You see, I have scoliosis. It sounds much worse than it actually is, which is technically a curved spine. Mine sort of looks like an S. I’ve never really had any noticeable issues from it until a few years ago and unfortunately, the first symptom that I ever had was sciatica. I got it anytime I sat down for longer than 15 or 20 minutes. It is quite painful and for me it started in my butt and ran down the back of my leg. Serious nerve pain that felt like thousands of needles stabbing me. Fun, I know.
After a year or so, the sciatica only happened occasionally and it was manageable. Then about 2 years ago I started to have lower back pain on occasional long runs. At the time I didn’t realize that all of these symptoms were related to my scoliosis, (I know, I’m a genius), until eventually I started to have pain deep in the side of my butt, more commonly known as piriformis syndrome.
So, if you’ve wondered what I’ve been talking about when I say, I’ve been nursing a little injury or that I’m taking some time off, now you know, it’s all related to my scoliosis.
When I first realized that scoliosis was triggering these injuries, I went to see a doctor who told me I probably shouldn’t run….
After I fired that doctor and found another one, he determined that my injuries were actually caused by some key factors and that by identifying these factors and addressing them, I could possibly prevent future issues. Unfortunately, I got a little lax in my pre-hab, hence the piriformis syndrome I am suffering from currently.
But for those of you who are interested, here are the key factors that led to my latest injury:
- Lack of Proper Stretching both before and after runs – (Stretching during long runs is also sometimes necessary)
- Weight Gain – (7 pounds may not seem like a lot but that’s over 6% of my total body weight, oops.)
- Lack of Core Work – If you want a strong back you have to start with a strong core.
So for the next 5 days, I won’t be running. I’ll also be icing my hips for 20 minutes every hour and I’ll be stretching and foam rolling like crazy. Then after 5 days, I’ll slowly start to run again.
And once I’m able to run again, I’m going to follow the plan to hopefully prevent this from happening again.
- I will stretch each and every time I run, before and after.
- I will keep my weight steady.
- I will do planks like a boss!
Now, I just need to find an activity to keep me busy and sane while not running…..
Any ideas? I’m open to suggestions?
Anyone else suffer from scoliosis? Does it cause you pain when running? How do you avoid injury?