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The Graston Technique

One treatment that I have been receiving in physical therapy recently which I have noticed has helped me a lot has been the Graston technique.  It’s a technique that uses blade-like instruments to break up scar tissue and fascial restrictions to help the muscle function normally.  Although it has been reported that people can experience minor discomfort during the treatment, I have not experienced any.  What I have experienced, however, is improved ROM in the knee along with increased strength during exercise.

For more information, check out the Graston Technique website.

It’s been a good week

Looking back at my calendar, I noticed that my last update was at the beginning of the week.  This week has been a busy one but a good one too.  My PT has been progressing well.  I had sessions on Monday and Wednesday at the facility, then I had my routine that I do on my own as well.  Yesterday was an unplanned off day but it worked out great because it made today one of my best days yet.

Smart training, smart rehab, smart everything will work together to accomplish many objectives.  My primary objective during this entire knee rehab is to be able to do things that will keep me moving forward.  Doing stupid things will not accomplish that goal.  During my rehab I have been working hard with my therapist and communicating with her everything that I do outside of our sessions in order to have a complete and comprehensive program.  It has been working.  The key to everything that you do is simple:  Train Smart!

Today’s Workout:

Bike 20 minutes (I’m “itching” to let go on the bike but again, I’m also focusing on staying smart.)

Stretch and Foam Roller

Clams 3×20

Step Ups 3×15

Lateral Step Ups 3×15

Jungle Gym Hip Lifts w/ 10 sec hold 3×5

Jungle Gym Leg Curls 3×15

Heel Lifts 3×15

Then I finished with some upper body and a cool down on the bike.  It was a good way to end a very productive week.

Get Fit!

A Period of Transition

This week marked five weeks since having my surgery.  As rehab has been progressing fairly well, this week I began the return to work.  Slowly but moving forward, I returned to work for “half days” this week.  It has been challenging.  I think the main challenge for me has been making sure to keep the reigns pulled during the return.  In fact on my first day, I was so excited to be back that I found myself doing too much.  In the big picture, it wasn’t a lot but it was just a bit too much from where I was a week before.  I had to consciously remind myself that I had to take a break, something that I do not like to do.  That has been frustrating.

The rewarding side of things have been the response from the people at work.  Telling my that they are excited to have me back has stoked the fire a little bit more.  I know that each day is going to get better.  Just as I’ve gone from semi-circles on the bike to complete revolutions, everything takes time.  Focusing on the improvements and progress continues to help me get back to where I want to be.

Recent article from the Wall Street Journal

I want to thank my friend Paul Connolly of PC Conditioning for sending along this article to me from the Wall Street Journal. It provides some good information regarding joint replacement surgery. I hope you’re able to enjoy the article.

It’s like a traffic light…

We’ve been working with my son lately on understanding what the different color lights mean on the traffic light.  He’s 2 1/2 and seems to have a grasp on red light and green light.  We’ll be driving in the car and if he sees a green light approaching, we suddenly hear, “Green light means go!”  Likewise, if we are coming to an intersection, and the light is red, we hear from the back seat, “Red light means stop!” 

“Good job, Owen!  You’ve listened to what we’ve told you.”

But what about yellow?  We haven’t really talked about the yellow light with him yet, but, we should let him know that it means to slow down and proceed with caution.  As in my rehab, I need to place some emphasis on the yellow light reminding me to slow down and proceed with caution.  Right after surgery I was in red.  It was simple really, because it was more the fact that I COULDN’T do things that kept me in red.  Then as time went on, I thought I could simply go to green. 

“Green means go, Dadda!”  Well, yes it does. 

But as I go to green, there is that brief period that I forget that I actually should have that blinking yellow.  Staying  in green can bring me past that line in the sand and then make sleeping at night tough…case in point…yesterday.  I have to remember that yellow right now is where I need to be to see the success that I want to see.  Sometimes motivation and enthusiasm gets the most of me and I just think about the green light.  That conversation that I had in the hospital with the PA echoes in my head:  “Glenn, the problem isn’t going to be getting you going…It’s going to be holding you back.”  Well, yesterday was the reality that I needed to have slapped upside my head.  Yesterday proved that I have to BE SMART and realize that everything that I am doing is, in fact, rehabbing my knee.

And most importantly, Somedays I need to “Slow down and proceed with caution.”

Welcome to Out-patient PT…

As many of you are aware, Wednesday was my first day in the outpatient setting. For the most part, that day was measurements and eval…Lots of baseline numbers.  Well yesterday we moved forward…and it was much more focused on doing the exercises. It was challenging but rewarding when we took more measurements at the end.

As I had said, there were many challenges during yesterday’s session.  It was a long session, I was in there for about 75 minutes.  After my warm-up, I had to go through some massage work to break up some of the scar tissue.  And we also had to remove 1 stitch that was poking through the bottom of my scar.  That in itself made the session a little long because the stitch was being stubborn…but all in all in came out and we moved on with the session.

The next thing that we moved on to was the bike.  This was going to be big.  My first time on the bike since well BEFORE surgery but I was looking forward to it.  Flashes of former races were going through my head.  Racing up Mt Washington, as I had done in the past, was in my head again so I was looking forward to this SIX MINUTES of fun.  For the entire six minutes I tried to make a complete revolution, going backwards and forwards.  I kept trying to make it around the top, and came very close, but I just couldn’t quite get there.  It wasn’t the Mt Washington Hillclimb but it was almost just as challenging.  My therapist was happy with how far I did make it, and told me that this was completely normal.  After biking, I moved on to some strength training.  Squats, Box lunges, lateral lunges, ball curls…simple bodyweight exercises that I performed 2 sets of 1o reps on each.  After those exercises, I went and performed my straight leg exercises as well.

At the end of the session, before I iced down, my therapist took measurements on my flexion.  We have already seen improvements in my numbers, which was a breathe of good news for all this work.  It was exciting to see the numbers improving from day 1 to day 2.  And now I look forward to seeing how I improve when I go back next week.  I know that I have a lot of homework to do to maintain the improvements and that is the key.  Time to go to work…

As one of my favorite quotes from Muhammad Ali reads, “The fight is won or lost far away from the witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road; long before I dance under those lights.”

You CAN…

This is a quick post that breaks up my string of knee replacement posts.  I know that I have shared this video before, and I usually share it around this time of year.  The Boston Marathon is coming up on Monday and although I probably won’t be able to see it in person this year, two people that I always enjoy seeing in the marathon are Dick and Rick Hoyt.  The father and son team have run this marathon so many times.  One of the things that I find so motivating in this video is that they show that, yes, you CAN do pretty much anything you put your mind and heart towards.