Sunday, November 12, 2006

Me and my back - Part 2

For as far back as I can remember, I have always turned to alternative medicine when I was having too many aches and pains. Granted, if there is an emergency I do take antibiotics. Both my children are vaccinated. But the thing that draws me to alternative medicine is that they always look at the cause of the problem rather than trying to fix what has already happened.
This is really important in athletics because if you have say a tendinitis and you try and heal the tendine without looking at how or why you developed it in the first place, it will most likely come back or never heal properly. I'm also very lucky in my amateur athletic endeavors because with my husband dealing with elite athletes and their injuries, he knows who the best and most effective doctors, therapists and treatments are for running injuries. We chose who we consider the best Osteopath in Italy, whose name is Gianni. First he had me do some x-rays which revealed: Scoliosis on upper back along with Spondylosis At the D6 - D8 where the two conditions coincide. In the lombar-sacral area there's a bunch of stuff that's difficult for me to translate but...I can say that my L5 has slipped down (you can see it protruding out with the naked eye) and loss of space around surrounding L3 and L4.
On my first visit with Gianni he took about 30 minutes to...do whatever he does...worked on my hips and then neck and head area. About two weeks later I was able to magically get out of bed. Like a normal person. After three years of pain. On the second visit he did his treatment and again, two weeks later I am feeling fine. I asked him if I'd ever be "cured". He asked me what I meant by that. I guess what I mean is without pain. The scoliosis I've always had since as far back as I can remember I've always had one shoulder lower than the other. The slipped disk has happened over time. There are things that I can do to help them not get worse, but I do have to live with them. In any case he said that yes, I would be without pain. That in itself would be fantastic.
So, now that I can stand up straight without taking ten minutes to stretch out, there are a few things that I'll be changing in my sports life in order to not go back to crawling out of bed.
a) Exercises. I've started going once a week to an exercise class which mainly works on squats, lunges, shoulders, arms and back. The first time I did it I was hobbling around for the following five days. After the second lesson it was only two days of hobbling. Now I'm actually starting to enjoy it and can see that it's really good for my rear-end.
b) More swimming. Well, more than I usually do which is nil.
c) Less weight. Gotta get the famous five kg OFF again if...
d) ...I want to run. Right now I'm running three days a week for only 40 or 50 minutes. I'll be upping that to an hour in december but I've pretty much decided that I will only allow myself to do another marathon if I can break 1h55' on the half. Last year I ran 1h59' into headwinds so there might be a chance to actually so that . I mean, it's not a totally unattainable goal. But with my back situation it's useless to run a marathon if I'm not going to be going toward my ultimate goal, a Boston Qualification. Besides I love half marathons, not too short, not too long.

But I am running again. Without back pain. Straight and upright. It feels so good!

1 comment:

dg said...

that Gianni sounds like a good man! hehe. glad to hear you're out running again :)