Friday, January 28, 2011

Stretch, Squat, Run and Roll

Yesterday I had my first appointment with Jared at Orthopedic Associates Physical Therapy Center to finally have an evaluation for this knee pain. I figured after 25 days it was time to bring in the professionals!

I have heard great things about Jared from fellow runners and athletes. I was impressed. He was very pleasant and being a runner turned triathlete himself, I trusted what he had to say. As a bonus we even had a very engaging conversation about bikes and his new Cervelo P3!!

OA Performance Center
OA Performance Center

Now I am not a doctor, but I play one on TV. 
Or is that I played doctor??
Or is it I have played with doctors? 
Hmmm. It's one of those.
Anyway, my diagnosis of patellofemoral pain syndrome was spot on.

The good news? Jared said that this is an easy fix. The PFPS could have been caused by numerous issues-running in the Kinvara's (not a great shoe for me because of my pronation), running facing traffic constantly with the slope of the road and/or my own form issues.

Some causes of PFPS are weak quads and this is certainly not the case here; he said my quads were really strong and my VMO's were strong as well but we are going to work on building strength in the glutes and hips to bring balance.

I have some stretching & strengthening exercises to do, I need to do some marathon stick rolling on my quads and just above the patella, and I have some running drills to work on. I should be good as new soon!

Then it was time to hop on the treadmill and run. Jared brought out the camera and took some wonderful footage of my running.

The not so good news? I have some biomechanical issues to correct. I am heel striking and this is making me bounce UP and not move forward-which is also wasted energy.
I need to shorten my stride and increase my cadence. So I am going to be running with a metronome to get my cadence up to 184. No rockin' tunes for a bit until I can retrain myself.

Inside the PT office

We did some stretching, squatting, rolling and then it was time to run with the new info he armed me with!

Then Jared hooked me up to this funky looking treadmill and strapped me into a belt suspended from a pole. And yes- I got a little nervous. He then asked me to lean forward and once the belt started moving to start running. He then got the metronome going and I just ran. Then once I got the proper body position down it was off to the indoor track with my metronome and more running.

I am actually quite pleased with how the visit went. I have never had a gait analyses or even any kind of run coaching; it is wonderful to get some feedback on how I can improve as a runner! Jared also said that with these changes, we can easily shave a couple minutes off my 5k time. Combine that with losing 10lbs or so, I am hoping to beat the snot out of my Dad's PR (21:40) this summer.

So the next couple weeks will be focused on changing my run form and running pain free!


Big Daddy Diesel said...

Place looks pretty fancy

Good to hear you at least now what the issue is.

Watch out Dad, the family record is being chased after

A Prelude To... said...

Glad that it's an easy fix!

What a cool facility. Good luck with all that he armed you with.

Emz said...

I love your attitude.

you are awesome.

I've been trying to change my running form and
sore! :(

keep us posted on how this goes!!

SparkyFox said...

That sounds just awesome!!! What a valuable visit.

Kate said...

How interesting! Never thought of the always facing traffic thing ... totally true. Glad you are on the mend, Jen.

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

I'm jealous of the gait analysis, not your pain! Glad you becoming even more efficient!!

I mentioned Chuck Norris in my "Would you rather...?" post today and it reminded me of your shirt!!

Aimee said...

Wow..that place looks amazing! Yay for finally finding an answer and knowing how to fix it!!

Jason said...

Happy to hear that the issue is not a HUGE issue and that you can fix it.

Just went to the chiro myself for the first time ever to work on that proformis (sp?) muscle. Feel great and energized too.

dawn said...

I feel like I need to play taps for the, ba, ba, baaaaaaaaa.......(that's my online version- you can picturing me playing a bugle is optional)

so glad you got all "OA-ed" up. Love that place. Everytime I bring Eli to hockey I wish I had a reason to get worked up on that equipment. knee feels a little twingey.... :)

Chris K said...

That looks like the Taj Mahal of fitness centers. Nice.

Alex said...

So happy it's looking like an easy fix, Jen. I try and run with traffic for at least part of my run for the same reason (though different injury). And, I just made an appointment there!

You'll easily break your dad's PR!