Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I've Started Physical Therapy Again

I’ve started physical therapy again.  I was in PT last summer, but once I resumed running marathons every weekend, there wasn’t much they could do for me.  Now I’m finally at a point where I can make progress again.

I’m doing my PT at TRIA Orthopaedic Center.  For years, I drove by this glass office building on my way to and from work.  I never knew what it was before.  Now I’m going there for PT.

When I had my consultation with an orthopedist two weeks ago, she was able to recommend four therapists who work with runners.  Today was the earliest I could get an appointment with one of them.  In the meantime, I made a conscious effort to improve my walking mechanics, so I’m getting some hip rotation.  Before that, my walking motion resembled the waddling of a penguin.

My appointment today began with a review of the history of my injury and an evaluation of strength and flexibility in various muscles of my lower body.  The therapist immediately noticed that I lean to one side when I tried to stand on one leg.

Before we can strengthen my weak adductors or improve my tendonopathy, we need to strengthen several other muscles.  For months, my mechanics were severely compromised by my injuries.  As I tried to compensate, I stopped using my glutes and the muscles surrounding my hips.  That, in turn, put undue strain on other muscle groups.  I still experience soreness in different places in my right leg.  I used to have soreness from muscle strain.  Now it’s from trying to overuse muscles that are weak.

My therapist gave me five exercises to improve both strength and flexibility in my glutes, hips and hamstrings.  I’ll do them every day until my next appointment.  As I improve, I’ll get more exercises.  In a week or two, I’ll have an evaluation of my running form, but I’m not ready for that yet.  For now, my only training will be on a stationary bike.

My short term goal is still to run the Boston Marathon.  I have no illusions about running fast.  I know I won’t be in shape.  I just want to be healthy enough to finish the race without having any setbacks in my recovery.  My therapist thought that was a realistic goal.

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting how it's important to strengthen the surrounding muscles instead of working on the muscle directly. It's almost counter-intuitive but it makes sense since the body is a complex system. The fact that you're doing what you can do in this situation is inspiring since building momentum is such a major key for many areas of life.

    Coleman Lindner @ U.S. HealthWorks South San Francisco