Leigh Boyle over at Athletes Treating Athletes has produced a free e-book called "Building Your Body Maintenance Routine" that you can sign up for on her website. This e-book can teach you how to remain injury free:
My big motivation in writing this guide was to show you how to use the resources on the A-T-A site when you are not hurt as a way to monitor common problem areas and prevent the bigger injuries from sneaking up on you. In doing so, I also wanted to dispel some of the common myths about how often and when you should be using this stuff. I think you’ll be surprised by how little it takes and how repeatable the whole process is. That is the guide’s ultimate goal- to help you build a plan that is specific to your injury history, your sport, your job, and your training schedule. Inside you’ll find a blank planning page so that you play along as your read. You’ll also find a filled in chart full off all the A-T-A links you’ll need.It links to the videos that Leigh has produced to explain the different techniques. If you are injured and in the area, you might want to visit Leigh at Pinnacle Physical Therapy in Plaistow, NH.If not check out the Athletes treating Athletes website or Facebook page.
That is where I have been going for therapy the past two months. So how is it going? I am only running once or twice a week, but hope to build slowly. I wasn't too smart and did a very hard 4+ mile snowshoe run two weeks ago. I got the pinching back in my inner adductors after that. It went away after one day. I did a good 3 miler on the treadmill last week. My legs feel much more balanced, straight, and dare I say strong. I can push off with the left foot and my right shoulder and ribs are moving forward to be equal with my left side. I am out of shape, but my legs want to go faster than my conditioning allows! If I don't run at all, my hips and back feel real good and I don't even think about them during the day. I am able to do kettlebell swings much better than I ever could without the former hip problems and I have jumped from a 35 pound kettlebell to a 50 pound bell. Because of all the work, I have feel great, even when shoveling snow. That is an activity that used to kill my back. Now, I like attacking all the snow that this winter has brought. I think I got a little too vigorous after the last storm trying to throw the snow over my cars and snowbanks. I didn't feel it until, I ran on the treadmill after the shoveling and I got the pinch back in my adductor (probably from twisting movements). I have a new policy for myself. I will not run when feeling hurt or any discomfort, so I no longer push through pains. I am just being patient and careful.
I think I am getting all the gunk out of my muscles and stuff surrounding my left hip and inner hamstring. My knee is straightening out and my foot falls better. Sometimes my "bad" left side feels better than my normal right side! I have been going twice a week to PT but dropping it down to once a week now.
My one concern is learning how to run correctly again and not returning to similar patterns in my running. I believe it is true what Carson Boddicker says in a recent post called The Brain Maps Movement, not Muscle.
You’ve heard it before. The brain doesn’t think about turning “on” individual muscles, but rather works in terms of movements. The brain... likewise does not speak in terms of “movement quality,” but rather cares only about movement success. The brain does not care how it gets from A to B only that it gets from A to B."
(note: I used to describe my running that way: just build up momentum and then try to maintain it any way possible! Form? what form?)
Regardless of whether or not you can move in a particular way or via a specific joint movement during a particular exercise does not necessarily mean that it’s good. It simply means that the brain will access plan B by stimulating a slightly different motor area to achieve the same or similar final posture.
With repeated activation, plan B simply becomes plan A due to impediment, and becomes “normal” and functionally dominant. Changes in the brain’s maps are implicated across a range of function and dysfunction. As is the case, remember, our number one target organ for all intervention is the brain.I know I have faulty "brain maps"and my body follows these faulty movement patterns. The question is how to change my movement patterns so that I can run and move with greater efficiency and allow my muscles to move my bones and joints correctly. I have always run through therapies: maybe that is why rolfing and other things I have tried have never worked. I would start feeling good and immediately push things as hard as I could. I even did that this summer with new orthotics and ART therapy. I would just run with faulty patterns and never allowed my body to recover and learn new patterns and would just reinstall the old patterns on top of whatever therapy I tried.
How do you retrain your brain? I am not sure. I really liked the Feldenkrais movement work I did a couple of years ago. I was happy to see a new book published called The Art of Slowing Downby Edward Yu this month that brings Feldenkrais, Taichi, and something called Bagua together to relearn better movement patterns specifically to improve running. I only got the book yesterday, but I like a lot of the movement wisdom in the book and the Feldenkrais lessons. If you are not familiar with Feldenkrais, it uses non-stressful slow movements that help you feel and relearn how you move. The one problem that I have with the book is that it is only a book. I have followed through many Feldenkrais lessons and the best way to do them is when the are mp3 sound file. There are lessons in the book, but most runners will not do them properly. This is spelled out in the book, but still runners like to get places quickly and it is hard to understand slow. The book should have come with the lessons on a cd or there should be a website where you can buy or download them. Other than that I will be delving into it daily. I like how the beginning movements tie the 1st MPT joint to hip movements. Well I have a left hip problem and a left toe problem (functional hallux limitis). It is amazing how everything is tied together. I also have a right shoulder problem and that too is tied to the left hip. If you have never participated in Feldenkrais, I have a lot of blog posts on it with links to free Feldenkrais ATMs. These are sound file lessons, some made specifically for runners. Here is one post with some links. Jae Gruenke of The Balanced Runner has a cd called "Loosening up to Run" that I have used an awful lot (directions for similar movements are in Edward Yu's book) but it is easier to listen to a cd (nice review on her site too!). I now notice she has a new mp3 called "A Leg to Stand on". I will have to try that one some day. She sent me another cd a while back called "Well-Armed" but I guess she has never released that one.
So hopefully it will all work out soon for me. I am getting my muscles and hip joint fixed and then I can relearn proper movement patterns. I just hope that is all that is wrong as that pinching feeling in the front of my leg makes me nervous. And if you don't want to be a messed up runner like me, then download Leigh's e-book and learn how to take care of yourself before you turn into a mess.