Yesterday I was able to meet with my Sports Med Doc. He confirmed what I already knew to be true: Strained Hamstring. He was really happy that I didn’t wait to seek medical advice or try to push through the pain. High-five to me. He also said the hamstring is a tricky part of the bod and if not healed properly and given the attention it deserves the injury could evolve into either a chronic situation or a tear. No thank you. Said Doc is a runner too and it eased my mind a bit that between him dishing out medical advice he asked questions about my NYC Marathon experience, what I enjoyed most about it, etc. Turns out he has run a handful of 13.1’s as well as the Cleveland 26.2! Holla! He said I should have given my body more rest post-NYC and he wants me to completely abstain from running until I see him in three weeks, as well as attend physical therapy. Easy peasy. He also approved cross-training in the forms of the elliptical machine, recumbent bicycle and aqua-jogging as long as there is no pain. Done and done!
It was then up to me to schedule my physical therapy visits. I thought I would be able to slip into an open spot yesterday afternoon or today with my favorite PT. Mega-watt WRONG. She wasn’t available until December 1st! Um, sorry, no, that won’t work, I needed an appointment STAT. I frantically called all of the various OSU physical therapy offices in the Columbus region and found a spot open this morning, and it happened to be just a few miles from my home. Hollllla!
So this morning I met my new PT, though not a marathoner like my other PT, she works with many patients who are runners and she does enjoy running herself. She praised me for getting in to see the doctor and her so quickly as with an injury like mine the sooner treatment can begin the higher the success rate and the sooner I’ll be back in my running shoes. I told her I was not one to shy away from medical advice and I will do whatever she tells me to do here on out. I loved that she took me 100% seriously too and knew I wasn’t kidding. My new PT, aka my new BFF asked me if I was a professional runner. I didn’t know whether to fall to the ground in a fit of laughter or give her a big smooch. I said no, I just love running and the marathon is fun for me. She said she asked because she has never had a non-professional or non-division I athlete come to her so quickly post-injury, most people try to run through the pain for a little while or self-diagnose and treat at home. I’m pretty sure at this point she was wanted to give me a hug or at least a sweet high-five for making both of our lives a little easier, but since we just met it may have been awkward. This girl deserves a raise because 1) she treated me like I was a world-class athlete even though I admitted to not being one and 2) she didn’t scold me for running marathons like other medical professionals have in the past.
She then examined the area and was pleased that it wasn’t causing me too much pain when she poked and prodded. This was a GREAT sign in the world of hamstrings. She then proceeded to treat me using ultrasound, massage, the Graston technique, stretching and finished with an ice massage.
She said the elliptical, recumbent and aqua jogging were fine by her so long as it didn’t cause me any pain either during or post-exercise session. I am to continue to stretch, ice, and use compression as well as take my prescription Naproxen, and come to see her twice next week and twice the following week. She is very confident that within a few weeks I will be good as new. She said if I would have waited or tried to run through the pain I could have really screwed things up for myself.
So take it from me friends, if something hurts while exercising, especially running, do NOT push through the pain. It is better to take care of the injury from the onset of pain than to try to be Billy Bad Ass and injure yourself even worse.
This little injury has me re-thinking my future race plans and goals, in a good way, and I am excited for what 2012 holds. But that’s for another day.