I went to the physio the other day, because of what I thought was a pain in my hip. He prodded and poked at it – until he got the desired result, which was basically me going ‘Yowwwcchhh!!’ when he hit the spot. Physiotherapists seem to get most of their job satisfaction from this moment…
It turns out it was a pain at the top of my hamstring, where the muscle joins the ‘sitting bone’.
He’s given me some exercises to do. They seemed gentle enough (and bear in mind I normally go to the gym every other day and consider myself reasonably fit).
Exercise One – half squats. Seriously – just going down half the distance that I would go on a normal squat. But I have to take 10 seconds to do it. That’s very very slow. No, even slower than that. I ‘only’ have to do six, three times. Three blocks of six repetitions. Try it.
Exercise Two – modified glute bridge. Again, a glute bridge is something I’m used to doing. This is the exercise where you lay on your back, with your knees bent, then lift your pelvis off the floor to form a bridge. Doddle. Except the ‘modification’ means I have to move my feet further away from my bum. Oh, and I have to hold the bridge position for 10 seconds, engaging my gluteal (buttock) muscles. This is brutal. Three blocks of eight reps.
Exercise Three – hamstring extension. This was a new one on me. Lay face down and bend your knees so that your calves are at right-angles to the floor. Cross your calves. Then lower one leg to the floor while resisting with the other leg. Slowly. Then do it again the other way round (ie resisting with the other leg). Three blocks of six reps.
And I have to do the whole three-block combo twice a day.
And I have to do the whole three-block-combo-twice-a-day thing every other day.
I had the physio appointment on Monday. He told me to rest on Tuesday, but then do the exercises every other day starting on Wednesday (yesterday). So I did.
He also said it was OK for me to go back to the gym so long as I held back a bit and didn’t do anything that would make it worse. So last night I went to the gym.
The hard part is the ‘holding back a bit’. I tried to, I really did – but it started to hurt and I had to call it quits. I HATE doing that – giving in. I know it’s the sensible thing to do. But even with the trainer giving me alternatives for the lunges, taking it easy on the cardio equipment (and not using the treadmill at all), it started hurting 20 minutes into a 45 minute session.
I had to retire hurt. I’d been taking it so easy I hadn’t even broken out in a sweat.
So now I’m feeling very frustrated – the sensible part of me knows that I’m going to have to take a longer break from the gym. I’m also feeling stupid for basically going back too soon and possibly making things worse. Damn.
Now I need to concentrate on not provoking it, do the exercises that the physio gave me, and give it chance to heal.
I also need to get my head around the whole ‘you’re older now, things take longer to heal’ scenario – can I admit to being pissed off about that?
Today is a rest-day from the exercises. So do you know what? That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to rest.
I just need to do a quick shift at East Riddlesdan Hall helping with Hallowe’en first (10:30 – 3:30). Oh, then I’ve got a 5 hour shift at work from 4pm to 9pm. But then I’m definitely going to rest.
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