Wednesday, December 15, 2010

News from the Physical Therapist

Today was my first time back at the PT since my hip injury in early November.  I was supposed to go in sooner, but like all other things, PT appointments were preempted by tooth drama this past month.  My rescheduled appointments had to be rescheduled because I didn't realize they conflicted with finals.  Geez.  So anyhoo, today I was finally able to check in with the therapist.  I was pretty nervous that there wasn't going to be much improvement.  While I've been doing some of the things I was supposed to do, Hurley dog ate my theraband a while ago.  Whoops.  It's been a few weeks without any resistance--at least of the elastic band type.  But I have been good about swimming.  I think that's something.  I was hoping.

It was all good news today, though, to my surprise.  I haven't been having any pain in my hip or IT band since about mid-November.  Of course I haven't been on a run since then, either.  Today the therapist put me through a bunch of tests to check my flexibility and strength in both legs. The good news is that my legs are about equal now (in weakness).  The weaknesses I have in the right leg--the ones that caused the injury--are just about the same as my left leg.  Last time I was there, my right leg was uber weak, much more so than the other.  I'm stronger in my quads so I'm compensating for weak glutes and hamstrings with them all around.  Makes sense to me.

The other really interesting thing from today's appointment was that all of my standing tests (e.g. stand on one leg, squat, squat on one leg) were better than my laying down tests where I had to move muscles in isolation.  We decided that this was a bit of a "cheat"--my ballet brain knows how to find the right muscles to balance or stabilize myself, but that doesn't necessarily mean that on a long run my body is going to be able to maintain it over the long haul.  So my question to him was am I supposed to be thinking more about my alignment when I run?  Will that fix it?  Thankfully, his answer wasn't just a simple yes.  Alignment is great, but I need to strengthen my muscles (hip, butt, hamstring) so they're able to maintain balance over a longer period of time.  I'm at the point where I can start to strengthen and stretch both legs equally, which also just feels better to me.

I feel really good about the doctor/therapist team I'm seeing.  They ask me every time what my goal is and they're happy to do what they can to get me there.  Today I got a new set of exercises, three new therabands (stay away, Dog!) and instructions to start extending my walks by a few miles--WAHOO!  They want me to gently test my walk muscles before my next appointment so they can see how I'm doing in conjunction with the strength-building.  I'm kind of excited.  Even if I only get on the treadmill and walk, it's another option, and what I think will be really good for me is to get outside a few times over break and have some alone time.  I'm going to continue to swim but it feels good to know I'm able to do a few more things and I'm not so injured and jacked up that this is a permanent vacation from running.

I'm pretty sure this is the most boring post ever.  I'm excited, though.  Hopefully this means I'm on my way back to running in a few months.  Patience.  Patience.  Patience?


  1. Not boring at all! Having gone through PT myself, when I ran competitively, for a hip issue I know how wonderful it is to see progress and to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Being pain free also helps! :-)

  2. I remember going through PT when I used to run track, it's great that you are progressing so well!
    I just started this week w/ getting back into running. I want to run the Disneyland Half Marathon in September! Thanks for the inspiration!