Monday, November 3, 2014

Therapist heal thy self...

As an extremely active person, I often get asked by clients if I get aches and pains.  Of course I do.  Out of our practice, I am the resident endurance athlete in the house.  My colleagues claim to live vicariously through my athletic endeavors, or they think I am just crazy for what I do for “fun.”  As a competitive long/ultra distance triathlete for the last 10+ years, I have had my fair share of injuries, aches, pains and frustrations.  I have also managed a fair share of sports injuries growing up.  This is not meant to imply that I was clumsy or injury prone, stuff happens. 

Thankfully with the right training methods (training smarter, not harder-very important as an aging athlete) and the right coach (takes the stress away from writing up a season’s worth of training so I can focus on more important things like helping my clients), I have been able to stay relatively injury free for the last 6 years.  So what happens if something hurts?  I try to find the source of WHY something hurts.  For me, it could be technique, bike fit, muscle imbalances, to name a few.  Once I have figured out the cause of my annoyance (rarely have these “injuries” prevented me from racing or training), then all is well. 

With triathlon, my injuries are typical of the runner, and cyclist, but not so much swimming.  From ankle sprains (at least a half dozen on each ankle), ankle fracture, hamstring tendonitis, hamstring strain, hip flexor issues, sciatica, low back achiness, calf strain, peroneal tendonitis, epicondylitis (from weight training), turf toe, possible stress fractures in my foot, IT band syndrome (3 bouts)…not necessarily an exhaustive list, but these were a good number of conditions that I managed to get through during my early triathlon years.  My last 5-6 years in triathlon, I have had very few, if any, injuries.  WHY?  Between therapist heal thy self, and adopting a different training method, I have been able to keep my body moving and racing with minimal loss of performance.  In fact, I am finding that as I am getting older, I’ve actually been pulling off faster times (on some of the same courses).  I guess it also helps that I’m a PT.  My background knowledge gives me insight into what is going on with the body at a much more intimate level than most others.  I actually apply many of the same treatment methods to myself as I would to clients with similar conditions that is assuming I can reasonably access my body region.  If I am unable to work on myself, then I recruit the help of one of my esteemed colleagues for a helping hand (pun intended). 

In future posts, I will highlight some of the injuries I’ve had the “pleasure” of dealing with first hand. 


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