I mentioned last week that I was looking into active release technique (ART) for the groin soreness I was experiencing. I am happy to report that I had my first ART session last Friday. When I arrived at Dr. Capaldi’s office (chiropractor), I really had no idea what to expect.
I have to say I felt like I was in good hands as soon as Dr. Capaldi told me that she was a runner herself! We went through the basic medical questions and then discussed my training. She asked me how many miles I was at, what I was training for, and the speed of my runs.
Dr. Capaldi had me walk up and down the hall a couple of times, so she could analyze my gait. I was surprised when she told me that it was actually my left hip and glute that was really tight. I guess this shouldn’t really be surprising, as it was probably one of the reasons I was experiencing the groin pain and discomfort on my right hip.
After checking out my gait, she started ART on my left glute and hips. It was kind of a weird sensation- not pain- just uncomfortable. She would push in deeply on the muscle, while I was simultaneously extending it (it sort of feels like a deep tissue massage). Each movement was completed about 5-10 times. She said that she usually doesn’t push too hard on the first session, so I think it will be more intense when I go this afternoon!
Number of Sessions Needed
Dr. Capaldi thinks in about 4-5 sessions, I will be in a much better place with the groin pain. That was music to my ears! I am not sure exactly what is going to happen with my half marathon training yet, since I am going to wait until the groin pain is gone before I start running again. When I do start running again, I will also have to be cautious about not increasing my mileage too soon.
Another key point that I took away from my first ART session was the importance of self massage. Never under estimate the power of a good foam rolling session or a one-on-one with the Stick! I am also going to be super anal retentive about stretching (this is an area where I know I definitely have room for improvement).
I was instructed to warm up for 5 minutes, do my groin/hip/glute stretches, then workout, and the repeat the stretching. Dr. Capaldi also suggested using a tennis ball to massage my left hip/glute. This is an easy technique you can use for self massage at home. Just place a tennis ball up against the wall and then use your body to roll it around in any areas that feel tight.
The day after the first session I hit the gym and did the elliptical for a half hour. I did the same on Saturday. Amazingly, on Sunday I woke up for the first time and didn’t feel stiff! I should note that I did try to run on Saturday, but I still felt some pain, so I stopped and did the elliptical again.
I am so looking forward to this afternoon’s ART session and in the words of a Daily Mile friend “telling my groin who’s boss!”