Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pain, Stupid Knees and Dr. Wade

If I didn't post something about the number of injuries I've sustained in getting fit I wouldn't be keeping an honest account here.  When you're my age you are more prone to injury and have a harder time come back from it.  When you start out as deconditioned as I was you can bet there will be pain.

First, the back:  due to inherited bad posture and a great deal of belly fat I had serious Lordosis.  That is, I was sway-backed.  Until I developed any abdominal or 'core' strength, it was not possible for me to give my back the kid of support it needed.  It would get very tight and the muscles would occasionally spasm, sometimes just standing washing dishes at the sink or lifting nothing heavier than a grocery bag containing one small item.  Once I bent over to pick up a banker's box at work and it spasmed so badly I couldn't straighten up or walk and was off work for three days.

When I began to work out, doing any exercise that required abdominal strength, since I didn't have any, meant that I was relying to much on my already tight back muscles.  This was how my back spasmed within the first few weeks I was a member at Lation Fitness.  Toni, the owner of Lation, sent me to Wade, the chiropractor conveniently located across the street.  He diagnosed the back problem and it was at his insistence that I hired a trainer and began the long slow process of getting stronger and avoiding further injury.

Dr. Wade Whitten is a former OHL hockey star who suffered a tib-fib fracture and in the course of his recovery developed an interest in sports medicine which led him to his present practice.  He is young, with boyish good looks and has a kind and compassionate manner.  He is very gentle and very supportive of my quest for fitness, though he does warn me that if I persist in running he and I will go on seeing a lot of each other.  Can't say I mind, except for the expense.

Once he got my back in shape - and it took more than one treatment and more than one attempt, I developed a problem with my sciatic nerve being pinched by the 'puraformis', one of the big muscles in your butt.  Wade did deep tissue massage on it and wound up with pressure bruises all over my bum.  Try explaining that one in the locker room!  The pinched nerve was caused by running during my first boot camp.

I then began to develop knee problems from running.  I call these problems "Stupid Knee I, II, III, and IV".  Stupid Knee I was a problem with my IT band.  The ileo-tibular tendon connects the upper and lower leg and runs past the knee.  It can become irritated from hill training.  In my second boot camp we did a lot of that.  Wade 'stripped' the IT band with more deep tissue massage.  He broke up the adhesions that were causing the tendon to stick to my quadricep muscle and cause pain.  The massage itself was excruciatingly painful and left a deep line of bruising down my thigh.

Stupid Knee II was inflamation under the patella, also known as 'Runner's Knee'.  He gave it ultrasound treatments to remove the inflammation.  I became very used to having an ice pack tied to my knee with a tensor bandage as well.

Stupid Knee III was more of the same, but in the other knee.  Stupid Knee IV, mu most recent, is my biggest concern.  It would appear I'm losing cartilage in my left knee thanks to an old injury.  Bruce is working on helping me strengthen it.

I haven;t been to see Wade in a few months, touch wood.  He keeps me going and at the first sign of pain I call him.  I've learned the hard way that at my age things don't get better on their own and I can't just ignore them.  Giving up is not an option.

What I've learned about being treated chiropractically is that they, like physiotherapists, go right to the heart of the matter and help reduce pain as well as teaching you the right way to stretch and strengthen in order to avoid future injuries.  In my opinion Doctors don't seem to know how to really treat sports-related injuries without drugs or surgeries.  I would recommend Chiropratic any day.  Especially from Wade.

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