In my last goals update, I mentioned that I was considering seeing a physical therapist. Today I finally called a local clinic and was actually seen by a PT this afternoon. What convinced me to finally see a professional is the fact that I had taken 6 weeks off of running and stretched religiously, yet I wasn’t getting a whole lot of relief. Admittedly, I was a little impulsive and did a quick but hilly 2-mile run this past Saturday when the weather was gorgeous…and I’ve been paying for that poor decision ever since.
Anyway, I lucked into seeing a fantastic (read: credentialed and experienced) therapist today due to a last-minute cancellation. She and I talked about my loooong history of hip pain (remember my bilateral stress fractures?), she did a few tests, and determined that I do indeed have piriformis syndrome. She also concluded that my left leg is longer than the right, and as a result have a “pelvic obliquity,” or, in layman’s terms, a wonky-ass pelvis.
She began treatment today, which consisted of some joint manipulation, soft tissue mobilization, and dry needling. The first two just felt like a magical re-alignment, and the third technique was actually part of why I sought out this particular clinic. I have read about dry needling on Teri’s blog as an effective treatment for running injuries. In a nutshell, this technique consists of inserting dry (and clean!) needles into the affected area, which causes a cascade of events in the body to promote healing and reduce inflammation. I had read that this procedure can be painful, but it was not for me–it just felt like someone was flicking my piriformis, causing it to twitch a bit. I’m only a few hours out from my appointment now, but I’m optimistic that this combination of treatments will help. I go back next week for another appointment.
Fingers crossed that I won’t have to miss out completely on prime running season in Alabama!