IM Louiville

IM Louiville
Bikes racked at Ironman Louisville 2010

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Physical Therapy

Well, the good news is that I do NOT have a stress fracture. The MRI shows periostitis...basically a fancy name for shin splints. I've had shin splints before (I'm guessing most runners have). They've never hurt this bad nor this long. So doc sends me to physical therapy.

I've already got a negative attitude going in. I mean, if they're just gonna do a bunch of stretches with me, what the heck do I need to keep going back for? Oh, yeah, I have to do this for 3 weeks then go back to the doc. I am so skeptical, but I have done everything I can possibly do on my own, so I guess I need the help.

Stephanie, my...consultant? Not really sure what to call her, but anyway, she sits me down and starts asking me a lot of questions. She nods her head a lot when I tell her I'm a runner and triathlete, blah, blah, blah, like she's heard all this before. I don't know if I should be upset because I think everyone's case is different or if I should be happy meaning she knows what's going on, so she'll be able to heal me quicker.

I explain to Stephanie that I really want to get this fixed in a hurry so I still might have a chance to be able to do IMFL. So she says she's going to treat me "aggressively." Great. Bring it. She massages the area a little, bends my leg and foot in all directions to see where/how it hurts. Next up is the ultrasound. I never really think that does anything. I can't feel it, so how the heck does it work?

But then Stephanie tells me she's going to go get this "tool" and try something. She then tells me it's going to hurt. Bring it. I want to get better. This tool is a small, metal piece shaped like a large nail file. It's smooth with rounded edges. Stephanie then begins to scrape this thing up and down against my shin. YEEEEOOOOOWWW!!!! I clenched my teeth and grabbed on to the table with both hands and my knuckles were immediately white. "Does that hurt?" She asks. I just said, yes, but keep going. If this is what we need to do, then just do it. I could feel the grittiness she was scraping on. I thought this was the bone, but she tells me it's scar tissue. In the process of her continuing to torture me with the scraping on my shin (I felt like I was going to bleed at any minute), she tells me it will probably bruise. Ya think? Hell, I don't care, just FIX IT! I was sweating and my whole body was tense. It wasn't until she went over to clean the tool off that I let go of the table and had to wipe the sweat off my forehead. I was so happy that was over.

Next, Stephanie hooks me up for some electrical stimulation. While I'm hooked to that machine, she lays a towel over the shin and places a bag of ice on top of that. The ice felt like heaven. The electrical shocks surged every minute, as if just to checking to see if I was awake. They don't hurt, just give a strong tingling sensation. I was almost sorry when that was over and Stephanie took that beloved bag of ice away from me.

Just like that, first session of physical therapy is over. I'm on my way to recovery.


Griz said...

I felt the same way last year before the Marathon. get well soon

Anonymous said...

Hi I have had that treatment (with the metal file looking thing) on my shins while on a tour in Germany.

Yep "YEEEEOOOOOWWW!!!!" alright!!!!

Really seemed to help me through the tornament though.

I haven't been able to find anything out about it since back in Australia.

Does anybody have any idea on what the treatment or tool is called?

If anybody can tell me I would love to know.



Sarie said...

Had the same experience with scar tissue on my foot. It is called Graston Technique (google it) and it WORKS. I now scrape with a tool every time it locks up.

I am a massage therapist as well - what happens is: your fascia covers all your muscles, tendons and ligaments. When scar tissue forms it adheres the fascia to the muscles etc - slowing down your range of motion and causing pain. If it is gritty when you scrape it - you've got scar tissue.

cheers guys!


Sarie said...

and.... check these out...