"Take your seat on the stool here and let's see how you're doing," my physical therapist directed and my fourth visit in spinal rehab was under way. Normal procedure on my previous visits have included a session whereby the PT feels the movement of the lumbar vertebrae as I bend and twist my back to the left and the right. He claims he can feel if there is dysfunction in the movement and hence a condition under which my overcompensation in other areas creates over use and hence PAIN. "Now just what exactly is my problem"? I have probably asked him the same question on every visit, and I think the answer finally sank in. Because of bad habits or possibly an injury in the past my lower vertebra have moved unnaturally and caused me to alter the way I move my hips when I walk, run, lift, etc. This dysfunction has caused the vertebra facets to impinge and irritate nerve endings in the general vicinity of my lower back and create PAIN. Evidently this condition is one which has developed over long periods of time and will take an equal amount of time to correct. The bottom line, however, is I am making progress.
The therapist proclaimed I had graduated and asked that I return for one more session only if I felt it was needed. I asked the appropriate and pressing question about a return to running and he acquiesced that I could SLOWLY get back into the activity. "You're not out of the woods, yet", he said "but well on your way". That permissive statement was music to my ears as I finally contemplated getting my running affairs back in order.
The past six weeks have been tough. There have been moments when I loathed the sight of my PT because of his diagnosis. I realize now, though, that this was a needed sabbatical in my training routine and I am going to be a better runner because of it. It is amazing how God works. His wisdom so overshadows ours and is everlasting and true. I pray I can glorify God in a more profound way as I explore the limits of my athletic abilities.