, "this isn't right", find something/someone different.
If you're local & would like to learn more about ProActive, here's a link to their site: