Exercise Chart

guinness.jpg

I’ve been back in the gym for a couple of weeks now. I have to say that this has probably been the toughest phase, mentally, of recovery so far. Initially there was always something new coming up in a week or two - new cast, boot, partial weight bearing, full weight bearing, walking, getting rid of crutches, back into a pair of shoes, etc. Even though it felt like an eternity, there was always something new. But, now there isn’t that definitive carrot to chase. Obviously, the goal now is to re-stretch the tendon, regain full range of motion and rebuild strength in the calf as well as the rest of the injured leg. But, it’s harder to get excited about the progress. I keep telling myself that I need to listen to my own advice and look at progress week by week rather than day by day. I think my next milestone will be jogging again. But, it’s difficult to know if that is a week away or a month. I guess I just need to be patient and accept (again) that this is a serious injury with a lengthy recovery. And, a Guinness from time to time can’t hurt!

I’ve gathered up a number of exercises from my time so far at PT. I’m only going once a week now, so I do most of the work at home and in the gym. I made up a simple chart to keep the exercises organized and so I remember to do them all, as well as to track my progress. Here is a link to the Exercise Chart. Also, PDF version, in case you don’t have Excel.

I realize that this might not be useful right now for most, but it seems like a lot of people will be getting back to the gym in the next month or so. I do the exercises listed in blue every day, mainly ROM, stretching, and balance. The other exercises I do every other day. About 80% of the exercises are straight from PT. I’ve added a few additional that I feel comfortable with just for a bit of variety. I also try to include some cardio work, either biking, elliptical, or treadmill, during my workouts and I do some simple pool workouts about every other day. Feel free to copy and adjust the chart accordingly to fit your recovery. Also, let me know if you have any questions about any of the exercises.

I’m finding out that it is important to really listen to your body as you start to rebuild the calf and tendon. I’ve had days where I feel a little bit of pain while doing certain exercises. At first I tried to ignore the pain, figuring it was just part of recovery. But, when it didn’t go away after a couple days, I realized I was pushing things a little too hard. I’m now doing a better job of backing off, even though it’s a feeling of regression.

I’ve also realized that good communication with your physical therapist is very important. I always hate the question of “how does everything feel?” When compared to how I felt after the rupture, everything feels great. And, I’ve never gone through a rupture before, so I don’t know what “normal” should feel like at this point of recovery. But, I’ve found that it is really helpful to describe to your therapist any pain or tightness. They will be able to make some manipulations with your ankle or adjust your therapy slightly which may eliminate or lessen any uncomfortable feelings.

7 Responses to “Exercise Chart”

  1. [...] Original post by Achilles Healing - Tom’s Road to Recovery [...]

  2. Tom…
    Great job on the chart. Impressive and complete. are you doing any modalities? massage? hot tub? or wearing a brace??
    Keep up the great work.
    Doc Ross

  3. Tom - The exercise chart is very well done. I’ve configured a setting on your page, and you now should be able to post excel files too. If you create a “page” for it, I’ll link it from the main site as I had done with Brendan’s progress tracker.

    As always, another excellent, thoughtful writing. ;)
    Please let me know if there are any topics on the main site that you’d like to contribute to as well.

  4. Doc Ross - No modalities for me, perhaps due in part to my late start with PT. I do massage the tendon and incisions every chance I get, which is almost constantly. The scar tissue below the incisions has just about gone away. The tendon itself is still pretty thick, although I don’t believe that is uncommon. I’ve also been using a hot tub. Not sure if it’s helping or not, but it feels good! I soak for about 15 minutes and then stick my foot under a cold shower to reduce any swelling from the hot tub. I’m not using a brace. I feel pretty confident with the strength of the tendon at this point, and I’m sticking to fairly low impact/non-explosive movements.

    Dennis - Thanks for the excel upgrade! I’ll add a page to my site that includes the chart. And, the main site is looking great! I can’t believe how much info you’ve been able to compile. I really think future rupturees will find your site extremely useful.

  5. tom - looks like you are way ahead of the pack. I have a feeling you are going to finish first!

    Everyone is hot on your tail though. ;)

    http://achillesblog.com/atrpt.php

  6. I think I just had the advantage of starting in Brooklyn while everyone else was in Staten Island. I just hope we can all celebrate together in Central Park!

  7. Tom - thanks for the exercise chart..this will definitely come in handy for me in a few weeks. I appreciate the effort you have put into your posts. I agree too, we’ll all be together in Central Park before we know it!

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