Tag Archives: physical therapy

Slow but steady…

(This little guy reminds me of how I feel some days with my recovery!)

It’s been 6 weeks since I started physical therapy for my hamstring strain. If you’ve been following along, you might recall that my injury will take closer to 3 months to heal versus a usual 6 weeks because my strain is in the tendon area of my muscle, not the “belly” (main part). Overachiever that I am, if I was going to injure myself, I was going to do it hardcore šŸ˜¦

So today we did a follow-up evaluation. One of the tests was to try to get each of my legs to a 90 degree angle while lying down, without feeling any pull. Last time I was in, I scored a 50 degree angle on the injured right leg. Today: 62% on the injured leg, 70% on the “good” left leg. Big improvement in my range of motion, but still not there yet (they like a 5% or less difference). And this also says I really need to work on flexibility, overall (boy I miss the drill team days!).

In general, my muscles (both legs) are testing stronger, and going farther before I feel a stretch or pain. It’s a lot less tender when I’m poked, and in an increasingly more localized part of my muscle.

My therapist says I could benefit from another 4-6 weeks of work with them, with the possible addition of soft tissue work to increase blood flow and speed healing in the injured area (it’s much harder to get blood flow to this part of the muscle).

We’ve also agreed that I should lay off the yoga for now, so I don’t risk stretching the wrong way. But I ran a few lengths of the turf today with no problems, so I’m cleared to try some 1-minute intervals again this weekend…it will have been 3 weeks since my last attempt, so the backing off was a good idea.

So my recovery is happening, even if at the turtle’s pace. And since I’m a slow runner to begin with, I’m used to not getting to the finish line quickly!

In the meantime, I have begun my Houston Half Marathon training with Houston Fit. I have opted to join the Purple (walkers) group for now, and have been walking the routes the past few weeks…focusing on achieving distance for now, as well as improving my walk pace for those breaks I know I’ll need when I’m back to running more.

It’s great to have a group to train with, and the post-run core workouts and seminars are definitely a plus! (And a happy note, the planks and bridges I’ve been assigned from PT really help in that core session!)

So for now, I’ll practice patience with being a turtle, so I can be a speedy turtle come January and run across the finish line.

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Finding uses for my fitness equipment…

AKA “I’m really glad I bought this exercise ball a month ago!”

Today was my first “real” day of physical therapy at Memorial Hermann’s Ironman Sports Medicine Institute. (Friday’s session was more like an extended exam to zero in on where I hurt.)

I was a little nervous going in as I had been achy all day, starting from feeling a bit of a pain behind my knee when I got out of bed. Today’s workday was not a desk day…so I was more active than I had been in a few days, and my leg was already a little tired. I made sure to tell my therapist all that, so we started on the bike as a warmup.

I did 8 minutes! That boosted my confidence (and told me I should stick with this for my cardio for now). Leah (who is studying to get her PhD in PT) then took me through a workout which was actually pretty fun.

There’s a strip of astroturf in the facility, and first she had me doing some side jogs (basically striding sideways and hopping together) and grapevines (dancers, y’all know these!). A good way to keep my heart rate up but also allowed her to see my range of motion.

Next we moved into exercises that I could easily replicate on my own. There was a series of planks involving a Bosu ball (which I’ll have to try again at the gym), and some bridges with a ball similar to the one pictured above. Since I told Leah I owned one, she put these into my homework assignment.

We finished out with stretches using a cord that resembled a yoga strap (again, excited because I have one of these too!). We discovered my IT band is really tight, so I am your stereotypical runner. A fresh application of KT tape and I was good to go.

So I have a list of exercises and stretches I’m to do daily for the next week, plus try to get in some more cardio. Which means the ball is getting deflated and coming on the road with me!

I’m feeling better tonight than I did when I went in to the appointment, so I’m hopeful I’m slowly progressing along.

And so it begins…

So today started my physical therapy adventure. The good news? No nerve issues. The bad? I’ve strained the part of my hamstring where the muscle connects, which is harder to heal than the “belly” of the muscle because it’s near the joint.

This means a longer recovery time for me, but my therapy team seems confident that we are going to build stronger hammies, so I’m putting my faith in that.

This also means early to bed tonight for me because just that little bit of poking and prodding wore me out, and I have a full session scheduled for Monday afternoon. I’ve been promised I’ll break a sweat. While I’m not looking forward to potential aches, I am looking forward to a decent workout šŸ™‚