Understanding Me…and Dog Hair?

I put myself on the back burner…a lot. I’ve always been this way, even before mommyhood. Becoming a mother just made it worse. It’s just who I am. I really have been putting forth an effort this past year to carve out time for myself. I took up running just to gain a little sanity. Time just for me. I ignore the little aches and pains that come along with it because I don’t have time for complaining. Little aches and pains come with the territory in my mind. I never even thought to see someone about them.

Last month a few of us bloggers from Rhode Island Digital Media Women were offered a fantastic opportunity to participate in a blogging project with Olympic Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine. One look at their website was all it took to get me raising my hand yelling “Me, me, me! I’ll do it!” I had no idea you could go somewhere and get a biomechanical screening, and to make it even better they do personalized shoe-fittings. Shoes have always been something that both worries me and confuses me. Running imposes stress on the body with every impact. I’m mindful of that, but still I run. It keeps me sane. I have always wanted to get the best shoes for ME, but that just consisted of a guessing game and trying on shoes for hours. I was never really convinced.

I was super excited to head over to Olympic Physical Therapy in Middletown, Rhode Island a couple of weeks ago (they have 4 other locations as well). Thanks to some lovely blogging friends that had already gone, I knew what to expect…and was forwarned to dress comfortably. I met with Don for my biomechanical screening and I must say I was absolutely amazed with what he discovered for me. After a series of stretches, some walking, and really talking and listening he made some great observations. My knee pain I’ve experienced since I was a teenager…yeah, not a problem with my actual knee, it’s a muscle that runs from the hip, down the thigh, and through the knee. It’s weaker than the right side. It causes fatigue when running. It’s something I can deal with on my own with some stretches.

Don then made the big discovery that I hadn’t even mentioned to him. Just by looking at my back and how I was sitting he called it out right away. A pain that is a weekly nuisance in my life. A pain that I actually verbally complain about. Ever since working in retail in my college years I have had a problem with the left shoulder. It’s like a pinched nerve right behind my shoulder-blade and the pain shoots up my neck. A pain that sometimes paralyzes me. I actually got stuck looking to the left a few times…not good while driving from Rhode Island to Virginia. It’s a pain that increases with stress. I did actually try to take care of this 12 years ago by calling a chiropractor. Their office never answered the phones the first couple times I called…I never pursued it after that. To be given advice on how to manage this and prevent this awful pain was a Godsend. Just don’t be startled when you see me with the hook of an umbrella wrapped my shoulder, it feels so incredibly good. I loved the fact that Don looked at everything as a whole. Everything working together. It made so much sense.

Next was my shoe fitting. I wanted to address the metatarsal pain I get after running. I manage it myself with massage, but I would love to learn to prevent it. I met with Bill, an excellent pedorthist, for my shoe fitting. Now here came the moment I was both excited for and was completely dreading. I had to hand over my year plus old running shoes for analysis. Oh, those poor shoes. They’re tired shoes…in desperate need of replacement. I immediately apologized for the dog hair embedded in the sole that he pulled out. So embarrassing. It was gross. However, according to Bill it was very helpful. Who knew you could discover things about your body through the use of dog hair. By looking at the concentration of dog hair embedded into the arches of the sole it was noted that I have high arches. When I run, the brunt of the impact is being absorbed by the ball of my foot…hence the metatarsal pain. A couple of inserts into an amazing pair of Asics with a nice roomy toe box…ahh. It’s different and I’m getting used to them. I’ve run on the treadmill, the road, and I went for a trail run this evening. No metatarsal pain. I can feel my entire foot dispersing the impact more evenly rather than just the balls of my feet.

The entire experience at Olympic Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine was amazing. In a matter of 45 minutes I learned so much about my body and how it works. They showed me different stretches I can do at home and even provided me with print-outs of each one.

I highly encourage you to check them out. If you’re a runner, an athlete, or just a mom chasing after kids they can put you in the right direction to alleviating those aches and pains. Go checkout their facebook page and give them a call. Start taking care of yourself.

I can’t wait to see how I perform in my next race… The Freaky 5K!

I received a biomechanical screening, shoe fitting, shoes and inserts for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% my own.

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9 responses

  1. So glad they helped you and gave advice that will improve your overall health. I’m pretty sure I could use a diagnostic tool like that, but Rhode Island is a little too far for me to travel! Guess I’ll have to find someplace closer to home. :)

  2. This place sounds exactly like what I need. I think when we have issues as a young person we tend to take an answer at face value and never really look into the “why”. I have suffered from knee pain for so many years I have lost count. Three surgeries later I am not sure that was the answer! I am definitely going to try to find a place like this locally and maybe improve my running a bit!

  3. Now I need an appointment! Actually my first serious injury was due to poorly fitting shoes and I had to wear a hard insert on both feet for two years.

    I am glad you found help and am so excited about your running posts. They are making this older momma just a little bit more motivated each day.

    Pam

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