Having a good doctor, one that undestands your lifestyle and whom you trust, is essential.
I found my doctor on a whim. After a family member had surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, I was impressed by the treatment that she received and decided to find a new doctor for myself within the Sinai system.
When I went for my first physical with my doctor in November 2011, I was excited to learn that he had just run the New York City Marathon a couple of days before.
I was impressed, but also pleased to have a doctor that is a runner. To me, it meant not only that he is a doctor who also takes good care of himself, but also that he would be compassionate toward my active lifestyle. This is someone who will encourage me in my atheltic endeavors and be honest with me about when I need to pull back and when I can stand to push harder.
When I began suffering from lower back pain a few weeks ago, he was out of the office so I saw one of the other doctors in the practice instead. I like her and respect her as well, but I felt at the time that I wasn’t getting the right answers to my questions.
After feeling like my physical therapist wasn’t treating the root of my problems, I decided to go back to the doctor — to MY doctor.
I saw him this morning and gave him the full run-down of my condition. I told him how it happened, how it improved a few days later but how I’ve been feeling pretty much the same since then. I explained what transpired with the other doctor and my physical therapist.
Then we went through the physical exam. I was able to pinpoint pretty specifically where the discomfort lies.
He told me that he was going to step out for a few minutes to consult with an orthopedist. When he returned, he showed me an image online of the Sacroiliac Joint — it is located precicely in the location where I am experiencing discomfort.
My pain is a low, dull pain, that for the most part doesn’t hinder my activities, but it seems like it’s almost always there…taunting me.
What we determined is that I have sustained an injury to my Sacroiliac Joint. It might be a bruise (from inadvertently foam rolling too hard over the joint when I first felt tightness in my lower back muscles) or it may be something more. And it could take some time to heal. But in the meantime, we know where to focus our efforts.
When I left his office I was all too excited to have a diagnosis, but I am still unsure of how to treat it. We exchanged a few emails afterwards and the key points are that (1) yoga makes me feel better, so I should do lots of yoga; and (2) running doesn’t worsen the discomfort, so I can keep running.
If it worsens, we’ll talk next steps. But for now, it’s nice to know that I have a doctor who is patient enough to talk through my concerns, eager to help me resolve them and knows that in the meantime, I have a half marathon to train for!
My little disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional; nor am I a certified personal trainer. The information provided in this post is a description of my own experience and opinions. What works for me may not work for you. If you are interested in beginning a new exercise routine, please contact your physician.