People keep asking, "Why the break from running?" And, frankly, the answer is really very exciting. Like, I never knew I could feel this good exciting. So, I thought I'd blog ... in the event that my experience will help the one or two people who are still reading my blog.
(I've just about fell off the blogging bandwagon. Life has been CRAZY this year. But school's out soon, and I just can't wait to get back to writing.)
Back to the question at hand.
I had a bad cold and a ten day cough... And I have had sciatica/pinched nerve issues for the last 15 years or so, and the coughing caused an episode.
After five days, I called my regular chiropractor (team doc to our city's professional outdoor soccer team) and he couldn't get me in for about a week. So, I called a childhood friend (who is also a chiropractor) and asked if there was any chance she could see me sooner.
You see, I had a really bad episode two years ago. Went to my regular chiropractor twice, no real improvement. Went to my GP, who sent me to a hospital for x-rays (lying down), and wound up in physical therapy for five weeks. I learned a lot of great stretches, but it took a long time to get well ... and took another five months for me to start running again!
I'm too committed to my running to go through all of that if it can be avoided, so I decided to go see the friend who's been inviting me in since that last terrible episode two years ago.
And she took an x-ray. Standing. Something no previous doctor has ever done.
There, in black and white, my problem was plain as day.
Terrible posture. Instead of standing up straight, I was arching my back (as in tummy forward, rear and shoulders back, chest out). This severe "c" of an arch left little room between vertebrae for the nerves to come out, so they'd get pinched when irritated.
So my sweet chiropractor friend started work to adjust and massage things back into place, and I started doing my old PT stretches - mainly hamstrings and yoga cat pose. One week (three visits) later and my back is 100% again and my posture is much improved.
And, you know what? I totally stood like that because I thought it made me look thinner. I looked at myself in the mirror that first night, first using my old posture, and then the corrected posture, and the correct posture looks so much better! I look like I lost another inch (and discovered that I have abs!) just by rotating my hips forward rather than sticking my rear out.
It's amazing how much relief I feel when standing properly! It's a habit that I'm having to break, so I catch myself arching every now and then. Thankfully, it's hard not to notice ... after all, it causes pain!
So, that's why the break. A little pain in the back, and a promise to my new chiropractor that I'd take a week to rest. I promptly ran the minute one week was up ... but I did so with my posture in mind the entire time.
So, if you have lower back pain / sciatica, consider seeing a chiropractor who uses standing x-rays. They are worth every penny. I won't be returning to my old chiropractor.