I've been off the running circuit for a couple of days. For the past few weeks (ever since my ski weekend) my back has been bothering me. I never had back problems before, so this is a new experience. Unfortunately, my wife is an expert at back problems (she has a couple of compressed discs that she deals with on a daily basis). So, she "convinced" me to see a doctor to make sure there is nothing serious going on.
I wanted to make sure I saw a Sports Medicine doctor. I've read horror stories about folks seeing their doctors and being told that the solution is quite simple - stop running. I someone who sensitive to why folks like us run. I visited a doctors that we've used for two of my kids for various sports injuries in high school. I made my way to his office for a series of xrays and an exam. I was hoping that he would be understanding about my desire to run. Little did I know that he is the Medical Director for the Surf City Marathon!
Well, the bottom line is I have a condition called spondylolisthesis. It's more a condition than an injury. The bottom line is my L5 vertebra is not aligned properly with the S1. The pain I am experiencing is being caused by inflammation of the L5 nerve. For now, my therapy is wet heat (i.e., jacuzzi) 20 minutes a day, ibuprofen (600 mg three times a day), and a new stretch added to my stretching repertoire. I do this for 7 to 10 days and we'll reassess. The best news is that I am cleared to train with two conditions - no hills (up or down) and nothing longer that 10 to 12 miles at a time.
So, armed with the diagnosis, my wife had no choice than to let me go out for my easy 4 miler late in the afternoon. Things went quite well. Kept my heart rate right at 75% MHR. It felt good to get out on the trails again.