A few months ago, I hoped to be running again by mid-June. As good luck (and a lot of patience) allowed, my physiotherapist cleared me to start running slowly. “Run for mechanics,” he said, “not for fitness.” He was telling me not to push myself and to just get use to the motion of running again.
My first run was 2 miles at a 9:30 pace. Within two weeks, I was averaging 3 miles just below an 8:30 pace and, just recently, I have been running up to 4 miles with my average pace around 7:50 per mile and a few miles hovering around 7:40. On paper, everything looks great. I’m running more and I am running faster – and I am being careful not to push myself; I’m running at a “feel good” pace. My gait feels good, my hips feel straight, and I feel strong. But the back of my leg just doesn’t feel right.
As the saying goes “Nobody knows your body better than you” and I can tell that I am still not “fixed.” In April, Dr. Bentley (the hip specialist) wanted me to have my pelvis realigned through physiotherapy and it has definitely helped me. But I still have a tightness at the top of my hamstring, close to the tear where the hamstring meets the ischial tuberosity. Nothing feels wrong, so to speak, but it still doesn’t feel right. I feel like Tammy the Hamstring is lurking at the door, waiting to break in and turn my house upside down. After all of the rest, muscle work, rebuilding, realigning and time I have invested in my recovery, I am ready to do whatever it takes to keep her locked out.
I went over my concerns with Dr. Bentley and we decided that a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection is the next step for me. I have spent months reading about PRP treatments and there is not a lot of evidence to support its effectiveness. I have spoken with two people who had it done: one said it made things worse, and the other said it didn’t really help. But there is a lot of research that supports PRP therapy. My GP, sports med doctor, chiropractor and 2 different physiotherapists all feel that this is a good route for me to follow; when I have a team of professionals who are rallying a PRP injection, I am going to listen. I really have nothing to lose.
Last night, a lady I know told me of a friend who had a PRP injection done. “Her text right after was full of delightful words,” she said, “but she’s finding that it’s helping.” That was the message that I needed – something positive, something to affirm that I am on the right path. I am ready for the pain and I can deal with a bit of time off – whatever it takes to keep me running and let me keep chasing my dreams.