Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Day in Therapy

Yep, I spent the day in therapy today, physical therapy that is. After an all clear on my x-ray, I went in for an MRI on my right hip. Wow. My first MRI was quite an experience. I watched a DVD on Ireland which was not really all that interesting, but it kept my mind distracted from moving around inside the huge capsule. Naturally, I was very anxious to hear what they had to say. 

Absolutely nothing showed on the MRI.
Except...some ovarian cysts which I need to have looked at. 
I wasn't really looking for a reason to see ANOTHER doctor. Ins addition, they referred me to the physical therapy department to see if they could identify anything with my stride. YaY! I was so excited to have someone watch my body mechanics. 

I met Doug, the physical therapist. He asked me about my pain, which seemed rather lame. Not Doug, but my description of the pain. Does it hurt here? No. Does it hurt now? No. What about this? Uh-huh. Lame I tell you. I felt guilty that I didn't respond with a rapid YES and sweat pouring over my brow, but I knew my body is talking to me and I knew it was time to listen. 

He had me lie back on the table and moved around my left kneecap. It floated around rather nicely. He moved my right kneecap. OK, so maybe he TRIED to move my right kneecap. It wasn't exactly cooperating.  After going through numerous push and pull exercises on my legs and ankles, he had me lay down on the table while he stood down by my feet pulling them up toward his chest, jiggling them around as if they were a long rope you were trying to untwist. He had me look at my shoes while still remaining supine. 

Hmmm, my right leg looked 1.5 inches shorter than my left. He had me sit up. Interestingly enough, my right leg extended and looked 1.5 inches LONGER than my left. Lie back - short. Sit up - long. 

Before we go any further, let's state the obvious. The human body is fascinating! Did I ever tell you that I considered going to school for physical therapy, but chickened out after volunteering at a hospital and discovering I didn't like old people? And (true story here) did I tell you I considered a career in genealogy in the mid-1990s? And what would I do then but talk to the old people that I now loved and revered? I am quite the contradiction.

Anywho - back to the story. When do I feel pain? 

  • When I run: It can be quite sharp, but mainly it surprises me when it jolts me out of my runner's high
  • For a few days after my run: Not sharp, but I can feel the muscle which I didn't previously even know existed.
  • When I push off my right food to stand
  • When I do lunges - That's when I feel it over my knee cap. 
  • At the beginning of Body Flow when my muscles are not warmed and we are doing shifting weight from side to side. 
Doug prescribed ultrasound for my knee, hip and ilium crest. Ha! I knew what that term was when he mentioned it! He also gave me some lateral movement exercises as well as some simple step up exercises. Some of them I can even do in the kitchen while making dinner!

I go back on the 21st. We'll see if I'm reporting any progress by then. At that time, Doug said he might ask me to run on the treadmill or outside so he can watch my stride closely. Of course, I'm hoping that with these exercises I will become less and less aware of these strange leg muscles and they will blend back into the background with the rest of my aging body and just let me get out on the road and run.