Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Muscle Activation Technique: Session 6

Saturday was session 6 in my Muscle Activation Technique (M.A.T.) journey. Two things happened last week. One, I felt great and balanced. I feel like my bones are lining up correctly (particularly on  the left side of my body) and they stayed that way pretty much all week (just going slightly off a bit on Friday). That was the good news. I also started a slow build up towards running again. My stride feels good and balanced and I am certainly ready to enjoy running again. However, there is always a devil in the details. While my left hip (operated on for labral tear last year) is finally lining up correctly with my knee and ankle, the area around the hip doesn't feel strong or right. It is hard to describe. At times, I thought it felt like it was taped together at the front and a bit rickety. I get a pinching and weak feeling if I try to flex my hip and lift my leg up. This is something that has come and gone both pre and post surgery. If I lean forward and brace my arms on a table while bending forward, it is difficult to lift up my left leg. I started running 2 miles a day last Sunday and it feels great to run, except for that hip. I was hoping it might strengthen and go away with repeated runs, but after 6 straight days of running 2 miles a day, I had to stop yesterday as running seems to aggravate it. I did get in 12 miles for the week.

It really stinks to be feeling the best that I have in years when not running and then not being able to run. Saturday, during the MAT session, I explained this to Greg and so he tested all my hip muscles and they were doing pretty good. He did do a little work on the left psoas and illiacus. I am happy with that, because it shows that the MAT work is holding as we haven't worked on the hips in a couple of weeks. It seems like working the feet is making the most changes, so we went back to working on the feet. This time we worked on the toes and the plantar surfaces of the feet. There are a lot of little muscles in the toes and feet and it was interesting seeing which ones were strong and which were week and then activating them through the palpating them and then doing light isometrics.

After the session, I noticed that I had a lot of tightness, sort of like it you had walked over rocks and sand at the beach or just maybe had someone pushing and pressing on all your toe joints and the bottom of your foot. It is starting to calm down now a couple of days later.

I am really hopeful because I feel good and balanced with my body working with a better coordination  I am really concerned about my hip however. It could just be reacting to the changes and new positioning,  but I am also wondering if I need to see the surgeon and get an MRI to see what is going on. I am pretty sure it is the hip flexor that goes over the front of the hip bone that is bothering me. Last week, I thought it felt like a frayed rope, being pulled back and forth over the bone. It could be that it is just too tight and pressing on the hip joint. I am also worried about the lifting of my leg. That is a different feeling. It feels like something is getting caught on bone or pinching which creates a big weakness when I try to lift up my leg.

Maybe I am just relying on my hip flexor too much to create movement. I am studying Lori Thomsen's  video on how and why to turn off the hip flexors. It is very interesting, but I am looking at how get into the optimal position for running to turn off the hip flexors and then how to use your glutes for running.

Lori works for the Hruska Clinic which specializes in Postural Restoration. You can see many of her videos for runners here.

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