There was a chunk of time were I was getting rear ended every 2 years. Not exaggerating, I was in an car accident every 2 years from 2010 to 2016. As you can imagine, this was not a fun experience.
Following each accident, I would go get evaluated and treated. I overall felt pretty good except for my right hip. I enjoy running and having my hip hurt at rest made running challenging. But I enjoyed the feeling of being outside, my heart beating quickly and feeling like I had some control over my life since I never knew when I was going to be in another car accident.
I went from running casually to wanting to increase my mileage but my hip pain was keeping me from doing so. After several years, I finally decided to go to the local orthopedic office. I was nervous. I had this fear that there was something really wrong with my hip and that I had been doing damage to it by running so much. I was also really worried that I was going to be told that I needed to stop running. Both of these fears were probably what kept me from going to get evaluated sooner.
I met with the doctor and while he was nice enough, I never really clicked with him. I tried to explain that being able to run was something that went beyond my desire to be fit. It was something that I needed to do for me to feel like me. Without it, I didn't know what I was going to do after work to destress or on the weekend when I had free time. He either didn't listen or didn't understand me. After some x-rays and a bit of relief that structurally, my hip was ok, I received an injection for the pain. What he said next was something that I still think about all the time, "you need to stop running. Stop completely and don't do it ever again. You need to go to Costco & buy the biggest bottle of Aleve. Take 2 a day for the rest of your life. Any questions?"
If I knew then what I know now, I would tell younger me to 1. not get that injection (more on this in a future blog) and 2. to not listen to a word that he said about stopping what I love. Instead, I went to Costco and bought the bottle of Aleve. I hung up my running shoes and went from being an active person to being a depressed slug that plopped on the couch after work and on the weekends. Whether he intended to or not, his words sucked out part of my soul.
Here's where the stubborn part of my personality comes in handy, I didn't listen to him for long. Instead I reached out to a local Sports Chiropractor who my parents recommended and scheduled an appointment. The difference between the two doctors was incredible. I felt seen. I was listened to. I was given exercises to improve my hip strength and mobility and modifications so that I could start running again!
This is partly why I became a Sports Chiropractor. I know that I wasn't the only person that orthopedic doctor told to 100% stop doing what they love with little regard to how that statement would impact their quality of life. The human body is adaptable and with effort on the person's part, consistency and time, most injuries can be improved. Even if something can't be 100% resolved, there are modifications that can be made to keep you doing what you love.
I ran a marathon in 2017. That's right, a marathon, 26.2 miles. On a hip that I was told to never run on again. Guess what? Beyond the pain that comes with running that far, I felt amazing. I accomplished something that .05% of people in the USA have accomplished. These days, I run less than I have in the past but everything I lace up my shoes, I think about younger me sitting in that office, feeling defeated and thank past me for getting a second opinion.