Running injury

Where’ve I Been

I’ve been around! Just taking a break. My parents came down to Portland to visit the weekend before Thanksgiving, which was really nice. Michael and I got to have a little time away and Logan got to spend some time with his grandparents.

We had a nice Thanksgiving with Michael’s family. His brother got the meal again from Zupan’s, which was delicious, and the smoked turkey from Podnah’s BBQ. It was SO GOOD! Smoked turkey is the best thing ever. 🙂

Stevie is fitting in and settling in nicely. He’s found his favorite spot:

He gets along with Bella for the most part. He likes to sit with Bella and they cuddle/sleep/nap together and Stevie gives Bella kisses, which is super cute. Stevie is definitely still a kitten, though, and tries to play with Bella sometimes and Bella is like “WHAT IN THE HELL IS HAPPENING”. There have been a few times I’ve had to separate them to keep anything from happening. Nothing bad, just erring on the side of caution. Maya hasn’t quite adjusted to the new kitty yet, which I knew would take a long time (if ever).

Stevie is adorable and cute and cuddly. He wants to be with his people at all times. Which is sometimes annoying–especially when he trips us up because he’s under our feet. 😉 Kittens!!

Now for me: A few months ago I had a CT scan on my sinuses because I’ve had so many sinus infections. I met with the ENT doctor/surgeon to go over the results. I may or may not be having sinus surgery. I haven’t decided yet.

Basically, I have a deviated septum:

Which is a birth defect. I don’t think I ever had a broken nose to cause it. In addition, I have an issue with my left sinus. This is not a photo of my CT scan, but I wanted to give you an idea:

So the sinus is the black open area where there is air. My right sinus is open and “black” like the above picture. The left sinus is completely gray. So if I do have sinus surgery it would be to fix the deviated septum and to open up the turbinate/sinus area. That would fix my sinus issues and I’d hopefully stop having sinus infections SO MUCH.

The idea of sinus surgery sounds scary and awful, so I’m not sure yet if I want to do it. The doctor claims the recovery isn’t THAT bad…about a week or two of being uncomfortable and not being able to breathe out of your nose and then I should be ok. 4 weeks of no heavy physical activity/swimming. I just don’t know. I mean my day to day life isn’t miserable. Not right now. I just hate that every cold I get turns into a sinus infection. Time will tell.

In other medical news: I have plantar fascitiis. I was having some Achilles and heel pain, that felt like a bruise, on and off for a few months and saw my doctor last week and got the diagnosis. It was a super bummer. I know that PF is a painful, chronic issue that is often hard to get rid of so I was kind of disappointed to hear that. She suggested inserts.

I got inserts for my shoes specifically for plantar fascitiis. I felt IMMEDIATE relief for my feet. It was like magic. Except, within a few days I started having back pain. What the hell?! Seriously, I felt like the Princess and the Pea. One tiny thing threw off my ENTIRE BODY.

I talked to my doctor and she said to ease into using the inserts, just a few hours a day to get used to them. Ok….So that is not fun right now. It really feels like my whole body is broken right now!

So that’s what’s going on right now.

QUESTION: Have you had sinus surgery? How did it go?

A Runner and Her Injuries

Recently at my physical therapy appointment my doctor gave me some new exercises and also gave me some progressions for exercises I was already doing to heal my back. My goal with PT was to fix my back pain, but more importantly to get back to the activities I love (biking, running, yoga, kettlebells). My therapist said that if you want to run, you should be doing a few specific exercises on a frequent basis.

Want to be a runner and not have to deal with frequent/chronic injury? She said you should be doing the glute bridge exercise and be able to hold a plank for 60 seconds. And maintain those goals. Both exercises will keep your core strong and stabilize your hips during running; in turn it will keep Runner’s Knee and low back pain away. Sold. Sign me up!

I wanted to share what I am currently doing to improve my body. So far the exercises seem to be helping a lot!

Glute Bridge

The glute bridge exercise might sound familiar to you. It’s a yoga move and common in PT. There are so many benefits to this exercise but the biggest one for me is that stronger glutes fix my runner’s knee. Period. It also helps stabilize your core and helps alleviate low back pain. I’ve been given this exercise before but in the past, even though I did it diligently, I never really felt a difference. I mentioned that to my therapist and she suggested this variation:

glute-bridge

One simple change– doing it on your heels instead of with your feet flat– made a HUGE difference for me. Suddenly I FELT the exercise in my butt and glutes when I did it this way. This is now the only way I do it. And I feel it after I’m done, too. It’s important to engage your core, tighten your glutes and hold them as you go up and down. If not, you’re not getting the same benefits. I love this move. I feel it the next day! I also found a website with examples of other variations I may try in the future.

One Leg Glute Bridges

This is a variation of the basic glute bridges the physical therapist is having me do. It’s supposed to be harder than the traditional way, and it is! Here is a short video of the demonstration.

Glute-Bridge-Adduction-Knee-Extension

Like the regular glute bridge, do it on your heel. When I first tried it at physical therapy I was like, Oh holy moly this is a LOT harder. I sure did feel it! My doc said the leg doesn’t need to be straight out (like the above picture), just raised. The important keys: do it on your heels, engage your pelvic floor while you do it, and then make sure your hips are staying level as you raise them. If you’re twisting the raised hip, you’re not getting the benefits. And probably messing up the low back.

One Leg Romanian Deadlift

I’ve written about this move before. It’s a must for me when I want to keep Runner’s Knee away from my life. It was a regular part of my weight lifting workout for a long time. When I had my back flare up I stopped doing this move (and most weight lifting) and it didn’t take long for my knees to start to act up. 🙁

When my therapist watched me do this exercise the one correction she made was to have me hold the weight (or kettlebell) in one hand instead of holding two. Then put the free hand on the small of your back as you bend over. This helps you to make sure you aren’t raising/twisting your hip as you bend. I was! Granted I usually do the move in front of a mirror to make sure I don’t twist, but it’s easy to twist and then there’s no point in the exercise because you putting strain on your lower back. Good to know!

Single-Leg-Romanian-Deadlift

Plank

I know, I know, love/hate relationship right? Planks suck. They are hard. But when you finish doing them you feel accomplished! My therapist suggested doing the plank on the elbows instead of hands (it will be harder that way) and to make sure that you are engaging your core muscles while you hold it otherwise you are putting pressure on your low back. Especially if your back is sagging in any way. I see that a lot in the gym–people doing a plank (side plank, traditional etc) and they are sagging. Do it in front of a mirror if necessary to hold it!

Bridge-Plank-on-Elbows

Clam

This exercise is one I’ve been given for pretty much every running injury I’ve gotten. This move is supposed to help strengthen your hips. I didn’t always like it because I never really “felt” it. I tried it with a stretchy rubber PT band and that helped a LITTLE bit…but still, didn’t really feel it when I did the exercise. Recently my therapist suggested I try a different way to do it. I hope I can describe it properly…

So same position as the photo below (minus the band). Except instead of having the knees and feet touching, she had me raise the higher leg so it was parallel to the leg resting on the floor and THEN do the clam move. So the legs aren’t actually touching as you do the move, but you’re still doing the same form. If that makes sense? Okay, if it does, good. Because this variation was much better! I could feel the exercise doing it this way.

clam_edited

So far it’s been working. I think the combination of the standing desk and doing the PT exercises during my workouts on a regular basis have helped my back AND my knees! I also started doing the cobra/up-dog yoga stretch after each set of kettlebell swings. It helps a lot!