Yesterday was the five year anniversary of when my ACL was surgically reconstructed. Happy anniversary to the screws that have taken up residence in my knee! You've done me well, for the most part, over the last half of a decade! Until now..
For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you'll know that I've been dealing with a lot of pain since last week. I thought it was my IT band, since I've had issues with that before. And in the past I've dealt with it through RICE - rest, ice, complaining (oh wait, that's not what that stands for? you don't say..) and elevation. However, after almost a week of not running it still wasn't feeling better. I felt pressure behind, and to the side of my knee. There was also soreness going up my leg, from what I thought was my IT band, into my glute. Altogether pretty unpleasant, and worrisome.
I made an appointment for a sports massage with Bob and went after work yesterday. He explained to me that while it was my knee that hurt, that he works globally to try to alleviate any problems that I may have. Within the first five minutes he'd already pointed out that I stand a little funny - knees locked, pelvis tilted out, leaning forward. What does that mean? Even when I'm not moving, I'm straining my joints. Bob also told me that I pronate more on the left than the right, which makes sense. I had surgery on my right knee and as a result always tend favor the left side. When I got on to the table, shit got real. My vertebrae are twisted to the left, because of how I sit at work. My left hip was turned out, my right was turned in. Right leg was almost a full inch shorter than the left. My hamstrings are tight "long", which even after him explaining, I don't really understand. Apparently I am just.. a mess.
What was interesting is that despite my right side hurting more, Bob said that pretty much everything on my left was tighter. I have a pretty high pain tolerance but I found myself gritting my teeth at some points. He worked on my hips and my soleus muscle and damn, that hurt. I just kept telling myself how much better it would feel after. Bob did say that while there is some tightness in my IT band, that he didn't think it was the cause of the pain. It was more likely a lower hamstring strain which, in turn, tweaked my knee. When I asked what I could do to help myself he suggested doing exercises that specifically strengthen my leg muscles, something that I have admittedly skimped on in the last year. When asked if I could run the Worcester half this weekend, he seemed a bit skeptical, but told me that I should check in with my body later in the week to see.
I woke up this morning and a lot of the pressure seems to be gone from my knee, but I don't feel totally back to normal yet. I know that you have to take what people say with a grain of salt, but I'm really unsettled by how out of whack my body feels. So, I'm going to rest for a couple of more days. The half marathon will probably not happen, but I'll never say never (Bieber reference? Anyone?). I'm also going to make an appointment with a chiropracter. Maybe he can help sort out the mess that is my entire body.
Have any of you dealt with hamstring injuries? How have you handled them? How long did you rest? TELL ME EVERYTHING