Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday Physical Therapy

I apologize for this somewhat revealing (and not in a good way) picture. I understand that it might be somewhat traumatic to see bruising that extensive on skin that pale, but I consider it worthwhile and in the interest of posterity. The bruising you might see (unless completely blind) in this picture is the result of my physical therapy session this morning, which consisted of some good news, new exercises, new massage techniques and some of the familiar, but nonetheless helpful methods to which I've now become accustomed.

First, the good news. I have become noticeably more flexible. My hamstrings were measured at "quite short" during my first therapy session, but I am now entering the "normal range" for athletes (which my therapist says can be measured by the ability to make a 90 degree angle with my body while having my legs and back straight). Also, he said that my quadricep felt "less tight," and I reported less pain and soreness despite the marathon tournament this weekend. He said, "good." I told him about the Berkeley therapist's methods and their effectiveness, and either out of jealousy, a competitive spirit, or a genuine desire to help, he set about doing his best to repair me.

Eric, the trainer, massaged me using a plastic tool, which I will remember to ask the name of next time (this is what caused the bruising). It didn't feel like it would cause bruising, did. It didn't hurt or anything, but it obviously caused some damage. "Damage" in this sense is good, because the bruising will stimulate recovery by "retriggering the healing process." Next, Eric stretched my quadricep and hamstrings, using a lung stretch method. This lasted a good amount of time and actually agrivated my lower back a little bit, but got some really deep stretching. Lastly, he introduced be to a bizarre procedure for strengthening my quadricep, which I will call "treading mud," in which I lie down on my back and with my injured leg I move my heel towards my uninjured leg knee cap and point my feet at the ceiling, then in a counter clockwise motion I straighten my leg and point my toe straight away from my body. All of this was done against Eric's manipulated resistance, consisting of his body wait and upper body strength. He was sweating more than me. It was really cool and left me pretty spent. Lastly, I did the stirofoam roller on both quadriceps, and found that my uninjured leg was significantly tighter than my injured one. So that leg warrants some attention. I'm going to buy one of those things, cause they're extremely useful.

Alright, until there's more to report.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mini League Tournament

This past weekend I participated in an absolutely insane volleyball tournament in Berkeley, during which I played more consecutive volleyball games than I ever had before. On Saturday we played 5 matches 4 of which went 3 games. The next day we had a bit of a break, and only played 3 matches. Luckily there was a trainer on hand, and one that my volleyball coach had had a good experience with concerning his own injury a few years back. During the tournament I spoke with him about my injury and the difficulties I had had with my rehabilitation process. He recommended that I get a long warm up before every game, so I rode the bike for 10 minutes before jogging and going through my dynamic stretching routine.

At the end of Day one one, I had the trainer stretch me out and massage my quadricep using a metal rod as if it were a rolling pin all along my illiotibial band. The process took roughly 15 minutes and he warned me that I would be bruising along my quadricep from the treatment. He then placed a long thin band of tape along my IT band. I was very surprised that the trainer recommend that I not ice my leg. He said I should allow it to heal on its own. The next day I was shocked at how much better my leg felt than I had suspected it would after that intense of a tournament. On Sunday I failed to receive treatment after the last game. Later on that night I iced my leg.

My leg is a little sore still a couple days later but not nearly as bad as I had suspected it would be. I played volleyball again today and consciously avoided max jumping. I'm going to stretch again tonight but am really hoping and can get some more of that "magic tape" as well as one of those metal rolling pins.

I'm seeing the trainer tomorrow morning and am going to ask about the Berkeley trainer's suggestions and resources. I'll report more when there more to report.