Patience

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 16:30

Patience is something that many preach, yet few have. Disclaimer: I'm going to preach it here, but don't always have it either!

It's so tough to be patient when you're injured because you just want to be doing what you love and be able to get better at it. Back in 2011, I had Achilles issues, then crashed my bike and had two sprained MCLs that resulted in knee pain. It was chronic. Months and months went by, I worked with two physical therapists and didn't see improvement. All the while, I was training through the pain because "it's the middle of the Tri season!" and "the NYC Marathon is just weeks away!" Big...patience...failure.

After 2 1/2 years of debilitating chronic knee and Achilles pain, I decided enough is enough. I devoted myself to getting better, working with a great physical therapist near my work in NYC named Josh Grahlman (who I still work with in addition to Dr. Todd - that's how much I value Chiropractic and Physical Therapy!). I did the assigned strength work religiously (mainly working on my glutes) and got treatment 2-3 times per week. At first, there were no noticeable results. I was frustrated but succeeded in remaining patient and diligent. Then after 3 months or so, all of a sudden the pain started going away and I could run without being laid up for days! Since then, I've been adamant about keeping a strength program part of my training regimen, and it has allowed me to train consistently for nearly 3 years now. The patience paid off.

Here I am again, having my patience tested. I've had a rough start to the year as I learned that the Achilles inflammation I suffered during Kona was not just inflammation but a partial tear. I tried running a few weeks after Kona and the pain was really bad, so I decided to lay off of it for a while and continue to have it treated by Dr. Todd. While I was eager to start up again, I remained patient by telling myself "you have a long season coming up but no races in the near future. TAKE IT EASY and use the opportunity to swim, bike and do strength work." I got back in the gym, and promptly failed to be patient, biting off more than I could chew with a workout that I have done before but not after months away from the gym. I have an impinged nerve and some angry tendons in my biceps and left arm from my neck down to my finger. Not good! What a rookie mistake I made! Now I'm trying to be patient again with my recovery. I was on a roll in the pool, swimming PRs and lots of yards, but then this happened and now I've gone three weeks without swimming more than a couple thousand yards total. Frustrating! But as I've learned, it's necessary for me to be patient now and heal up. The patience is bearing fruit though, as I'm nearly firing on all cylinders again. Just another week or two I hope!

Be patient! When you sustain chronic or acute injuries and let them linger, they are more likely to return later on. Nip them in the bud before they get too bad.

Question: when is it too bad?

It's hard to tell! You must either rely on the advice of others (ideal but difficult) or rely on your own hard-earned experience (not ideal because usually you get that experience only after making the mistakes yourself!) to know when a little niggle is a threat. I've always said "if I stopped training after every niggle, I'd never be training!" and while that's partly true, you must understand your own body and when you need to back off. I learned about my body the hard way in many cases, but am proud that I've also learned from other's mistakes and have heeded their wisdom. It's prevented me from sustaining even more injuries along the way, and recovery is tough. It requires patience!

Goosfraba :-)

Hello Dr Todd, Bye Bye Headaches

Monday, December 7, 2015 - 15:45

Hello All-Pro Patients! I am excited to be able to share my thoughts and experiences on the All-Pro Health blog, and to be working with Dr Todd in some of the many areas he is an expert in. I came to Todd initially for help with my Achilles, but Todd's work also yielded a pleasant surprise. Read on.

I met Dr Todd in Kona, Hawaii, where I was to take on the most grueling one-day event in sport, swimming 2.4 miles in the Pacific Ocean amidst a sea of thrashing bodies, cycling 112 miles through the lava fields and infamous Mumuku winds, and running 26.2 miles in temperatures exceeding 100º. My preparation for the Ironman World Championship had gone tremendously well but I had a nagging Achilles injury that prompted me to visit Todd who, as I learned from John Bye of the Mapso Tri Club, was visiting Kona to witness the event and help some of the best athletes in the world. After my first visit with Todd four days before the race, it was clear that he is a very knowledgeable and skilled practioner of ART, Graston, kinesiotaping and biomechanics and after two visits my Achilles was feeling much better. I placed 72nd overall in a time of 9:23 (if you'd like to read my full race report, email me at matthew.j.bach@gmail.com)

Since I'm constantly trying to improve, when I returned to NJ (after some much needed R&R in Kauai!), I went back to Todd to see what else he would be able to help me with, now with access to the full array of equipment at his office. Todd's ability to identify areas of weakness and construct a plan to correct them is impressive, and his borderline giddy passion for athletics (as a triathlete himself) is important to me. He gets it!

After a few more visits, including a chiropractic adjustment, we were convinced that we should work together. Our initial targets:

1.) Finish healing my angry Achilles after the terror I put it through by racing an Ironman

2.) Correct my terrible posture

Take a look at the picture comparison in this blog - the first one is how I used to stand. My shoulders are hunched, and my neck is craned forward like I'm a chicken. Fast-forward through four weeks of working with Todd on mid and lower trapezius strength, and bringing flexibility back to my chest, and you have picture number 2. My shoulders are back and down, chin is tucked, and my neck is properly aligned with my spine. Do I look better? HECK YES! And here's what's more...

Ever have headaches from sitting at a desk for hours straight at work? I've had migraine headaches, often beginning midday on Mondays, for most weeks for the past several years. I could never figure out why I got them, and the only relief I found was from taking Excedrin (I hate taking medicine). Since working with Todd, I haven't had a single headache in 5 weeks! Magic? No! Posture!

I'm sold, and drinking the postural Kool-aid.

-Matt

P.S. Take a look at my Bio on the website to learn more about me! Feel free to email me questions at matthew.j.bach@gmail.com

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