Sunday, January 20, 2013

Thank You Finish Line PT!

On Friday, I went to Finish Line PT for a Peak Performance Analysis. Let's back up a bit; after taking a week off of running over the holidays due to knee pain, I treated myself to a run on Christmas day. I made it half a mile before my knee started hurting. When I got home, I tweeted something like "HELP ME! MY LIFE IS OVER! I CAN'T RUN!"  Abby (and maybe Jess- can't remember and the tweets are too old to find now) tweeted back that I should go see a Physical Therapist, and recommended Finish Line PT.  My insurance is less than stellar, so I was discouraged when I saw that Finish Line doesn't take it, and basically gave up that hope.

A few days later, I got an email from Sara at Finish Line PT, who handles the social media for the office.  She offered me a Peak Performance Analysis, which included an Injury Assessment and a chance to run on their AlterG! I was so amazed that she contacted me after just seeing one tweet about my knee pain!  We emailed back and forth to set up a time, and I ended up going in on Friday.

After seeing my doctor a few days after Christmas, we concluded that my knee pain was caused by my IT band, which my doctor described as feeling "like a rock." I don't think that was a compliment. While I've been lucky enough to get back to running after an extremely painful, but obviously effective, sports massage, there must be an underlying issue that caused the IT band pain to begin. So on Friday, I was happy to get some expert advice from Tom at Finish Line!

First I ran on the treadmill for a Gait Analysis for Tom to analyze.  Then I walked around for him to see how my feet land. He thought that my feet/legs seemed to look okay for the most part, but noticed that I'm hardly able to bend backwards and determined that the issue must be coming from my hips. Now that I'm writing this, I'm remembering that once I started running again after the marathon my left hip (which is the leg that has had issues) felt super tired/sore after every run.  I've also had the urge to stretch my hips out a lot in the last year so this all makes sense!  Tom gave me some hip stretches to do that give a much bigger stretch than anything I was doing on my own, and he let me video tape him so I won't forget the exercises. Awesome, because I forgot pretty quickly so was glad to have the video to reference!  I also bought myself a new torture device, shown below. My previous foam roller was too forgiving- I'd get off it and it would be dented from my body weight so this is definitely better/more painful/what I needed.

After Tom was done showing me the stretches, I got set up with the AlterG! You put on these funny shorts that feel like they're made out of wet suit material and have a huge circular zipper around them.  You zip yourself into the machine, then it weighs you. While I have been running outside without pain, obviously at 100% of my body weight, it was nice to get a break from that on the AlterG!  Tom set the machine to 80% of my body weight, but said I could play around with it. I took the machine down to as low as 50% of my body weight. The lower the percentage of body weight, the higher the machine suspends/lifts you! It inflates with more air to the point where you feel like your legs are almost dangling. It was pretty fun to play around with it and experiment how it felt to run at different levels! I can tell why many pro runners use this when injured; you can still get your miles in but without the high impact on your legs.

I ran a three miles on the AlterG at 8:00 pace. While my lungs felt like they were running at an 8:00 pace, my legs felt great! I've been curious about these machines for a while now so I'm so glad I had the opportunity to try one out!

This was the best experience I've ever had at Physical Therapy (and I've been to a bunch of different offices for non-running related injuries).  The space is huge and open with tons of different equipment and the people working at Finish Line PT are the nicest and most helpful people I've come across in NYC. Everyone went out of their way to make me feel welcome, answer any questions I had and be extremely helpful in every way possible. I can't wait to go back later this month!

THANK YOU Finish Line, and Abby and Jess for tweeting about them!!!

Have you ever been to Finish Line PT? 


  1. No, but I've wanted to go for a while based on Abby and Jess's recommendations, and especially to try that AlterG machine. It sounds so cool!!

    I think I need a new foam roller, too. Mine was a very cheap buy, but after using the one I got my dad for Christmas, I'm thinking a nicer one is worth the investment!

  2. Love the trigger point foam roller for my IT band. Check out nerve flossing, too. I think it helps.

    Haven't been to finish line PT. Went to PT at HSS last year for ITBS and they were great, too!

  3. I've been wanting to go ever since Jess left a review! Sadly we can't justify the expense right now =/ Glad they found out the problem though! But that looks like a nice foam roller and I hope it helps.

  4. I am also having knee pain stemming from an IT Band issue. Probably also related to hips. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to know what those stretches were. Even just the names and I could research them myself. I also have an order for PT and may try that as well.

    The Kidless Kronicles

  5. Finish Line is amazing! I love it...and Sara is great!

    1. I went again this week and everything is already feeling much better! I haven't met Sara yet, but she's been awesome through email! :)

  6. I also prefer physical therapy to reduce any kind of body pain and prevent the future injury because it’s effective and safe.