Help – My Head is Not Screwed on Straight!
I look like a robot these days … let me explain.
Since January, I’ve been training to run the Garden Spot Village (GSV) half-marathon (13.1 miles) on April 9th. I’ve eaten right (most of the time). I have followed my training schedule. I’ve had some perfect running moments and I’ve had some lousy runs … but all in all, I
am was feeling ready for it.
Over the past decade, I’ve had some annoying neck and shoulder tightness. This annoyance has increased over the years … either from the accident, age or both. Recently it’s become continual pain. I’ve decided to be at my best for the race, I should get it checked out.
I’m not anti-surgery … but I don’t think of surgery as my first choice. I prefer to look for non-invasive options. I’ve had standard chiropractor care over the years, which has helped the rest of my back tremendously … but it has not taken care of the neck/shoulder issue.
My massage therapist recommended a different type of chiropractic care … called atlas orthogonal. This treatment focuses on making sure one’s atlas (the first vertebrae) is level. (The TV show, The Doctors, has showcased this treatment)
X-rays showed that my atlas is not level, not anywhere near level … it’s off by 3.75 degrees. (the doc said the worse he’s seen is 2.5 degrees off) So for those of you that have been wondering … the truth is, my head is not screwed on straight.
I’ve been receiving treatments for a week now and my neck/shoulder feels much better. But there’s one major drawback …
During the first few weeks of treatment to ensure that the adjustment holds, I’m supposed to hold my head as still as much as possible. That’s why I look like a robot. I need to turn my whole body, not just my head. I’m not supposed to move abruptly or do anything to jar my neck.
That means I’m not supposed to run. Yes, not supposed to run a few weeks before a half-marathon. I knew this could be the case so right before my first treatment, I did a nine-mile training run.
I’m so thankful for all the training I’ve done … but this saying is true, . If you don’t use it, you lose it. If I don’t workout during this time, I will not be at my best for the race.
So I’m compromising … I’m going on walks, instead of runs. I’m not going to yoga class, but I’m doing modified yoga stretches at home, mostly for my legs, while trying not to move my head.
But for both my body and my mind, I need to get a few runs in. So twice a week, right before I go back to see if the adjustment held (treatments are only done if the atlas is off again) I’m going to go for a run. Then if I throw the adjustment off, it can be readjusted within the next few hours.
My chiropractor doesn’t necessarily like my plan, but he understands … or at least I took it as understanding when he said, “If that’s what you feel you have to do, okay.”
My hope is that on April 9th less pain in my neck/shoulders will make up for my compromised training in these final weeks before the race.
UPDATE 3 days later: I was hesitate to give the name of where I was getting treatment from until I knew if this process works for me. Today I did eight miles … and my neck and shoulder felt better than they have in a long time, so I think it’s working – yay! After the run, I went in for another treatment with Dr. Marc Calicchio at Atlas Chiropractor of Wyomissing and I’m happy with how I’m feeling!
Have you ever balanced the advice of your doctor with your personal wishes? How did that work out for you?If you are in the area … join the party on the 9th. GSV has a full-marathon, a half-marathon or if you aren’t up for those distances, grab a few buddies and form a relay team. I’ve done the relay the past two years (2009 and 2010) GSV has great shuttle service to take relay runners/walkers to and from the transfer spots.