Archive for the 'Latest and Greatest' Category

Aug 13 2012

Skate your way back to movement, strength and flexibility

Published by uscgdiver under Latest and Greatest

Toward the end of my physical therapy my therapists began to run out of things for me to do. The routine became adding more weight and more reps to previous exercises. Booooorrrrrring!! As an exercise physiology major in undergrad, I began to think back to what I could do as a sport specific movement that would a) be low impact, b) strengthen the lateral leg muscles and calves, and c) be fun!!

Since I was still having sorness and stiffness when I ran (1-3 miles) I wanted to wait a little while longer before I started running again. So in my brainstorming I came up with ice skating. My therapists cringed at first, but when I explained my reasoning, sport specific lateral movements similar to cutting in lacrosse, and low impact to the legs and tendon, they were like, “why didn’t we think of that”. I agreed to get really good pair of skates to support my ankles while I started skating again, and we crafted a few exercises to get me conditioned.

The first exercise was a basic foot speed/endurance drill where we taped an 18″ square on the floor. With the injured leg I hopped from corner to corner clockwise and then counterclockwise, 10 reps, 2 sets until I could complete each cycle without stopping and landing accurately (pushing-off strength). It took me a few weeks to get up the strength and endurance, but I saw the strength gains and flexibility increasing in my calf and ankle. After that, we moved to the slide board to mimic the lateral pushing movements of ice skating and build up the upper leg muscles too. I would slide for 15 min. I felt I got just as an intense a work out from these two exercies as any treadmill run, and no pounding on the tendon or weaker lower leg.

After I felt my leg was strong enough (2 weeks of the jumps and sliding), I went out and got a higher end pair of skates and ventured out for my first session at the skating rink. Although I grew up ice skating and playing pond hockey I was bit tenative about how my ankle and tendon would feel. I laced the skates up tight and off I went. At the end of an hour of skating, my ankle and tendon felt looser than it did after a run!! I am still making ROM gains on the injured ankle too.

At 6.5 months post injury (no surgery) I am playing beginner adult hockey once a week and do a skill skate 1-2 days a week. The muscle mass in my calf is now noticibly returing to normal and I skate without pain, and I get a decent aerobic workout as well, with no post workout pain. The skating has also done wonders for the tendonitis that developed in my right leg, and the pain or stiffness associated with it gets more infrequent. Now I can skate with the top of my skates loose and flex my ankle even more, as my ankles and calves are strong enough to suppport me.

In line with my theme of competitive athlete, I also stay after my hockey lesson and play pick-up for an hour, so it satisfies my mental desire to get back in the team play environment. Of course if you don’t have access to a skating rink or want to play hockey, rollerblading accomplishes the same movements and results, plus you can go for running length distance for a really great workout.

I always ride my stationary bike for 5-10 min and then stretch out before I leave to play hockey or skate, and the proper skating technique aids to contuniually loosens the ankle and stretches out the tendon. There are plenty of books at the library or quick skating tutorials on “YouTube” to get some basic instruction. So, for those looking to get out of the house and off the treadmill and stationary bike, skating is a great low-impact way to return to moving the body, build up your leg and calf strength and gain flexibility. As always, start easy, do what you can tolerate and gradually build up your routines. Best of luck and stay positive in your recovery process.

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Aug 09 2012

Good recovery information for strengthening the calves, stretching the tendon and combating tendonitis during recovery

Published by uscgdiver under Latest and Greatest

A few of you asked me to share some exercises that have helped me through my recovery. I have posted a great link in “Helpful Exercises” and have it right here too for you to access: http://www.sportsinjurybulletin.com/archive/achilles-tendon-pain.html. I use these exercises almost daily to keep loose and the stiffness to a minimum.
I developed painful tendonitits in my good leg around week 15, from the right leg taking the brunt of stairs and walking. Even with physical therapy, the pain in the good Achilles tendon was far worse than my injured left tendon. So I searched for some no-nonsense exercises that I thought I could do anywhere, anytime to keep loose and get through this apparently normal condition that develops as a result of having an ATR.
I hope this helps others as it helped me, and please if you have something that is even better, please share in the healing process.
Check back next week as I will be discussing two activities that are helping me return to full competitive form, seven months into my recovery.

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Aug 09 2012

Good as Gold!! ATR Injured Athlete’s Return to Olympic Glory

Published by uscgdiver under Latest and Greatest

In case you haven’t been following the Olympics, check out the article I posted in the Pro Injures Link, about Misty May-Treanor. Yep, she ruptured her AT too! Now she is as good as gold!!

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