I don’t really like doctors. If you’ve gotten to know me at all, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’ve gone through more than a few. I think they have a point, for certain emergency room visits, diseases, broken bones, but athletic injuries? No. You can only be useless so many times before it’s really my fault for still giving you my money.
At some point a few years ago, after I traipsed through yet one more office to listen to one more medical professional suggest that “perhaps I ice it” or “had I tried not running” or “I should only increase my mileage by 10% each week, so if I’m running 10 miles this week, then run 11 next week, or if I’m running 15 miles right now, don’t do more than 16.5 next week,” as if I didn’t understand the concept of 10%, that I told the doctor that for my $50 co-pay he was going to have to give me more insight than I could get from Runner’s World.
Since then, I have more or less stopped going to doctors for sports use injuries. And, since I have been to enough physical therapists to know what they’d say anyway, it has worked just fine.
For the IT band/hip issues I deal with regularly (as everyone does), I’ve learned to develop a strength program that keeps a lot of the underused muscles strong and helps prevent injury. I use the foam roller to get the knots out of my legs, ice baths when I know I’m going to be sore, rotate through a handful of different shoes — all of which I think has helped prevent most injuries. I get massages when I know I’m getting tight and it keeps things loose. And, when something starts to be a problem and I start freaking out, I go to one of the two doctors I trust: my A.R.T guy, Dr. Kyle, or my chiropractor, Chappy, who really is more of jack-of-all-trades with lasers and little metal tools and a thing that like hangs you upside down.
Yesterday, I went to Dr. Kyle and he jammed his thumb so hard into my ankle that it made my hamstring hurt.
If you’ve never been to A.R.T. (Active Release Technique), it feels like this — which is actually a knife holder for your kitchen I saw on The View one day:
All it really is is a guy poking your muscles with his fingers while you move your leg or your arm or whatever hurts. But, it’s amazing how sharp they can make their fingers.
Dr. Kyle stuck his fingers in the arch of my foot and the inside of my ankle and my heel and I could feel the nasty shit being forced out of the area, like an actual little knot in my nerve being scraped out. I don’t know the scientific explanation, exactly, without sounding like I’m bullshitting, so here’s my explanation: My ankle/heel/foot is all fucked. Muscles have really tightened up, as I tried to compensate for cramps in my foot and for things hurting. That has trapped all kinds of tendons and nerves and what have you. You gotta get that shit worked out or you are screwed.
So, hopefully, that’s what he did.
It seems a little better, but sore. I’m optimistic. And, if not, I’ll go to my other guy tomorrow and get some cold lasers to fix that up.