116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Editor's note: This is Part II in a three-part series by Erin Moeller, 35, of Mount Vernon. Erin is a lifelong runner who qualified for the last two Olympic Marathon Trials. A native of Ryan, she's a graduate of North-Linn and Wartburg and works for Benchmark Inc. in Cedar Rapids. She has two children - Ryne (8) and Evelyn (3) - and one on the way with husband Andy.
By Erin Moeller, community contributor
Last week I wrote about nagging injuries, those that can heal with some rest and ice.
If you find yourself in a situation where that doesn't work, however, more aggressive measures might be required.
Here are some suggestions to consider:
Check out your kicks. Have you glanced at your shoes lately? I know, I know, you just dropped $100-plus on your running shoes and there's no way they're already worn out. Well, time flies when you're having fun. Our constant running mate typically lasts only 300 to 500 miles before needing to be retired to lawn mowing shoes. Although dropping a chunk of change on some new tread may not sound very appealing as you consider the various other needs and wants, your joints will surely thank you.
Physical therapy. These professionals are trained experts and might just surprise you as they'll likely know your body better than you. There is an art and a science to a runner's body and a good physical therapist is both a scientist and a sculptor. Find one you trust and have confidence that they can assist in identifying stretches, strengthening techniques, body manipulation, running inserts (for shoes), massage suggestions, and more to get your fine tuned machine back on the road.
Chiropractor. There are mixed reactions when this topic is brought up. Personally, I've found myself a terrific chiropractor and I can't tell you how much she's helped me over the years. She carefully assesses my joint placement, nerve points, location of pain and methodically makes precise adjustments to get me back in alignment and back to running again. As runners, we create a lot of wear and tear on our bodies and sometimes a realignment is just what we need.
Acupuncture. I've never tried this form of medicine, but have talked to plenty of runners who have and understand they've received incredible results. I'd love to hear from you if you've had a good experience or have suggestions.
Massage. I'm not talking about a little rubbing of your muscles. A well-trained masseuse knows the human anatomy well and is able to pinpoint problematic areas throughout a runner's body. Don't expect this experience to be pain free. No pain, no gain, right? If you have a nagging issue, don't be surprised to have the masseuse hone in on a particular tight muscle or sore spot in their attempt to work the kink out. Be sure to follow any post-procedure instructions and consume a lot of water after your massage is complete so you can assist your body in ridding the breakdown that has just been released throughout your body.
Now, what do you do if you try each of the above and you still have pain? Or what if your physical therapist, chiropractor or medical professional tells you to take some serious time off? How are you going to react?
That's next week's subject.