It’s a little over a month until my first Spartan race of the year and already I am dealing with an injury. Now, I am a firm believer that we know best what our bodies wants or needs. For the most part, that is true…
But not always.
At the onset of the COLD weather, I started experiencing sciatic pain in my left hip. For the most part, this pain seemed to be brought on by the cold and resolve once out of the cold. However, as the cold weather persisted, it seemed that my body was losing its ability to recover. The pain would linger for longer and longer time periods and the previous faint, occasional left knee discomfort I’d been experiencing for many months was now sending strong signals whenever my ailment was amiss. In early December, it became apparent that something was definitely not right. The level of low back pain I generally experience on a daily basis had really started to get out of hand. On top of that, my right hip would sometimes feel the pain instead of the left. In fact, on one occasion, my sweetie’s response, when asked why he insisted on walking behind me out of a restaurant only to walk ahead as soon as we were out the door – was that I walked too slow. *sniffle* How he could not know that it was because I was in pain, I don’t know. That’s NOT the point. The point is that it had reached the point where it was affecting my activities of daily living (ADLs).
Deep down, I knew that I should bite the bullet, so to speak, and see my chiropractor. Instead, I decided that I could give my body what it needed. After all, it was December and already money seemed to be oozing out my pores while I slept. So I increased my stretching and foam rolling sessions (going out a purchasing a massage ball that uses high-frequency vibration). I probably would have fallen apart sooner than I did but I also added more hip strengthening and stability exercises to my fitness regimen.
I had somewhat good days, and BAD days. Until the day it all changed. On this Saturday, I went to my new gym with my sister as a last minute thing. She was quite sore in her upper body and I was unusually sore in my lower body (although it was my day to work that area). Wanting to give her a good experience, we worked out our legs quite hard, we hung out in the sauna for a few minutes. Then, I rushed out to hike with my friend, Cindy. We were not even a quarter mile into the hike when the pain began. It was a gloriously sunny afternoon so I could not blame the cold. I stopped and stretched at the base of the big hill. Midway up the pain turned into a mind-numbing, stop-me-in-my-tracks level sciatic pain. Sure that it would resolve as soon as the climbing eased up, we didn’t turn back for the car. Knowing that squatting down would give me relief, I did that for a minute, continued onwards for as long as I could stand it, then would squat again…and again…and again.
My dear friend was sharing some rather unsettling news with me and I wanted to be there for her. Although we did opt to cut the hike short, calling it quits felt a lot like I was abandoning her in a time of need so I tried to refrain from stopping for a long as I could. But still, I stopped A LOT.
The following Monday, I finally saw my chiropractor and learned that my sacroiliac joint was unstable due to…OVERSTRETCHED ligaments. It seems that everything I was doing to feel better (the stretching, foam rolling, vibrating, and squatting) was actually doing harm. My chiropractor urged everything back into alignment, then advised me to wear my SI belt and walk a minimum of 15 minutes x 3 ( 45 minutes) every day until healed. Of course, I have been equally if not more diligent than I was with the previous regime. But I tell you, it has not been easy OR fun.
Our dog is happy though.