On Friday morning, I had my one month PT evaluation. I will be honest, I just wanted to be done with PT. It's not that I don't think it's helping, it's just that it is expensive and very time consuming. However, I am thankful that even though it makes me very busy, I do have time to squeeze in appointments. I am also thankful that even though it is expensive, my insurance does cover all but the copay, I can afford it.
The bottom line is that there is always a sacrifice to be made when we're trying to improve our bodies and become healthier. Usually time is involved and sometimes money is involved too. For now, I am able to and willing to invest the time and money. But I'm not sure how much longer because I am not seeing huge improvements with my nerve and knee.
A couple weeks ago I posted a vlog explaining all the PT exercises I do. I am still doing those exact exercises and the only advancement in them is that I now use an 8lb kettle bell when doing Turkish get ups. I actually think it's easier doing that exercise with the added resistance rather than trying to balance a piece of styrofoam on my hand!
Other things that happen at PT are the taping of my knee (although they haven't done that in awhile because my knee has been feeling good as long as I don't do something stupid like get on my spin bike) and Graston. I'm not sure if the Graston helps but it doesn't hurt so I let them do it.
The first thing I did at my evaluation was have a chat with my PT about where I think I'm at right now. I originally went to PT for a pinched nerve which was causing numbness on the outside of my left leg right below my knee. I also told him about my ITB/weak knee problems and my PT thinks they are both related.
I began PT 3 times a week and on my off days I did the exercises at home. Almost immediately, my angered nerve calmed down. It is not "better" but it is better than it was before and is not getting worse.
My knee problems felt fine until we tried incorporating squats and lunges. Then it got angered, which is normal... which is why I don't do squats and lunges anymore. But I WANT to do them, and my PT thinks I should be able to do them. But since they bothered my knee, he took them out of my routine and said we need to get my other muscles activated more so that I can do those exercises without being in pain later in the day.
After about 3 weeks of PT and a little less running than normal, my right leg suddenly felt jacked up one day. Like, really jacked up. I wasn't even able to pinpoint what part of my leg hurt because it was basically everywhere. Later on things settled and I realized I had a PIMA #1 (pain in my ass) and PIMA #2 (pain in my adductor... near my groin). I have had both of these problems before (but not at the same time) and taking 3-4 days off running normally made them go away.
I wasn't sure why the PIMAs popped up so severely as I was barely running. My thought was that maybe my PT exercises that I do for my glutes aggravated it. So for my 4th week of PT, I only did the glute exercises when I was actually at PT and I did the back, ankle, core stuff every day at home. I also stopped running for a week and the PIMAs got a lot better. But then I tried running and they popped up like normal at mile three. So I am currently on week two of no running.
My therapist thinks I should continue PT for a little longer because he wants me to be squatting and lunging again. I will be honest, I am skeptical of ever being able to squat and lunge without feeling that pulsating weak feeling later on in the day. The reason I am skeptical is because EVERY SINGLE TIME I have tried to make my knee better, it has not worked. I am out of ideas. This has been going on for so long that it's hard for me to believe 4-8 weeks of PT would really help it. I mean, obviously I'm willing to try it, but I still don't know. I certainly WANT it to help...
As far as my nerve, it is not getting any worse and it did get better since starting PT, so I feel good about that. My PT says nerves can take a long time to heal. I feel more confident now that it is on the mend and that doing activity isn't going to hurt it. In fact all the stuff I'm doing for my knee/ITB is supposedly supposed to help my nerve too, so I'm being proactive.
The good news is I am stronger and more flexible in ALL of my evaluations. They did all the tests on me they did during my initial eval and I have improved on everything- some things significantly. Like my ankle mobility.
So I'm going to continue going to PT 2 times per week for a little while longer and we'll see how things go...
Sorry, this got a little long and I'm sure I overlooked something I was supposed to tell you! So if you're confused about anything or I left anything out, just ask!
PT can be a very long haul and at times frustrating! I am glad you are seeing improvements and hopefully the nerve will calm down. I have some nerve issues in my foot so I know exactly that tight feeling you are describing. I only get it when I move my foot a certain way and have been told it should heal but it could take months. I am super skeptical right now about getting better. On the one hand, I want to believe it and hang onto the doctor saying I will run again, but I fear going out and taking a step and having that familiar ache pop up again. I wish I could shut my brain off!ReplyDelete
I don't blame you for being worried! Not that I think you should be worried, but just that I think anyone would be worried after going through all you're going through and then potentially not have it playing out correctly. But I know your doctor doesn't blow smoke up your butt, right???? So if he is optimistic there's no reason (logically!) not to be!Delete
He does not! He is very conservative and so I need to trust him and the process but I also want to prepare myself for anything, ya know?Delete
Ever explore issues with your sciatic nerve? You probably know your body well enough to get s feel for if the issue is muscular or joint related, but this last pain you described makes me think of my sciatic issues. Chiropractor is keeping it settled for me.ReplyDelete
Thanks for that tip, Deb!Delete
Omg I just googled "are glute and groin pain related?" and all this stuff about sciatica came up!!!Delete
Yeah, I had some sciatic issues that had me in tears and seriously concerned that the pain and related weakness would cause me to be in a car accident. Have you ever been to a chiropractor? I had not until last fall. I can't definitively say that it was fixed by chiropractic work but I am sticking with it.Delete
Oh, and I referred to it as knee pain, hip pain, leg pain, you name it because it was kind of everywhere but not all the time and it would come and go intermittently. Sucked.Delete
It does sound like you've made alot of progress! I know its frustrating to not be where you want to be, but hopefully it will pay off. I think its better to stick with it longer than stop going, get worse, and have to go back again and start over.ReplyDelete
That is a good point. I have invested so much time and money already, I may as well see it through than quit and wonder "What if?"Delete
I am so sorry you are still dealing with this.ReplyDelete
I'm glad things are getting better, but still sorry you're having more issues pop up and that it isn't healing any sooner. I'm with you on PT, it can be pricey but also very time consuming in your day, especially when you have to drive to the office, wait, etc. I wish I had suggestions or could offer advice, but I really can't because I haven't been there. Still, I'm rooting for you to see improvements and be able to squat and lunge again but also run pain free because I know how much fitness means to you.ReplyDelete
Aw thanks Karen! Wow what caused your frozen shoulder? That sounds horrible. It is weird how things pop up and then just go away....ReplyDelete
CRAP! You're not running at all?!?! NOT COOL. Ya, I'm not sure I'd still be going to PT if I wasn't getting significantly better, but I guess there aren't really any other options. This really sucks! You're handling it with a really good attitude!ReplyDelete
Nope, I took a whole week off to see if the pain went away! As soon as I hit mile 3 it was back.Delete
I did this all last spring, and I do feel like my knee has gotten better. It's just a very persistent injury that can pop up without warning. I'm definitely stronger than I was before I started PT, and I keep doing all the exercises.ReplyDelete
I will definitely keep doing my exercises too. Maybe not all every day because it takes about 35 min total. I'm thinking like 15 minutes would be good as long as I did it daily.Delete
I feel the same way with my hamstring stuff! I switched PTs and now am working with one who specializes in runners and uses a more integrative approach, so hopefully that'll work out. I feel your pain! At least your insurance covers most of it!ReplyDelete
Yes I know, I always want to preface every complaint with "but I am lucky insurance covers it"! Not everyone has the luxury of going to PT.Delete
Wow how interesting, especially how knowing doesn't change things.ReplyDelete