I had my follow up A.R.T. appointment today. When the doc asked, "How'd we do?" I let him know that, honestly, I hadn't experienced any changes. I had an hour or two of temporary relief last week, but everything was back to the same as it was before my appointment: my hamstring still hurt. My teammates theorized he had taken it easy on me because I'm a girl. If that's true, he made a mistake.

So, today, he dug in.

Can I say, holy crap, that hurt? I can? Great. Holy crap, that hurt.

It was the good pain, though, which meant that afterward, I've finally had some relief. After eight months of constant hamstring pain, this relief is unbelievable.

It's so wonderful, I can't decide if I should have sex with Kris or go for a run. They're both going to feel good.



So, for the last 8+ months, my hamstring has been hurting and aching and giving me problems. The intensity of injury decreased when I started stretching regularly, but it's still there. After hearing from the triathlete who trains with us on Mondays at Velocity Sports, and from Ryan, both who pretty much said, "Nothing I tried helped until I had A.R.T. done on my" whatever injury she/he had, I finally looked again for an A.R.T. practitioner, and signed up for an appointment.

Previously, when I looked, the nearest practitioner was in Santa Clara. This time when I looked, however, I found one who worked right around the corner from me, all of maybe 400 yards from my house. Well, duh, how could I not go now?

"Expect to hurt," was the warning I received by everyone I know who has had A.R.T. done. Expect to be in pain, expect to be bruised (an easy thing for, given that I bruise just looking at a table I could walk into, no need to actually walk into it), expect to be sore afterward. Great, I knew what to expect, I was goin' in.

What I wasn't expecting, however, was the immediate, "Let's get to it" nature of the appointment. Having been to chiropractors for 20 years (ugh, did I just say that?), and a runner for those same 20 years, I know that a warm body is a lot easier to stretch. So, when I walked into the exam room, and he said up on the table, and immediately started stretching my not-warmed-up, not-stretched, quite-stiff-from-sitting-all-day leg, and by stretching I mean pushing my foot over my shoulder because it does go that far, I freaked.

I mean, come on, sure, I'm flexible. I usually warm up to that flexibility, though.

The whole appointment didn't last more than 20 minutes. Other than a lot of skin pulling, there was no pain with the process. Other than having to pee really badly, there was no discomfort. I was able to move around better, and the constant pain with my hamstring insertion point was gone (I would later discover, "for the moment"), but I didn't have any of the bruising I had expected, or lingering pain.

Maybe there's something else going on, maybe a practitioner's proximity isn't the best way to choose a healthcare provider, but that "expect it to hurt" advice?


Or all my friends are pain wimps. That could be.