I went to a Functional Movement Specialist yesterday to see if she could help me with my running. I'm at wits end with the running. At this point I feel like it's likely possibly range of motion issues and tightness somewhere, maybe lots of places, that are holding me back and causing my knee pain. I've been working my way through the book 'Ready to Run' and it's been a slow process. I don't know if I'm doing the exercises properly nor do I know if I'm focusing on the correct exercises. As it turned out I sort of was, sort of wasn't.
Functional Movement is big in the Crossfit world and I went to a local Crossfit gym for my appointment. That was an experience in itself. SO loud. The music was set to ear splitting, floor vibrating, hearing loss volume. Or maybe I'm just too old. But the woman was good, supposedly the only functional movement specialist in all of Colorado so I was happy not to have to travel outside of Boulder to see her, and she did a thorough job of an exam. Recounting my ridiculously long history of injuries, accidents, surgeries, etc. was hilarious, or maybe depressing, I'm not sure which but I surprised myself by all I had to say. I suppose if you're 50 and have been active your whole life it's hardly a shocker but it kind of was to me.
Then there was video of me doing various exercises, including an air squat which I've been working on, and running both barefoot and in my running shoes/orthotics. Lots came out of that, some of it I've known for a long while, other stuff was new to me. Then there was a physical exam, a typical sort of PT exam where they look for weaknesses by having you resist against them moving various body parts in various poses. Some new stuff there too and some stuff that verified what showed up in the video. In short I have weak, fallen arches (I've known that for 15 years hence the orthotics) and a tight thoracic spine (news to me). I was deliberately ignoring the thoracic spine exercises in the book because they were confusing and I didn't think that was one of my problems anyway. So right there the exam was worth the price of admission. And WOW tight adductors (ie your horse riding muscles). SO tight. I had no idea. The foam rolling of the adductors this morning was by far the worst of all the exercises.
I've got a set of 10 exercises to work on, a combination of foam rolling exercises, foot strengthening, spine loosening and core engaging exercises. None of these are strength exercises, other than the foot exercise, they're more for getting the muscles firing properly, basically trying to re-connect brain signals with body movements and function. Exactly what I was hoping for because when I try to run I feel like my brain is giving my body signals and my body is not responding as I think it should. So fingers crossed this treatment will work. I've also got a bunch of kinesio tape on my back and stomach that is supposed to help with the brain/body connection. I remain skeptical of this tape in general but it's not bothering me in any way and in this application I can see how it might maybe sorta work. Worst it'll do is nothing so why not. Well unless the glues from the adhesive absorb into my skin and are harmful but this didn't occur to me until I'd already been wearing it for several hours so the horse was out of the barn there. I'll do some more research into the tape later but for now I'm off to a late-starting USDAA agility trial. Biathlon and Steeplechase today - my favorites!