Am I making my injury worse, should I be a physical therapist, and other musings…

My good friend Dave Matthews once summed up exactly how I’m feeling right now.

Okay, maybe I’m not friends with him, but I did see him and his band from backstage! Amazing!


“Sometimes I can laugh, but at times it takes all of my strength to find enough reason to take the next step, but I will, I will, ’til I do.”

I am not feeling great right now. I will only discuss this for one moment and then we can move on to positivity and discuss my new outlook on my career, mmmk?

Why, why, please someone tell me why, every day something different hurts. It’s not even like I can pinpoint one spot of pain of weakness and Google the crap out of it, or go to a physical therapist and tell them exactly where it hurts and move forward. IT’S ALWAYS SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

It’s like this little devil is jumping around inside my left leg, poking around and making different things hurt.  And probably laughing at me. It started as IT band issues. Fine. I can deal with that. Foam roll, ice, strengthen, strengthen, strengthen. But once that started “healing”, something else came up. Sometimes it’s my hamstring. A lot of  times it’s the back of my knee, other times it’s the front of my knee, sometimes my hips, sometimes my lower back. I still feel like my SI joint is out of whack and is pulling on everything, but who knows. It’s not even just when I’m running, it’s at random times throughout the day. Usually when sitting.

I’ll get to the point – I NEED RUNNING BACK. But I don’t have insurance so I can’t go to the doctor. I will continue to try massage and ART but so far, no improvement. Sad.

The end.

Cute puppy Wyatt photo: this is my attempt to reel you readers back in after my depressing rant!

Oh, you’ve heard this all from me before? Oops.

Sometimes I wonder if runners simply poke and prod and worry about their injuries so much that they make them worse. Before the NYC Marathon, I kept rubbing my knee to “see if it hurt”. I would go on a run to see how easily it would act up, wondering if I really should run the marathon or not. Maybe my knee really just didn’t want all that attention.

This all sounds very dumb. But I did graduate from college (in really high heels). Promise!

They say this can happen in the surgical world too; sometimes a medical problem is better left alone. Surgery and medication can sometimes cause more complications for a patient than the actual condition. (I’m not a doctor, I just read lots of medical books. Weird hobby, I know.)

Right now, I keep rubbing my hamstring. I’m probably irritating it by doing so. When will I learn?

Are you still here? Let’s move forward.

Earlier I mentioned that I have a career update. Sort of. Those of you who read my quarter-life crisis post or the post where I mentioned how badly I need some direction may be excited to hear this. Or maybe not, but I’ll tell you anyway!

Yesterday I had a very eye-opening and fun experience – I visited a college physical therapy clinic and job shadowed a PT there. I was a little unsure about the situation going into it – not sure if I would enjoy physical therapy as a profession – but I ended up LOVING it. I’m so glad I gave it a try. I was able to see many different types of issues that patients have; everything from a sports injury to someone who was working on just standing up and walking (which really opened my eyes to how lucky I am).

Time flew by. The person I met with gave very thorough explanations of the methods he was using, and answered every single question I had.

Now that I have some job shadowing experience under my belt, I think it’s time to take the next step: applying for DPT programs. AHH. Scary. But simply delightful to have an idea of where I’m headed.

So! For my workout today…I was dragging going into it.

It consisted of a lot of warming up and stretching, some arc-training, some treadmill action (run one minute, walk one minute for 10 minutes), and as always, it felt good to be running but that little devil came back in the form of little twinges in the back of my knee.

Next, I did some lifting. Lots of full-body action. I’m talkin’ “body is shaking” type of action. This is a comprehensive list (I think!) of the strength exercises I did today:

Pull-Ups (okay, okay, assisted pull-ups)

Cable “face-pull” with external rotation

Dumbbell Rows

Single leg barbell deadlifts

Straight-leg deadlifts (did both deadlifts to target different muscles. Not sure if that was accomplished anatomically or just wore me out but whatever).

Tricep Dips

Bicep Curls

Calf Raises

Plus, your standard planks, pushups, and core type things. I really enjoy lifting and by the time I left the gym I was feeling more upbeat.

How are you feeling today? Do you poke at your injuries to see if they still hurt, too? What’s your workout schedule looking like this week? Do you have any good jokes?! (I need one!)

I’m a writer currently living in New Jersey and blogging about running, fitness, wellness, and motivation. I want every reader to laugh and feel empowered, balanced, and motivated! Subscribe by email to get 1-2 newsletters a month with post updates, my favorite articles, running playlists and more!


  1. January 13, 2012 / 7:07 am

    Feel your pain! We can be our own worst enemies sometimes. And like the song says, “the knee bones connected to the…” One big kinetic chain that all ties together. My advice would be to try to move forward and try not to focus too much on the little aches and pains. See what happens.

    I repeatedly convince myself I have a sfx or something else and if I give it a run or two, it goes away.

    Good luck!

    • January 13, 2012 / 7:36 pm

      Thanks! I know I really need to relax :)

      And now I have that song stuck in my head, haha!

  2. January 13, 2012 / 8:35 am

    You’ll figure it out, Kara. About the body stuff, you definitely need to see someone about the alignment of your hips, especially if you have pain while sitting. DM me about someone I can recommend who, I think, will waive his intro fee and just charge for the visit ($75, I think–I know, expensive, but you gotta figure it out)

    • January 13, 2012 / 7:37 pm

      Thanks Abby! I will send you a message-I’m definitely interested in trying anything I can!