how I’m dealing with injury and why I’m a firm believer in physical therapy

I have been laying so low these days.  My step goals for the day have been blown and I’ve been enjoying more me time than usual on the weekends to focus on recovery.  This is very unlike me.  I’m a go go go person and taking some time to slow down is a necessary evil.

Spoiler alert: dealing with this injury right now is not my favorite thing.  It’s not my first injury rodeo though.  It comes with the territory for me, I’ve just accepted it, but because I’ve been around the block a time or two with this and I’ve got handling it down to a science.

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Here are my steps:

  • Rest.  Seriously.  Unless the activity that caused the injury is your full time job, take it off.  RICE it.  Rest-Ice-Compress-Elevate
  • Find a way to workout that doesn’t aggravate your injury.  This could be anything as long as it doesn’t involve you exacerbating your injury.  When I hurt my piriformis (fancy word for muscle in your butt) it hurt to do anything cardio related except bike, so biking it was with some weight training.  For my current injury, biking, ellipticalling, and weight training don’t bother it.  As Tim Gunn once said, “Make it Work”.
  • See a doctor f it lasts for more than a couple of days.  I am a big ole fan of ZocDoc.com.  I literally decided to go to the doctor on Thursday night and had an appointment booked for Friday.  Read some reviews and do some googling so you at least have somewhat of an idea of what’s going on and you can have an informed conversation with your doc.
  • Listen to your doctor.  In one ear and out the other doesn’t always work in this scenario.  All to often, doctors will tell patients to stop running for x amount of weeks or to take some time off, and they’ll take it as a light suggestion more than a requirement and just come back more injured than before. Take what he/she says to heart and listen.  If he/she prescribes physical therapy, do it and do it well.

Physical therapy is something I am all kinds of in favor of.  My first experience with PT was when I injured my IT Band a couple of years ago.  It hurt to walk with a stabbing, persistent pain and always felt like something was pulling my kneecap over across my leg.  I headed out to my first physical therapy appointment not knowing what to expect, but I ended up loving it.  When my doctor recommended it for this injury, I was more than game.

What do I love most about Physical Therapists?  They can pinpoint the bigger issue behind your injury.  Sure, when I injured my IT band, I could have just taken a couple of months off and gotten back to running on my own, but I assure you my injury would have come back very shortly.  The whole issue stemmed from my glute muscles being weak, so I worked really hard to build strength in that area and I haven’t had an issue with my IT band since.

This go around, we are focusing on stretching my calves.  They are extremely tight and that is causing unnecessary pulling on my Achilles.  Each session, I learn new exercises and techniques to really challenge myself.  Ever since I’ve started PT last week, I have seen a HUGE improvement.  My ankle hasn’t bothered me in days and that’s an awesome feeling.  Trust these people.  They know what they’re doing and you can learn a lot if you’re paying attention.

Plus, these mad men let me run muhaha.  They have an Alter G Anti-Gravity Treadmill that I have been using and I’m obsessed.

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It basically uses different air pressures to add or remove the amount of body weight your body is using while running.  Not going to lie, it’s straight up just cool.  I’ve tried countless times to video tape myself while running and it hasn’t really been successful, so stay tuned.  But being able to at least semi-feign the running motion has made my heart so happy, I can’t even explain it.  I can’t wait to get back at it.

  • Have any of you ever done physical therapy?
  • Do you like to recoup from injuries by yourself or with help?

-sj

 

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