Wednesday, August 29, 2012

physical therapy

So, last week's therapy was a bit of a wash.  I have been getting assigned roaming PTs (rather than getting a consistent PT or a PT that's right for me).  I had a feeling that last week's exercises weren't quite right, but I'm not the professional.  Last week, I was instructed to:
  • balance on one foot with my eyes closed, 3 x 30 seconds
  • calf stretch
  • scrunch up the width of a hand towel under my foot x 10
  • a whole bunch of ankle exercises with a theraband.  At first, I got an orange one and it was extremely easy.  I asked for something more and we went up 2 levels.  It was still pretty easy.
Last week's therapist quizzed me on the state of my calf muscle.  I am convinced that the tighness in my calf (which gets so tight while running that my foot goes numb) pulled on my heel bone so much that it caused the fracture.  I mentioned the my calf knots to last week's PT and she kept calling them "cramps" and quizzing me on my banana intake.  :eyeroll:  Thursday she actually touched my calf and only then did she say "wow, these are knots and they are not moving".  Yep.

Yesterday I met with a new PT (Becky) and she immediately began poking around on the bottom of my foot and noted that my plantar fascae is crazy tight.  She then commented on how that likely contributed to my fracture (ding ding ding!!!)  I told her about my calf and so now we have a bit of a hypothesis going.  I didn't have my calf problems until I moved here and had to run hills.  So my poor calves are freaking out trying to balance out some other muscle imbalances.  Becky tested out some other muscle groups and it was pretty sad.  Apparently I have no glutes.  She is a pilates instructor and I have done years of pilates, so we speak the same language.  The plan is to strengthen my glutes and associated muscles, which will help ease the load on my calves.  And then I get dry needling.  (ick)  But now I feel like I've found someone that is used to working on crazy athletes and knows how to properly treat them.  Hurray! 

So now, my PT exercises look like:
  • scrunch a towel up with my toes and hold it 10 seconds x 10
  • a series of 5 pilates side leg raises, 10 reps, 3 sets.  That's 150 leg raises PER LEG.  And I get to do that 2x a day.  This kills me.  Its seriously hard.
  • modified bridge pose where I extend one leg straight at 45 degrees and hold 10 sec x 10
  • pilates swimming (legs only) but slower.  one series of 30 reps is leg straight, the other is leg bent up at 90 degrees
  • very slow calf raises x 30
  • and my most recent torment, hold my big toe back to stretch my foot and then massage my plantar fascae.  I was muffling my painful whimpers into a pillow last night.  Holy crap, that hurts!
As hard and tedious as this is (its about 1 hr of PT daily), I think this is exactly what I need.  I knew something was really wrong and I needed to correct the base problem.  I think working with Beck should do the trick.


Candy said...

The main objective of physical therapy for a calf strain is to heal the injury as fast as possible. The faster the injury heals, the less likely that the scar tissue will develop. I hope you push on with your physical therapy sessions, Erin.

Candy Rowe

Sienna Christie said...

Well, one important thing that you need to remember whenever you take your PT session is that you must not hesitate to ask your trainer. If you have something in mind, if you really feel like these exercises are not right for you, ask your trainer about it. You must also try to understand what these exercises are for. I’m sure your trainer lets you perform these activities because it’s what’s good for you. This will help you recover with your injury.

Sienna Christie

Jaye Fiecke said...

Remember that sometimes, you should really try first before you discover if something works for you and if it doesn’t, you’ll always find a much better and effective way. Well, I’m glad that you found a great trainer! She made you feel relaxed and peaceful, didn’t she? :))

Jaye Fiecke