Running Pain-Free with Ankylosing Spondylitis Thanks to Chi Technique - Chi Running

Running Pain-Free with Ankylosing Spondylitis Thanks to Chi Technique

December 31st, 2010

Running Pain-Free with Ankylosing Spondylitis Thanks to Chi Technique

I’ve been meaning to do this for some time. Thank you for creating Chi Running. About a year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS).  For those unfamiliar it’s a type of spinal arthritis.  It's not like osteoarthritis resulting from age and wear and tear, but more like rheumatoid, a disease where your body attacks itself, affecting mainly the sacroiliac joints and the joints in the spine. As a 27 year old male, it was devastating.  I had run several marathons previous to diagnosis and running had become a part of who I am.  In fact, during the diagnosis process I had been training for another race and initially, I thought it was a running injury. Unfortunately, after about a year of severe pain sometimes forcing me to walk with a limp and countless doctor visits, I was diagnosed.  Remaining active is one of the best things you can do to keep AS from progressing.  However, running for many people with AS isn’t an option because of the impact it creates.  For me, giving up running was not an option. I knew about Chi Running before my diagnosis but hadn’t given it much thought since I had been running for three years without problems.  After my diagnosis, the first thing I did was buy the book and sign up for an instructional seminar. I’ve been practicing Chi Running for about a year now and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that my ability to continue running is a result of Chi Running. The emphasis on fluidness throughout the core and internal focus leaves me feeling better after a run than when I started.  I can start a run with a stiff back and finish feeling like before I was diagnosed. Chi Running has been a blessing to me.  In fact, I’ve competed in several 10Ks since diagnosis and have set numerous PRs.  I’ve also transitioned from marathoning to triathlons. This summer 2011 I will be competing in a series of Tris in Boulder, Colorado culminating with a half-ironman event. Without Chi Running none of this would be possible. I thank you for your dedication and hope that my story can inspire others to get out and enjoy a run. Nothing but the best in 2011.

Chris Van H.