Where Injured Runners Can Go To Get Fixed
By Amy Thoma
If you’re a serious, semi-serious or even recreational athlete you are going to get hurt. In fact, one of the best pieces of running advice I’ve ever received was from a physical therapist who told me, “it’s not if you get hurt, it’s when. Just be prepared for it and have a plan for when it happens.” Aches, pains and little injuries are just a part of the deal. I’ve been fortunate so far—I’ve only had small injuries and it’s never been something serious enough to warrant a break in running, but I have had some chronic soreness and pain that needed addressing. So what’s a girl who lives in Sacramento to do?
Allow me to introduce you to the miracle that is Active Release Therapy (ART). I know. It sounds like voodoo. And believe me, I am not a fan of “alterative” medicine or anything other than good old fashioned drugs and surgery performed by an old man wearing a white coat, but ART has rocked my world.
Basically, ART is a really painful combination of chiropractic care, sports massage and physical therapy. The doctor identifies the source of the pain (and trust me, you think you know your injury but you don’t. My hip problem? Apparently a tight lower back was to blame. Arch pain? Blame the knot in my calf) and then uses either his or her hands or tools to work out scar tissue, tight muscles or other issues. I can tell you first-hand that after one appointment the hip pain that had been bothering me for four months went away almost instantly. It’s unpleasant but it works.
Luckily for all of us Elite Spinal and Sports Care over near Howe and Arden is the home of Dr. Justin Lau who is just an amazing healer (and I know, I hate when people talk about “healers” but there’s just no other term for him). He takes insurance, the office is professional and clean and I’d trust Dr. Lau with my life. To be honest, I don’t know a single person who runs regularly who hasn’t spent some time with Dr. Lau—all with fabulous results. And I never feel like he’s trying to take my money. In fact, he encourages you to cancel your appointments if you feel ok!
Being injured is terrible. Pain is terrible, not being able to run is terrible, and it’s easy to panic or to quit if you feel some pain. But don’t quit, march yourself over to Elite Spinal. I don’t mean this to be a commercial, but it’s the quickest way to get your feet, knees or hips back on the road.