Recovery from hamstring pull: week 8
I’m writing and publishing my (rather raw) notes on hamstring pull recovery. I hope by taking detailed notes, I can swing my own recovery towards success. And I hope the techniques, thinking patterns, and simply the story might inspire others battling against chronic physical injuries.
Monday (July 16th, 2018). I forgot to keep detailed notes on what we did during that day during PT, unfortunately.
PT (Luca): I came to PT with tension in my trapezius muscle. Luca applied gentle position adjustments to my pelvic, lower back, and neck. The tension eased after PT.
I went for a 600m swim that was ok. Swimming took 22 minutes.
Tuesday. PT (Fabienne): deep massage of my hip flexors. We did lots of hip work in general: stretching, deep lounges, balance exercises focused on the hip.
I went for Gempen climb late in the evening; it was a slow ride. I had a lurking hamstring tension during the climb. My rating for the tightness of the hamstring is 2/10.
Wednesday. PT (Luca): Worked on pelvic stability and its position; we checked hamstring tension (it was there) and back tension (which was much looser). We performed a test on a regular treadmill to see how my leg tension evolves. After a 2km run, we got the tightness of the adductor to 3/10.
Luca made an accidental and a bit scary discovery: I have a condition called visual suppression. It’s a subconscious adaptation of the brain to some vision-related disorder. So what’s my disorder? We found that I have convergence insufficiency. My eyes fail to converge on an object (e.g., a pencil) that’s moving towards my nose. As a pencil approaches 2–3cm distance, my left eye loses focus and takes a sudden turn far to the left. The right eye remained focused on the pencil (and gazing towards my nose).
Thursday. Went in the morning for another Gempen climb. It was good! My persistent tension in the neck was down. The tension in the leg still felt like 3/10, but it was stable.
PT (Luca): neck + jaw massage followed by testing whether it helps my visual suppression. The link was weak. We found that “wrist wave” — waving my wrist in the air is helping my eye convergence a lot. I did a “wrist wave” with the right hand to affect the left eye. We had a similar effect on my eye convergence when combined with right foot tapping on the floor.
We did a treadmill test: I run for 15 minutes just fine.
At the end of the day, my adductor and hamstring tension was low, at 1/10.
Friday. PT (Fabienne): we performed muscle activity checks for “robot walk”. This exercise is about walking by performing lateral pelvic tilt. I found the left side tilt to be much easier than the right side. This exercise was rather difficult, which points at the muscle coordination work I need to focus on.
We’ve moved to a series of strength exercises. We started with pelvic lift: laying on a platform box on my stomach with legs and hips hanging in the air. By contracting my back muscles, I’d pull my pelvic and leave my legs still hanging. Did 2x20 reps and then 18 reps with 5kg disc put on my pelvic. This was a very good result.
Squats with hanging kettle balls: hang kettle balls on a doorbell using an elastic band. Reps: 23 (44kg), 30 (44kg). Asymmetric weight: 44kg + 4kg on either left or right side; did 18/22 reps.
One-leg steps: stand on an elevated platform (about 40cm) on one leg and go down in a squat-like motion to touch the ground with the hanging leg. I did this while holding two 8kg kettlebells. Reps (left/right): 8/26, 18/26, 14/19.
Tension at the end of exercises felt great — it was maybe 1/10 in the adductor; no hamstring tension.
Saturday. Went for a Gempen climb ride in the morning. It was 32km and 516m elevation gain. During the ride, adductor tightness felt like 3/10. The ride took 1h25m (22km/h).
Sunday. I decided to continue working out this Sunday as the whole week was low on intensity due to tension.
I went for a 48km ride, 950m elevation gain; took 2h9min (22km/h). The adductor tightness was at 3/10, with a localized pain point in the middle of my adductor. The tension eased during the second, flat part of my ride.
After that, I did a 500m swim (19:26).
At the end of the day, my adductor tension was at 2/10.