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Friday, June 1, 2012

Visit to the PT

Wednesday I went to my first physical therapy visit ever.
Dude, it was awesome. All this time I've been seeing doctors and all I really needed was PT. Both the guys who took care of me were runners, and both were excellent. They asked all the right questions, got a thorough history, and repeatedly asked me to interrupt with additional info or comments and ask any questions.
My appointment lasted two hours and in that time I:
- Did a full history and physical
- Had my leg length and all my major muscles measured
- Had my joint mobility assessed
- Had my flexibility assessed
- Had my muscle strength measured
- Had a podiatric exam
- Had my footstrike and shoe wear examined
- Had my stride analyzed (landing, length, weight, etc)
- Had a full body stretch done by the PT (almost as good as a massage)
- Did, and was taught, a lengthy stretch and strength routine
- Got to view my own gait analysis
- Had ultrasound therapy to the injured area
- Received detailed "homework", stretch bands, and instructions

And my total - I'm paying cash - was $78.50! They only charged me for a follow up visit because they thought I was interesting as a case, and because they "know of" me - the running world is very small!

Doing some PT on the floor
The results of the visit were very promising to me. I have osteitis pubis, but I have just a few mechanical corrections to make. Basically I just need to focus on strengthening a few areas. My left hip is a little weaker than my right, which causes my right leg to sort of dip down as I run - this has lead to a slight heel strike on that side and I tend to land with my foot close to the center of my body, creating an angle which stresses the pubic symphysis. However, this is actually a calorically efficient stride - very compact, minimal movement - so normally it wouldn't be an issue. I just need to have strong enough muscles to support the movement!

Resistance band stretching
Other than that, I have a pretty smooth stride, including a perfect mid-foot strike on my left. No idea how that could be true since in all my race photos I can see the bottom of my shoe, ha. I was told I should try to go by feel and land the same on both feet, but not to over think it. Stride length, turnover, and weight distribution were all good. And my overall strength is quite good, but the few imbalances mean I need to work on adding even more muscle (time to buy new jeans, I guess). I was told to take 2 weeks off running, but I can bike, and I can add in running a few miles a day by week three! And if I do feel pain when I run, I can treat it with NSAIDS or perhaps move up to steroids. Now that's pretty good news!


  1. Oh good! I am glad the PT was able to help. I went to a PT a couple of years ago when I was struggling with patella femoral. It turns out it was caused by a weak glute. It's so interesting how everything is so interconnected... So I have some PT exercises that I try to do (although am not always good about doing) and I try to use my foam roller like it's my job, as that seems really help as well.

  2. I'm glad you got good news and had a good experience with pt. Mine was an absolute joke. She flat out told me she wasn't sure how to treat a runner bc she mostly dealt with old patients or people rehabbing from surgery.

  3. That's awesome Gracie! Finding someone that is a runner is a HUGE plus. I am so glad you got so much great info and help for such a great deal. You will be back to burning up the road in no time. :)

  4. Yeah, the PT is always great to go to. Although, the real results come when you do the exercises regularly. I find that I'm great at doing just that for the first few weeks and then I sort of fizzle out. Need to get back to those glute strengtheners and hamstring/hip flexor stretching!

  5. Wow, suffice to say I'm jealous of everything you got above. If I went to have all of that stuff done, it probably would have cost like $300-400 or something like that. I went to a PT last summer, and she didn't seem to do much at all of that stuff.

  6. That was a really informative visit. Your PT seems to know his stuff. Runner?

  7. Seeing this post title made me smile!! I'm so glad you had a good PT experience! I haven't been in over a year- until Friday and I kept thinking- why did I wait so long? PT is SO good and every runner needs it at some point. I paid cash too for mine- $70. Worth every penny!

    I hope you are able to make a complete and full recovery within these next few weeks. It's time to get healthy and get back to doing what we love, right?!