I ended 2013 with my strongest marathon in nearly ten years, and for the first time felt as though I could have gone farther, much farther. I was excited and registered for an ultra-marathon on January 4th, optimistic that I could easily finish a 50K. And then, like an idiot, I ran in the snow in late December, slipped on the ice and injured something in my groin or hip.
I sat in an orthopedic surgeon’s office on Monday morning and listened to him tell me that X-rays revealed no damage and to schedule an MRI. “So what do you think it is, Doc?” I asked.
“Sounds like a muscle tear.”
“What would be my options if it is?”
“Surgery. Three-four months of rehab.”
“How about letting it heal naturally?”
“Maybe if you were younger, but I wouldn’t recommend it at your age.”
My head spun. I visited a chiropractor that night recommended by my son. The woman chiropractor, who is also an MD, is the first doctor to ever give my son relief from chronic back pain. She manipulated and adjusted me, and hooked me up to a TENs machine which sends electrical pulses through the injured area opening nerve passageways and aiding the healing process. I am hooked up to a portable TENs as I write this post. I went for two follow-up visits and am walking normally and pain-free for the first time in a month. She encouraged me to continue my yoga.
The way I look at it, I have two options–surgery and rehab or continue with the chiropractor and mend naturally. Either way I figure it will be three to four months before I’m fully recovered. Five days ago I sat in an orthopedic doctor’s office listening to him talk about possible surgery. After three visits to the chiropractor I have full range of motion, am walking without a limp and am pain-free. So it comes down to a decision whether to subject my body to invasive surgery or mend naturally. At the moment I’m leaning toward the natural process.
I’m no health care professional and don’t profess to be; therefore, I would never offer medical advice or recommend one method of healing over another. I’m simply a lifetime runner and marathoner who has had three knee surgeries and run tens of thousands of miles. I plan to be active until they put me in a box and plant me in the ground. At this stage of my life I go with what works, and my chiropractor is working miracles. I’m optimistic I’ll be back on the trail again without invasive surgery. And I’m thinking that first ultra-marathon will happen before the end of 2014.