Gymjury – When trying to get fit causes pain

I spent my 32nd birthday (see, I told you I was a baby) on the couch with an ice pack on my knee. Wild and crazy times!

What happened you ask? I was learning how to defend a sweep, aka, how to stay up (or fall safely) when someone is trying to know you down. As you might guess, I failed. I’m not 100% sure exactly what happened – it was all so fast – but I think I locked my knee while twisting, which resulted in a LOUD POP and my knee buckling and I think in an attempt to catch myself I landed funny on my shoulder.

What it felt like was, POP – ground – AHHH!

On the plus side, just a few days later muscles are starting to loosen up and I’m NOT hobbling around with a brace. On the negative side, I’m going to be attending some PT for a few weeks to work on my strength and balance while whatever happened internally heals.

For those of you lucky enough to have never been to PT (that’s physical therapy for us pros), here’s a quick primer on what to expect.

  • Physical Therapy hurts. It should be a “good” pain, where you’re working out a muscle or scar tissue and stretching things that need it. If you have sharp, sudden pain definitely tell your therapist immediately.
  • Physical Therapy takes time. As much as I wished my fall was a one and done thing, I’m going to be dealing with it for the next month or more. For those of us who never slow down, making time for one more appointment stinks but it’s important – you and your body are important!
  • Physical Therapy requires homework. On top of extra appointments to schedule during your week, learning how to balance or working on areas takes practice. Don’t skip your daily exercises.
  • Physical Therapy looks stupid! A lot of time you’re doing tiny little movements that look or sound simple, but are incredibly important for your recovery. A few years back I had bunion removal surgery (yes, in addition to being a baby, I’m also a grandma) and my PT consisted of elevating up onto my toes a few times a day. Looked dumb, seemed easy enough to skip for a day, but every time I skipped practicing I was allowing scar tissue to build up.
  • Physical Therapy doesn’t guarantee 100%. After my foot surgery and subsequent PT round, I still had foot pain. But the pain was so much less than when I started, and I learned moves that I could continue forever. In addition, while I still had some pain to work through, I had strengthened muscles in my legs and foot to help my balance which ultimately helped me this week when I fell – it could have been MUCH worse and I’m feeling very lucky that my pain levels are rapidly diminishing.

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