Saturday, February 2, 2008

Therapy of the physical kind

I went to Physical Therapy twice last week. The office is in Bellevue so I've been taking morning appointments, working out there for an hour and then going to work afterward. So far it works out like this:

20 min. walking backwards on a treadmill at 2.5mph with a 12% incline.
hamstring stretching exercise
really hard hamstring stretching exercise
Hip extensor balance exercise
partial squats with a 25lb Kettle Bell
Pulse Ultrasound

Walking backwards on a treadmill with a steep incline was hard to get used to initially. You can't see how close you are to the controls of the treadmill and you don't want to bump into them so you end up walking on the bottom/back half of the belt. You end up getting closer than you'd like to be to the edge of the belt so you're constantly adjusting where you're walking. I'm still struggling to walk backwards without either looking down at my feet or looking at the mirror across the room and watching my feet. Walking backwards also exposes my tendency to pronate my left foot pretty badly.

I've read blogs and books that recommend walking backwards uphill to help with runner's knee. I guess it's good for stretching out the hamstrings, which are typically severely under-worked by athletes (esp. runners). I'm surprised that I work up a decent sweat in 20 minutes walking backwards uphill. I suggest you try it some time... no holding on to the treadmill either. :)

The two Hamstring exercises are good for me and something I'm now trying to do at home as well. The first is just laying on my back with one leg up against a wall as high as I can go and still keep it straight with my toe pointed. The other leg is on the ground and I lift it (keeping it straight) up higher than the wall leg.

The second one (much harder for me) has me standing, feet together with a small rubber ball between my knees. I put my hands above my head and bend over slowly sticking my butt out so that I can keep my back straight. I bend over until I can't keep my back straight any more, then squeeze the ball with my legs and bend the rest of the way. I also come back up to standing keeping my back straight.

The other exercises aren't too hard, but the hamstring ones give me the most trouble given my lack of flexibility.

After PT on Friday my knee was sore the rest of the day which worries me. I'm a little scared that I won't be able to run for a while on my knee if this is how PT goes for me.

Still 2.5 weeks away from getting the Orthotics in any case.


No comments: