Saturday, January 22, 2011

PT once again

I posted Body aches a few weeks ago. I decided against the chiropractor for now and instead sought out an orthopedist. I figured it would be good to have one here since it seems to be inevitable I will have a type of musculoskeletal problem at some point. Because I tend to be really picky and choosy about who I see, I read a lot of different bios and ratings. Do other people do this as well? It was interesting because at times, one doctor had an excellent rating on one site but awful on the other. I don't completely rely on these things as they are subjective, but they do give some kind of insight.

I wound up going with a youngish bald-headed dr. who also happened to be a long distance runner. The appt. was yesterday. Overall, his ratings were spot on, and he seemed both nice and informative. He did an initial physical exam. We noticed my left side was considerably tighter than my right. We took x-rays of my left knee, left hip, and back to be on the safe side. Nothing was overtly apparent except gas! That was really embarrassing as I have no clue how or why that showed up other than my meal schedule was off that day.

Anyway, he is thinking it is illiotibial band syndrome. I looked into this previously, but I didn't think I really fit all the symptoms. He recommended a round of 6-8 weeks of physical therapy. In the past, I have found physical therapy to be helpful, but I dread the cost. My insurance sucks and will only cover about $300-$400, the rest is out of pocket. And the only way I can do this with my work schedule is on my lunch hour. My neighbor has agreed to let my dogs out that day, so I feel grateful for that.

If I do not feel better, my symptoms persist, then we'll look at further testing and treatment. There is no reason at this point but to treat it conservatively. There were a few things the Dr. said that rang true: 1) Starting to run will only make you tighter. Thus, it is good to get a handle on this now. 2) IT band syndrome can be a sticky and difficult ailment to treat 3) He said he had many patients who come in and say they tried to heal themselves on their own by reading on the internet how to do IT band stretches, but yet, they are not better and still seeing him!

I actually think this might be good, because ironically it gives me another human connection. I know it sounds odd phrasing it that way, but right now, I have little to none during my work week. At my last physical therapy place, my pt S. and I became good friends. It was fun getting to know her on a personal level as well as helping her out with her dogs.

I remember during one session, I was doing a difficult exercise, and she was timing me. Well, she forgot to tell me when to stop, and I yelled out, "I think it's been like over a minute now." We had funny similar moments like that where we'd laugh and joke around, but at the same time, she pushed me too to higher standards in those sessions and proved to be the best pt I have ever had. We have thus maintained our friendship and continue to e-mail each other. The others in the office were great too, and they all got a chance to know me.

Overall, I am hopeful this will help. I *think* I'm in more pain than I often admit to myself both physically and emotionally, so it's time to do something about it.


Audrey said...

I have struggled with IT Band issues for years. I wrote a blog about how I've learned to deal with it. Check it out at

Hopefully it will help. I tried PT initially and it helped a little but honestly, the things I mention on the blog have been the most helpful.

Cammy said...

Blech, I was diagnosed with IT Band syndrome last spring, it's no fun. I hope that you find some relief/solutions soon, hang in there. Having a great PT that you have a rapport with can make a huge difference.

Tiptoe said...

Cammy, thanks. I met the new PT at my appt. He seemed like a nice guy, so well see how much he knows. :grin:

Audrey, thanks for the link. I agree those are all good suggestions in dealing with IT Band problems. I guess the thing that puzzles me is that if it is truly IT Band, I haven't run in a year. Since IT Band is mostly aggravated by running, some cycling, or tennis, I just can't figure out where mine developed as I didn't have issues before. I did think about shoes and bought a new pair but no relief.

I also rarely run on treadmills or tracks so don't have much of the uneven issue of emphasis towards a knee. I am a heel striker which I had to eventually do as I before I only ran on my toes.

When I was in PT before, I did a lot of hip exercises but didn't keep up with them as well though still did them some.

I should use the foam roller, I just dread it as the last I used it in PT, it was painful!

Anyway, thanks again for commenting.