Today (well technically Wednesday) was the day of my first ever chiropractor appointment! I slept until 3:30 pm or so and then had to get moving so I could get to my appointment at 4:45. I saw Kim in the parking lot because she had an appointment with the same guy at 3:45! She has new pink K-Swiss running sneakers and I am jealous.
After I made the appointment last week I asked Kim a crucial question. Will I need to remove my pants for this appointment? (Since my problem area is my upper hamstring). She said that she had never had to so I just wore warm-up pants.
First question I'm asked by the doctor. Are you wearing shorts under your pants? Um, no. Sorry! Guess I'm taking off my pants and wearing that cool looking gown instead. Note to self: wear less inappropriate underwear next time. Scratch that, wear shorts next time. Because I wound up lying on this table thing on my stomach, wearing a sexy blue hospital gown, heating pads on my butt and upper legs, underwear riding up, praying to god that the young, cute chiropractor does not look at my ass.
Apparently I am known for my love of no-pants situations (which is true), however these are generally in the comfort of my apartment and not in public with cute doctors.
This guy specializes in A.R.T. (active release technique) and Graston Techniques. The first one is a soft tissue massage technique used to get rid of scar tissue and smooth out muscle tissue (at least from what he explained to me and what I researched after the appointment because I'm a NERD). I had never had this done before but I have heard of it. The second one is massage with the use of stainless steel tools, used to stimulate blood flow and get rid of scar tissue. Unfortunately, I HAVE had this done a long time ago on my ankle when I had tendinitis, and it hurts like a bitch.
He did some massaging to find out where the tightness was occurring in my leg. He did some range of motion tests and some stretching. Crazily enough, the weird tingling that I've been getting in my toes on my right foot is DIRECTLY related to this hamstring thing.
After he did his range of motion tests and massage and whatnot, he deduced that I am having issues with my glute and my hamstring. What I think happened was that last year I pulled my hip flexor while training for the Philly Marathon. It hurt but I could still run, so I ran through it. Eventually the pain went away but I then developed a soreness in my butt when I would run (by this point it was winter and I was doing some hilly snowshoe running which REALLY bothered it). Apparently, the hamstring is there to help out the glutes - the glute is a primary extensor muscle and the hamstring is a secondary extensor muscle (the glute extensor is paired with the hip flexor meaning they work opposite of each other). I guess the change in my running gait or whatever to compensate for these sore muscles affected my hamstring and effectively was too much for it, which is why it is now really sore. This is all theory, but I told him what kind of niggling injuries I've had over the past year and that is how he explained it to me, and it makes sense to me!
Today he did some ART and this is how we discovered that the toes tingling is linked to the hamstring. He would do some massage-y thing to my hamstring and my toes would immediately start to tingle, it was nuts! I never knew if they were related, or if my sneakers were bothering my foot for some odd reason, but it's definitely the hamstring! Thank god because the tingling was starting to really freak me out! I was instructed to go home and ice my hamstring because it would be irritated and inflamed, so I did. It is now quite sore.
I'm going back for another appointment on Friday. Next week starts the Graston...
I am very optimistic about this treatment! The appointment was not at all hokey like I had imagined these things to be, where a chiropractor is trying to crack my back, etc. It seemed like a legitimate sports medicine solution to my problem. We will see. He said he should know within 4 sessions whether or not he'll be able to help me.
I am also very interested in stuff like this, clue #348957348573 that I should have continued on with my schooling for physical therapy instead of stopping with the biology degree.
But.. c'est la vie.