Today was my appointment with the new physiotherapist/osteopath, Claudio. I am a bit nervous about the osteopathic component of this and was alert to any indication that some unexpected cracking of my joints might be about to occur, but Claudio was very reassuring and explained everything before he did it. He also promised not to do any of the big noisy manipulations...
After a fifteen minute exam, he was ready with his diagnosis. Starting at the top, my neck has limited range of movement (probably related to whiplash from when someone crashed into my Mini in 2006); my upper back muscles are weak; various upper arm muscles are weak which isn't helping the shoulder impingements to heal; my glutes are weak and my hamstrings, quads, calves, and ankles are tight tight tight (especially on the left side). The pain in my hip - or, to be exact, on my ileac crest - is probably radiating from a tight piriformis muscle, but Claudio also thought that my nifty new bottle belt is irritating some of the nerves in the region as well.
I felt overwhelmed by the whole thing - where do you even begin to start with this - but Claudio is an experienced professional. He looked me in the eye and firmly said, 'I can help you...if you do what I say.' Yikes, what has he heard about me???
He showed me new stretches for my achilles tendons/calves, hamstrings, and shoulders. And then he did some osteopathic manipulations of my hips and ankles. The hip ones were very gentle and I didn't feel anything except relaxed - but my hip stopped hurting. The ankle manipulations were a bit more ouchey and I could feel (but thankfully not hear) little clicks happening - and suddenly I had a greater range of movement in my ankles as well as more relaxed calves. Amazing.
Claudio also advised me not to wear the bottle belt or anything else that fits tightly across my hips. I was too embarrassed to tell him that that would involve buying a whole new wardrobe. Perhaps it's time to consider cutting back on the cake.
Anyway, I left the appointment feeling much better physically and feeling optimistic that my running days aren't over yet. Doing what someone else tells me to do will be a small price to pay. I think.