I've been rather avoiding blogging lately as, well, I don't do anything these days. I don't mean my hockey games or motorcycling are uninteresting, sadly; I mean I don't do them. At all. But I realized that I'm not the only injured person in the world and I thought maybe other motorcyclists or hockey players would be at least marginally interested in my latest physical therapy adventures.
I last rode a motorcycle on June 10. I last played hockey on August 16.
Well, the motorcycling bit started out, as you know, with Janky Elbow. I started doing PT for Janky Elbow in late July. My fears about tennis elbow were justified when they measured my "squeeze" strength with each hand. With my elbow at my side and my forearm out straight (making a 90 degree angle with my bicep), my right hand could squeeze 75 lbs. My left arm? Barely 30 lbs, and even that hurt like a mofo.
So I began regular PT. Ice, electrical stim, and stretches.
Once an hour, I do these stretches:
I also recently bought a Thera-Band Flexbar, which seems to be helping already. After reading this post from the New York Times, I figured it was worth a shot. I do 10 repetitions of the exercise shown in that post, twice per day.
I'm at the point now where I can sit on a parked motorcycle and use the clutch a half dozen or so times. Progress!
So that's my elbow.
So then, as mentioned in my last hockey entry, I tweaked my back playing on August 16. By August 17, I couldn't stand up or move at all, and spent the day lying on an icepack cursing the world.
Long story short, I had two tilted and stuck vertebrae, L3 and L4. By the time I got to the chiropractor (about a week after the injury), my whole back was messed up. I couldn't stand, couldn't walk without bending forward nearly double, and couldn't lie flat either on my back or stomach.
Pretty much once an hour, I had to lie like this on an icepack (without the dumbbells 😉 ) for 20 minutes just to make it through the day:
After two weeks of twice-weekly physical therapy (no stretches or exercises, just manipulation, ice, and electrical stim), I could walk upright and felt almost normal…unfortunately, then we flew to Wisconsin to pack up my mom's condo. Packing boxes put me right back out again.
So now it's been a month since the original injury and I'm just starting to get OK again. I still do twice-weekly PT, with the following exercises:
- Hamstring stretches (30 sec per leg)
- Piriformis stretches (30 sec per leg)
- Cat/camel (10 reps)
- Tail wags (10 reps)
- Bridges (10 reps)
- Knee lifts while sitting (10 reps per leg)
I'm supposed to also do a couple of Swiss ball exercises but they still hurt my back too much to do them. I'm hoping to start those up next week.
The L3/L4 pain is pretty much gone now, but a lot of pain has spread down to the sacrum area. I'm told that's normal after having an abnormal walking pattern for any length of time (and I've certainly been walking like a pregnant hunchback for the past four weeks), but I'm over the novelty and really, it could go away at any point now. Really. Other than that, it's just that my hip and upper back muscles have turned into hard cords. It's really massage o'clock once I can get ahold of the Apple Wellness people to fit me in at lunch sometime.
As for hockey, the physical therapist said that once I can go three days in a row without pain when sitting, standing, or walking…then I can start thinking about when I can skate again. Realistically, I'm guessing it'll be about another two weeks.
So, another season in Red for me as Maroon evals are this weekend. I'm bummed about that but…what can I really do? I can't skate at all, much less be evaluated for the next highest division. Must be zen about annoying things. Ommmm.
So that's my life in a nutshell. Lots of PT, lots of frustration, but I'm starting to read motorcycle forums again (I'd stopped for a while because it was just depressing) and starting to sit on my bikes in the garage again and make little vroom vroom noises.
Hopefully soon I'll have actual content to write about! 😀