My research group just hired a new postdoc. She also happens to be a BodyPump™ instructor, so she’s been taking me to the gym to help me rehab my back. Today I’m…sore.
About six months ago, on a nice day in October, I woke up with shooting pain down my left leg. Not being a stranger to the aches and pains that come with endurance runner, I identified this quickly as sciatica (pain caused by injury or compression of the sciatic nerve that runs from your lower back all the way down to your foot). But this was not your average sciatica. This was excruciating pain that brought me tears during my five minute drive to work.
After a few doctors appointments, a few races, the flu, and a whole lot of pain, I finally saw a chiropractor who suggested I get an MRI. The MRI showed I had a sacralization (where my lumbar region fused to my sacrum) and two disk extrusions (one in the lumbar region and one in my thoracic region). How my 32 year old back became so screwed up, I have no idea.
In my 17 years of running, I’ve never really had a major injury before, and this one is scaring the crap out of me. Six months ago, I never expected to still be sidelined with pain in April. My fear is that this is a running career ending injury. That even when the pain subsides, it will return as soon as I start running again. My chiropractor seems to feel otherwise, so I’m trying to trust her, but my patience is waning. In the meantime, I’ve been relegated to strengthening “my core” and the elliptical. Hopefully my running escapades will become more interesting in the near future.