If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’ve been going to physical therapy for the past few weeks. I’m not injured – rather I was realizing that I have some muscle imbalances in my hips and glutes, and I knew that if I didn’t get that figured out, I was definitely risking injury.
Could I have used the internet to research my issues and done exercises on my own? Possibly. But I very much like the personal guidance given to me at PT, plus anytime I use the internet to try to diagnose myself, I end up being told I have cancer or lupus. Thanks, internet doctors.
I realize I’m really lucky to be able to go to PT. I have good insurance that leaves me with only a $25 copay per visit. I have a boss who understands running and doesn’t take issue with me taking 90 minutes out of my work day to go to PT. I also have a great PT office within walking distance of my office.
And yes, while that means I’m burning sick leave and spending about $100 a month, it’s been so worth it to me. I have learned so much about where my muscles are weaker and what I need to be doing to strengthen them. I’ve learned a lot of great stretches and foam roller moves. (By great, I mean excruciatingly painful, of course.) I learned that yes, I do need to be foam rolling my adductors (inner thigh). I hadn’t been paying them much attention because rolling there HURTS SO MUCH. The sort of pain that I thought was perhaps the bad kind of pain and not the good kind. Turns out that nope, even though it feels terrible, it’s the good kind. Who knew?
I’ve also discovered the wonders of dry needling – basically poking needles into trigger points to help the muscle release. You know when a massage therapist digs into a knot in your leg (or shoulder or back or wherever) and it hurts but then releases and feels awesome? It’s like that, but with needles. It’s amazing, but not always enjoyable. Yesterday, I was definitely laughing and writhing on the table while my physical therapist laughed, held my leg down, and absolutely destroyed a knot near my knee with a needle. And then she gave me a sticker. So it was worth it.
A big part of my goal this winter is to really work on balancing my muscles, getting in strength work, and making sure my body is ready for the 2018 triathlon season. But it’s not just about triathlon – it’s about being healthy and making sure I’m properly taking care of my body. It’s the only one I get (unless science gets super advanced over the next few decades).