After a quick Google search I smacked on an ice-pack and kept it elevated for a few days with a steady flow of Motrin. After the third day I decided to run again. My typical easy 9 miler turned into a very short and very painful 1 mile limp. This wasn’t good! I now had less than 3 weeks until my next race, a 200 mile relay meant for 12 runners that I would be taking on with only 3 other Ultra runners. A few more days passed before sending out the “hey guys, do you want to replace me?” warning flag. I was met with 3 solid, “naw man, let’s do this!”.My knee held up well for the first 15 miles, thanks to being heavily taped with KT Tape. The pain level increased from a “3” to a very sharp “9” on my next short 2.7 mile leg. I had just completed a marathon and was in the most pain I had ever felt from running. Now this was NOT good!
After returning home I took a week off before going out and trying to run a mile. Big mistake! Now not only did my knee hurt while I ran, but my calf, IT Band, Knee, EVERYTHING hurt all the time. I went back to my good friend Google looking for answers. After finding nothing but words like “scope”, “surgery” , and “running retirement” I switched over to Twitter. My cousin Jason, is the Co-Founder of “Competitive Edge Performance” in Tampa Florida and quickly responded with three words I have not heard before “soft tissue damage” and highly recommended that I look into the Active Release Technique or (ART) to begin the recovery process. Once again, back to the Google!I found that Active Release Technique treats soft tissue Injuries, relieves pain, and restores normal tissue function. ART is a new and extremely effective approach to treating soft tissue injuries and the resulting pain. It is a patented method of treatment developed by Dr. Michael Leahy and is utilized by more than 3500 certified providers, including medical doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and athletic trainers worldwide. The technique is very popular with professional athletes and teams (NFL, NHL, NBA, etc.) and is used regularly by amateur and professional athletes alike, not only to help with rapid injury recovery, but also for improving their athletic performance. In recent years this method of treatment has begun to gain recognition among the general public as well, as more certified practitioners utilizing ART have entered the healthcare arena. (source: http://www.activerelease.com/)
I quickly began treatment with Dr Titus out of Savannah, GA and felt the effect of the therapy after the first day. So what does the treatment consist of? It is a series of massage techniques that focuses on the muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves in the affected areas to combat the overused muscles.Typically soft tissue damage will occur in over-used muscles in one of three ways:
- Pulls, tears or collisions
- Micro Trauma (small tears)
- Hypoxia (not getting enough oxygen)
The personal response that I have had after two treatments has been significant enough to have me post about my treatment and has turned my outlook around to the point that I am mentally in the Fall race planning mentality now. I highly recommend looking into Active Release Technique to any and all Ultra Runners that that are experiencing an over use injury. Just get on the Google and look it up in your area!
See you on the trail…