So one thing I didn’t mention in my SFM recap is that I ran the last 7 miles with a numb foot.
I’ve been having lower left leg problems. At first I didn’t know what it was. Shin splits? Calf strain? Achilles tendonitis? You get the idea of the general area that I’m talking about. And now, in the past week, my foot has started going numb. The numbness usually starts 5-6 miles into a run. And while it doesn’t hurt, there isn’t any feeling. Thinking there may be a damaged nerve, my coach told me to see a chiropractor.
Having never seen a chiropractor before I went to where any typical Bay Area resident would go to find one -- Yelp! But these days I’m skeptical about Yelp (you know, the whole “mafia” theory), but I did find a couple of possibilities. I even called one to make an appointment and they were closed. Then I remembered my friend Brandon! He’s a chiropractor at home in Hawai’i but did his schooling here. I emailed him to ask for a referral and within the hour a little Yahoo instant messenger window popped up from him with a referral!
By that afternoon I found myself sitting in Dr. Eva’s office, going over my entire medical history from the past year. I told her that I had just run part of SFM the day before, and was planning to run a full in October -- to which she asked, “Did you get into Nike?” She is a runner too! After the assessment, she took x-rays and scheduled me to come back the next day for my diagnosis and plan of action...
You know its never a good thing when the doctor goes, “I have good news, and bad news”...
The diagnosis: - R leg is anatomically longer than my left leg. That’s how I was born. - R hip is higher an L - L hip is misaligned - Scar tissue from last year’s hamstring strain is causing muscle and nerve problems.
And that was the good news. The bad news? Unrelated to the above, my neck is worse off than my lower body! My neck doesn’t have a natural curve making me hold way too much weight and tension in my shoulders.
This explains a lot; it really does. Like, why the only pillow I can sleep comfortably on is a buckwheat (or as some like to call it, “granola”) pillow. Or why I always have sore shoulders. Or why I could never do some of those Pilates inversion moves. And as for the right leg being longer than the left? My aunt says that’s why I’m 5 “and a half” feet tall :). And my Dad said they knew about it and that’s why I used to wear braces on my legs when I was little (I’d totally forgotten about that).
So for the next 4 weeks, I’ll be seeing Dr. Eva three times a week for treatment. In all honesty, I could not be more excited about this. For the past year I’ve gone to see my PCP a number of times about these issues, that I *knew* were all related. All she would tell me was, “Here’s a prescription for ibuprofen. Rest for 2 weeks and come back and see me if the symptoms persist.” So I’d go back and then she’d send me to physical therapy. I went through 2 rounds of physical therapy that were great. They put a band aid on the symptoms and made me feel better. But deep down, I never felt that the root of the problems were addressed.
Dr. Eva will be using Active Release Techniques (ART) to treat me. In my first session, she worked on my hamstring, glutes and psoas. How did it go you ask? Well, have you ever had *your* psoas worked on? It was so painful, I thought I was going to die. But by that evening, my muscles already felt better...looser. She also adjusted my neck and almost immediately I felt so much tension released. And for the first time in over 2 months, I had a good night’s sleep.
This evening Brandon called me to get the scoop. After discussing everything I’d been feeling, he started to tell me what the possibilities could be, to which I kept saying, “Yeah, that’s what Dr. Eva said.” He laughed and said, “See Naoms, that’s why I sent you to her! We’re right on the same page!”
Between Dr. Eva and Dr. Brandon (still getting used to hearing that!) I feel like I’m in good hands and finally on the road to getting fixed. Relief.
(Photo credit: Thumbnail photo from http://www.12thpress.com)