Monday, November 16, 2009

Body Maintenance...Well Make that Overhaul

For the folks that have hiked with our group, my knee problems are well documented. To all others, I have been dealing with IT Band Syndrome for more than a year now. While I have not forfeited the experience of completing an adventure, I have wanted to on more than a few occasions. After the Illinois trip it became clear that I must stop describing the issue to anyone who will listen and finally do something about it. After hours of research, I enlisted the help of my friend and chiropractor, Shawn Bradley of Bradley Chiropractic. The x-rays provided during my first visit showed the extent of the problem...a pelvis that was way out of balance.
Even to the x-ray illiterate this was obvious, since I was there when the x-rays were taken and remember standing perfectly upright, with feet exactly together. The process began with a total body evaluation that registers nerve function up and down the spine. This is coupled with x-rays and various other measurements documenting your current state. Over the past few weeks, Shawn has worked the tissue and muscles around the right side of the pelvis to loosen and align the fibers of the tendons and muscles. Last week I was finally allowed to perform three glute exercises that will begin to strengthen the weaker side. This has slowly correlated to pain in my left knee. I believe this pain to be a result of my body's shift back to center. The pain was very weak and quite different from the stabbing pain of IT Band Syndrome. Recently I was reading on Skurka's website under his failed attempts section (a section that continues to shrink in comparison to his successes) about a knee issue that prevented his success on the Long Trail in Vermont. Oddly enough, one of his remedies was to see a chiropractor to get his "hips realigned". Apparently it worked considering about six months later he embarked on the "The Great Western Loop". I will be off for another month or so before allowing myself to get back into hiking and cycling, but, hopefully the return will be without IT Band Syndrome.