So for months, I’ve been hearing my running group friends talk about ART therapy – Active Release Technique – and I’ve been interested, but didn’t really know where to start. I know that all of these things really depend on finding the right practitioner and I wasn’t sure who to go to in the local area.
At the last race we were at (Guilford Sea Leg Shuffle), AJ Gagliardi had a booth and we chatted with him. He seemed nice, knowledgeable, and not pushy – so I thought I’d give it a try. Today was my first appointment. I don’t have any major injuries, although like any runner, I have my share of aches and pains. More to the point – I want to avoid getting a major injury, because I want to keep running! And I’ve been told that I have a high pain threshold – so I worry sometimes that things are building up, but that I don’t feel them.
He started out by watching how I move – observed my gait for awhile, had me do lunges, balance on one leg, stand on one leg and lower the other heel to the floor. Just to see how my joints and things moved. He also tested my range of motion in my legs.
Overall, he told me that I have good hip stability. Which is a good thing. But that my knees angle in when I lunge or do squats or stand on one leg and lower the other foot. Which can be due to weak glutes or, he thinks in my case, unactivated glutes. So I need to figure out how to call them into action more. The problem it causes is that this is undoubtedly happening when I run too – which then makes my IT band and the TFL muscle compensate and leads to all kinds of IT trouble. I had started feeling some issues in my left IT – and the increased mileage that I’ll be doing as I head into marathon training would likely have caused more severe problems.
So – he gave me some exercises to do and also worked on releasing some of the adhesion.
All in all – I’m pretty sold on it. I have been really wanting someone to look at things and tell me if I’m doing things that might hurt me over time. So I’m glad to know that I’m doing this – it makes a ton of sense to me. It maps with the pains that I have felt and I can totally see why it will cause me trouble.
So – one appointment in – a tentative two thumbs up!