Snap, Crackle, and Pop!

I did something earlier this week I never imagined I would do. Not necessarily because it is something I have never considered, but more because those in my immediate circle don’t believe in them. Yet time and time again, I read about fellow runners who have had amazing results thanks to their care.

The yoga studio that I now belong to, has a number of other resources therein. Much like a fitness center, they have classes, healing services, massages, acupuncture, and a chiropractor on site. I have already indulged in a massage, since one a month comes free with the membership I purchased. But the one thing I have been interested in learning more about is the Chiropractic therapy.

I decided to bite the bullet and schedule a meet and greet on Tuesday after my 9 am yoga class. It would have been a 15 minute appointment just to chat and decide if a chiropractor would be a right fit for me. And I could do it on the sly, without telling the naysayers.

Needless to say, after meeting the doctor and relaying my story, I could see him fidgeting in his chair like a school kid. He just couldn’t wait to tell me HIS side of MY story. This got me very excited.

Basically, what he said mimicked what my physical therapist told me. This was a relief because the last thing I wanted to hear was a completely different response as to the small aches and pains in my left inner thigh and my inner calves.

Seated hip stretch

Seated hip stretch

We went though the hip imbalance, and how that increases the strain on one side more than the other. We did a few stretches and talked about the fact that I cross my right leg over the left when I sit with crossed legs. This, it seems, can cause a lot of this imbalance. Clearly, one side would get more stretch than the other and one side would therefore react quite differently when I ran. The stretches he taught me were basic, and some I have read about before. I just had to cross my ankle over the opposite knee and bend forward…gently. Easy, right? Well, it really wasn’t easy.

Soleus and calf stretch

Soleus and calf stretch

We talked about shin and calf tightness and went though some easy stretches to ease that before and after runs. They were the basic calf stretches done on a 3 inch high step, being sure to not only do them with the leg straight, but with the knee bent as well, to work the soleus.

But one thing that Dr. Mike emphasized, where as my PT just touched on it after my stress reaction, is my feet. It would appear that my feet don’t fall flat. They kind of curve inward. I have always suspected I was an supinator because the outsides of my shoes always wear faster than the inside…and I frequently find myself standing on the outsides of my feet.

I was so intrigued, and he told me he could fix it with a few adjustments.

“Seriously?”

“Well, hold on…”, he said with unguarded enthusiasm. “Let me see who I have coming in next.”

He plods over to his computer and after a few taps exclaims, “Bingo. We got a half hour! Want to get started now?”

Oh, for sure I did!

chiro

 

So, I laid on my belly, laid on my back, sat upright, and he checked every part of my alignment and asked lots of questions along the way.

Finally, I got on my back again, and he explained to me what he would do with each foot.

“Are you ready?”

“Oh, yeah.”

 

Dr. Quacj

“Excellent!”, he said, and continued.

Three adjustments each foot. And then I looked down.

No way!

My feet were normal again. They weren’t pointing inward, and the inside arches weren’t raised. They appeared to be sitting as they should. Remarkable!

Next, he asked permission to adjust my hips. I agreed. And to be honest, this adjustment was the same as the one my physical therapist did on occasion and it was one I always liked. He did these, and then an additional pubic bone adjustment.

Then he had me repeat the hip stretch we did earlier. Lo and behold, it came much easier.

“Ah ha!” he said.

After explaining to me, in runner’s terms, what he did, he asked me if I had any questions. Of course, I had many. And he was patient to answer all of them.

I won’t bore you with the speak of cost, insurance and the like, but I will tell you I go back this Tuesday for any additional adjustment after my feedback from this one. And I do have some. But I’ll get into that in another blog post.

The first few hours afterwards, I felt fine. But that evening, after I ran 8 miles in the afternoon, I had some small happenings. One was the return of the pinching in the left inner thigh. It got to the point where I thought I’d have to take some advil. But mysteriously, after 8pm, it just disappeared. The other, was that very early the next morning while still laying in bed, I had a warm, pulsing sensation at my left hip and inner left foot. Again, odd…but it disappeared after I got out of bed.

I did not run the following day, but did spend most of it on my feet with no issues.

Day 3 following the initial adjustment and I feel pretty good to go for a run! Unfortunately, it is still bitterly cold here, at least for another day, so I’m headed to the indoor soccer arena in just a bit.

I’ll be interested to share all of this with the doctor and see his response. I know I have a long road ahead of me if I want to run smart and be completely pain free, but I think this might be the step in the right direction that I need. At least, if I believe it…

Do you see a chiropractor? What has he/she done for you?

 

4 Responses to Snap, Crackle, and Pop!

  1. I’ll be following this. I know a lot people swear by their chiros but as a medical professional, I’m always a little skeptical of them…altho yours sounds like he stuck to adjustments and that seems good to me! I have a lot of issues with my feet, so if you get good results, I might have to test the waters too!

  2. Bain says:

    My chiropractor, Johanna Lelke (Berkeley, CA and San Francisco) is THE BEST! She also teaches yoga, and is 100% willing to answer every question I have. (This sounds normal but is really a big deal because I am a giant nerd and have a bazillion questions.)

    Where I grew up, chiropractors were seen as (and maybe were?) quacks who made claims about curing diseases by adjusting your spine. I’m SO glad I decided to meet Dr. Lelke! She’s done more for my shoulder–injured multiple times–than anyone else I’ve seen. While Graston Technique work isn’t nearly as pleasant as a quick adjustment or a massage, it had made a crazy, enormous difference.

    I think the main thing I learned is that chiropractors who practice sports medicine AND DO THE SPORTS are an amazing and undertapped resource. Dr. Lelke is a cyclist, so she knows about distance athletics. Unlike some MDs I’ve heard of, she knows that “running will wreck your knees” (or is bad for your body, or whatever) doesn’t match current science.

    Oh, and advice for you: Do your homework. Apparently lots of people just don’t do the exercises and stretches their chiropractors take the time to give you. It’s silly, because doing your homework makes your body so happy! Good luck on your journey.

  3. Mike says:

    I have seen chiropractors off and on over the years and I feel they really can make a difference. After going on a trip where I did a lot of standing and walking — then sitting on a plane for a long time — I returned home with some serious hip/sciatic pain. Three adjustments later and I’m feeling lots better. I believe there is something to alignment and what they can me with, and I’ve always been happy with what they have done for me.

  4. I’m interested in this as well. I’ve never been to one but I know my spin has a slight curve in it. I’d like to stay on top of being injury free

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