Monday, October 31, 2011

ASSessment

After the competing in the White Lake 1/2 Ironman back in May I had a really sore butt for days. My glutes felt like I had knocked out a set of 100 squats at max weight, sort of like back in my YMCA days with the world's greatest trainer, Russ Kilpatrick. Thinking about those days now makes me laugh. I was so in awe of my 13 year old female teammate strapping on a weight belt and easily squatting 2 huge 45 pound plates plus the bar. MB you are such a badass!
MB, Russ, Me circa 1994 at YMCA Nationals, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Anyhoots, the days after the race I was struggling to sit down . . . on everything! After I got over the soreness a tightness lingered in the top of my right hamstring. Not an injury and nothing that prevented me from doing anything, I could just feel it and I didn't like it. I tried everything from massage and chiropractic work to seeing a doctor specializing in sports injuries. After two bouts of prescribed physical therapy I knew I still wasn't getting to the core of the issue. The off season is a great chance to address any old/developing imbalances and to prevent future injuries so I am committed to taking a proactive approach so that I could start the 2012 season healthy and without any lingering issues.  I decided to call Mark Kane, an Inside Out regular and local Physical Therapist/Personal Trainer. His work is diverse and well respected in the triathlon community and beyond. I didn't think I had much to lose by agreeing to meet with him and undergoing a short evaluation to assess my biggest asset, yep you guessed it . . .

I will admit at first I was a little skeptical but it did not take long before I was kicking myself for not seeing Mark sooner. Through some exercises to determine a diagnosis he found that it wasn’t a hamstring issue at all but an irritation of my right sciatic nerve which makes complete sense now. It is very difficult for me to describe to someone what it feels like. I would not call it pain and it doesn’t necessarily “hurt” but when I am in a chair I continually fidgit to relieve the pressure on my backend. I am already a fidgiter so most people probably would not notice the increased amount of fidgeting . . . so what if I am spelling out “Mississippi” with my butt . . . it is fun and makes me feel better.



Mark confirmed I have a few issues . . . yeah I know what you all are going to say so shut it . . .

1)    I stick my butt out placing unnecessary pressure on my spine. Yeah well what self respecting girl doesn’t?
2)    The tension on my sciatic nerve was confirmed via the slump test and could be triggered and released with just small movements of my neck. You know you are difficult when you can be both a pain in the ass and a pain in the neck at the same time.
3)    Tenderness and weakness in my glute medius and minimus (my favorite) causes instability for my lower extremities. Further confirmation of my lack of grace. 

Luckily the list ended there. Pheeeeeeeew!!

So Mark set me up with a few exercises and a prescription for Trigger Point Dry Needling. Doesn’t THAT sound fun?