I saw two specialist yesterday. My goal in seeing all these people is to get:
1. Additional opinion and insight and see if they can figure out something new.
Although my head hurts from trying to understand medical vernacular and trying to organize their ideas in my head, I feel like I got somewhere and here is a recap of what they had to say:
Dr. Pribut, Podiatrist - does not think orthodics are necessarily the key. "I rarely tell 2:30 marathoners to get orthodics". He believes my problem is a "hip problem". He suggests I get another MRI to see if the stress fractures have come back. He suggested a few different exercises. He also suggested to run "minimal" in minimalist shoes and to try a new shoe with mid-foot contact. He doesn't need to see me again. The take home point here was that he thinks I should check to see whether my stress fractures have come back. I don't think they have and I need to check insurance to see whether I can afford (another) MRI. last time it cost $600 out of pocket (it was worth it) and already this year I've spent north of $1000 on chiro/doc visits.
Dr. John Dandelski, Chiro - Dr. John thinks I have: "a hyperactive piriformis on your right side, which is due to your right gluteus maximus being weak as a result of improper firing in the lumbopelvic hip complex. Your glute should be firing first, but it is firing dead last and very weakly. As a result this is causing your piriformis to fire more as well as your tensor fasciae latae and IT band. So your complaint of the butt pain is due to the "hot" piriformis, which is totally unrelated to your adductor/pelvic pain." Dr. John checked my pubic bone and was "amazed" at how misaligned it was: "wow, I have never seen anyone as misaligned as you. Usually, it's a millimeter or two, but nothing like this". My right side was almost 1 centimeter lower than my left side (and naturally they are suppose to be even). My adductor(s) likely pulled it down. He adjusted me, something that hasn't been done before, and suggested that that might make a huge difference. I showed him my old shoes and my new minimalist shoes. He did a test which showed how weak I was while wearing my old Asics. He said to throw them away. He did the same test while I wore the Merrells and I was MUCH stronger. He agreed that I should get a second, more stable, pair of shoes because running in Merrell Trail Gloves all the time will result in other/new problems. This is why I am so fearful of going there. He said I should think about orthodics, but then agreed with the podiatrist's assessment that if I had gotten this far without them, that I don't need to. He gave me numerous stretches to help strengthen/stretch my piriformis and my glute. He thinks I should try running today (with both pairs of shoes) and report back. He advised waiting, just a little, to get an MRI.
Dr. John Dandelski's website = http://dandelski.com/chiropractic/
With the help of Towpath and the very kind (and beautiful) manager of the Chevy Chase Running Company, I settled on a new pair of shoes. I needed to find a shoe with a "heal to toe drop" somewhere between 1 and 5. The Merrells are likely 0 or 1. Both pairs of my older Asics are 11+! The Saucony Kinvara, what I ended up buying and what fellow GRCers Joe Wiegner and Jerry Outlaw wear, are 3-4. They feel great on my feet.
Tonight I will run on the track (easy) and test out these new shoes (ie - not on a treadmill). I will also commence these rigorous stretching.
I will outline my new training "package" in the coming days...once I digest this more and figure it out.
I can report that I am feeling optimistic again, and that is worth something.