Physical Therapy 1 month Re-Evaluation

Yesterday I had my one-month check in with my Ortho surgeon to review my progress following my hip surgery.

I could tell that on Friday during my PT tests I was light-years beyond where I was one month ago. My hip is feeling not quite normal, but pretty darn close. I spent 60 minutes on my tri bike on Saturday afternoon spinning at a low resistance level, and that duration of time coupled with a closed hip angle made my psoas a little bit tight, which I can still feel today. My strength benchmarks are all close to equal – originally I was 100/40.

All in all, PT is working out really well, and we’re staying the course and will be adding some soft tissue work to try to loosen things up a bit. Running is still a bit off in the distance yet, but I can do those workouts on the elliptical easily enough.

My first race that I would like to do is the first weekend in May – the Devilman in Southern New Jersey. Here’s my race report from 2013 – it’s an odd race in that the sprint is more like a sprint-and-a-half, and the half-lite is just about a 50 miler as opposed to a 70.3.  I’m thinking I’m realistically looking at the sprint just to get a shorter race under my belt this season.

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The bumpy road of physical therapy and injury rehab

I’m now just about 4 weeks post-surgery, and the process of adequately rehabbing an injury is something I find both fascinating and frustrating.

At any given moment, you’ve got two sides of your brain chattering at you at the same time:

left-brain-right-brain

 

The left and more analytic side is warning you to not push too hard, stay safe, and asking “What do you think that little tiny ‘twinge’ means?”…  The left brain looks for reason, justification, and something in the DATA to prove that improvement is taking place.

The right and more emotional side is egging you on, getting wrapped up in the enthusiasm of FINALLY TRAINING AGAIN, and also lamenting your loss of fitness, your slow lumbering progress, and overall lameness.  The right brain also swells with delight when a session goes well, and the iso-lateral movements are getting easier on the weaker side.

 

It’s a push/pull with every day.  The one thing I’m attempting to keep in center-focus is that REST will never hurt, nor set you back.  Much of my time these last couple of weeks has been strengthening the left (affected) side, bringing it into balance with the stronger side.  Too much too soon will result in other injury as the pelvic imbalance is significant.  

It’s a mind game.  So often we view “mental toughness” as kicking in on mile 85 of the bike, or mile 20 of the run, when all the matches are just about gone.  I’m looking at mental toughness these days as the practice of staying positive, having fun throughout the process.  Mental toughness tells you that the discomfort you feel is normal, and that “Rome wasn’t build in a day”, and “Put down that cookie”.  So much of any rehab plan – or any RACE PLAN for that matter – is rooted in “trust the process”.  It has to be, as at the end of the day “the process” is the only thing that is proven to work over the long haul.

In short – “Trust the Process”.

Quick Post-Surgery Update

So my initial PT visit went well.  My Physical Therapist (also a USAT Level 1 Tri coach) and I hit it off well and I did pretty well in my movement and strength assessments.  Apparently I’ve only got about 40% of the strength in the repaired hip, but the range of motion is pretty good.  I lack some range of motion in my hamstrings and glutes, and my hips are pretty tight to begin with, so this isn’t necessarily new news.

I was given some exercises for strengthening and stretching, which I’ve been doing religiously in the week since my first appointment.  I’ve also upped my time duration on both the stationary bike (not my tri bike on the trainer yet) as well as the elliptical.  I’ll be getting back in the pool this week as my incisions are almost 100% healed.

My wife and I are also doing the Plank-A-Day Challenge, and we’re up to 45 seconds so far on day 7.