Tuesday, September 20, 2016

On to plan J

Last week, I felt pretty dang good where my legs were concerned.  It was the first time I was able to lower my pain number at the chiro and I know he was happy about that.  So happy in fact that he said we could switch from ultrasound back to laser.  He said he thought we got as far as we could with the ultrasound and now it was time to reshape the tissue with the laser.  I told him we were road tripping and would be walking for many hours and he had no concerns with that.  I told him I wanted to start gradually adding cardio back in because we were close to a vacation soon and I needed to be prepared for that.  Again, no concerns and agreed with that plan as he said I'm always good about listening to my body.  He said to have the massage therapist work my lower back and we were finding it was playing more of a part lately in symptoms.

Two hours later, I was getting a massage from the LMT and told her his instructions.  She did do a really good job on my lower back and getting into my hips.  She also got the front of my legs which I didn't even know hurt but damn did that hurt when she dug in.  She finished up with a release of my psoas (pronounced so-as) muscles that are basically deep in the hip and trust me when I tell you, you KNOW when it's being touched.

When I got up, I felt about the same as usual but as the day progressed, I got more sore.  I knew this was to be expected because he said any time he adjusts my hips that I'll be sore following.  That night we did Walk Away the Pounds because again, I was adding cardio back into the mix.  It was nothing crazy and if I started to feel like it was too much, I went back to walking or modified because I didn't want to push it.  The next day it was pretty bad.  I was really sore but the Mr said he was sore from WATP too.  I did strength that night so my legs could get a rest since I was going to be walking the next day.  Well, walking those fairgrounds always makes me sore anyway but I was a wreck before I even got there and that area of the psoas was just aching.  I did a little research online and saw that this area is very delicate and even trained people can do serious damage if there is something going on internally like a fybroid, flared appendix, etc and some people have even reported a ruptured colon.  Uh, no thanks.  I trust my LMT but I want no part of that and given how crappy I felt afterward, I wouldn't want that even if there wasn't risk with it.

I wanted to see if there was a less invasive way to do that if it's critical to balancing out the hips and I did find some decent techniques but I found other info that was helpful.  I saw how things like a pelvic tilt could come into play and the chiro has mentioned a few times I had rotation of the pelvis that should even out as he continues with the next few sessions.  What this one particular trainer was saying made something click for me.  As he was talking about an anterior pelvic tilt (which I don't know if that's what I have but I'm going to ask), he was talking about what muscles are pulling and tightening to contribute to that condition...all of the ones that are tight on me.

Because I've been forced to not do squats or any ankle/knee repetitive weight bearing exercises to heal my legs, it also means there's been no consistent maintenance of my stabilization muscles.  Then me taking the two week cardio break which I absolutely needed to give that final push in healing the deep tissue in my legs. I think contributed to this new issue.  Sunday was probably the worst because I needed the Mr to massage my legs for me to even get up and around.  It's one of those layered contributing factor deals and I'm feeling slightly better with each passing day but I'm coming up with a new plan because circumstances have changed.  I'm steadily moving down the alphabet.

Plan A- Continue with regular cardio but laser.
Plan B- Regular cardio but modify and laser.
Plan C- Cut back on regular cardio to mild cardio and laser.
Plan D- No more lunges/squats and laser.  Not working.
Plan E- Start ultrasound in lieu of laser on low frequency.
Plan F- Double ultrasound since I could tolerate it well.  Bad week.
Plan G- Jack it to 5 sir.
Plan H- Took myself off of cardio, 5 on ultrasound.
Plan I-  No more cardio, strength only. Legs healed enough to switch back to laser.  Massage seemed to make things worse as well as walking trip.
Plan J- Working on getting out tightness, self massage and beginning to strengthen stabilization muscles and will consult if that line of thinking is correct.

So yeah, I'm on plan J at this point.  Now that the leg tissue is almost healed, even though I still have the occasional yanks near my heels and can't do a full lunge, I need to shift my focus to the stabilizing muscles.  I've started doing some squats...nothing deep or exaggerated but I need to strengthen my quads.  Last night, I did clamshell leg raises which help stabilize the lower back along with abs and backbows which engage all of my problem muscles.  I know planks are the ultimate exercise to help but I need to be careful because it requires fully extended legs and I'm not sure my left leg is there yet.  I'll need to test it when things aren't so tight.

I am going to talk to the chiro about my theory and ask if because I feel so crappy after deep tissue massages are they actually helping or setting me back.  I think they are helpful to many and I LOVE my LMT but I just feel so bad for so long that I at least want another opinion.  I think a regular massage would be beneficial after a vacation just to unbunge but my muscles might be wusses on the digging front.  :-|  Right now, I'm just grateful the ultrasound seems to have worked to break up my "steel like" legs when I came in two months ago and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to heal myself the rest of the way.

Have you ever had to change your recovery plan mid-stream?

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  1. I see a progression throughout this ordeal that has accomplished at least 2 important things here: 1) You have learned a great deal about how to prevent this type of thing in the future. 2) You are now realizing and learning just how important the core work is and this will strengthen and protect all of your muscles once you reach that point of full strength.

    Sucks that you have had to go through this all summer in order to learn those lessons but at least you're not wallowing in self pity and are taking this on as another learning experience you can share with others. That is the difference maker.

  2. When ever I hear about someone who likes to exercise but has issues with their stabilizing muscles I suggest trying Pilates. Pilates is very similar to yoga, but has much more focus on the core and was developed during WWI to rehabilitate injured soldiers. It has helped me be much more in tune with my body and helped me develop more stabilization in my hips when I run and helped to reduce my shoulder pain from too much slumping in front of a computer.


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