PT: "Are you in any pain today?”
Me: “Yeah when I do ugh (pulls knee into chest), well umm… I guess not.”
PT: “That is good.”
Me: Yup I guess I’m in no pain.”
I get asked every time I get to physical therapy if I am in pain. Since about two weeks post op, I guess you would say I have been pain free. Yes, I may feel a little uncomfortable, not have the proper range of motion to do what I am used to doing, but no pain.
I have been back to my normal schedule of classes since week 3 post op. I teach at least 3 cycle classes a week along with 3 yoga classes. And I am participating in them as well. Being back into class on the bike, sweating my ass off and working again, has been a huge step up in my game. Yoga is helping so much with my range of motion and getting a good idea of how much progress I am making. My goal right now is to get into a complete Garland (if you don’t know what this is, you can see it here http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/garland-pose/). Sitting basic Indian style was my first goal and I checked that off my list about two weeks after getting back yoga.
By taking/teaching my classes, doing PT twice a week and staying consistent, my recovery has been flying by. I am completely amazed at how the body heals. Blood flow, nutrients, hydration and mobility - it all has an impact on your body’s ability to recover. Not just after a major surgery, but even after a tough workout out or event. A lot of people dedicate time to training, but not to recovering.
Here are a few tips to help you with recovery and improve your overall performance.
Blood flow - Compression, elevation, movement and flossing - Any way to get that blood flowing. In my recovery, I used VooDoo flossing http://www.roguefitness.com/voodoo-floss-bands to get some blood flow when my mobility wasn’t up to par. Once I was ok to ride the bike, I made sure to stay consistent. By getting that blood flow to the knee, I helped flush all the crud and swelling from my knee. Most recently I have been doing a lot harder rides on the bike and doing Bikram to get some serious flow.
Nutrients – Make sure you stay fed. Your body is trying to recover and rebuild tissue. Don’t just eat to stay fed, but eat with purpose. How is this going to benefit my recovery and help me heal as soon as possible? I make sure to get protein post workout or PT session. I also consume aminos during a hard ride in the AM. Do not skimp on your fats a carbs either. You’re body needs it all.
Hydration- Cycling hard, you sweat, a lot. Bikram Yoga, you sweat, a lot. Losing all the salt and electrolytes can cause dehydration. Dehydration is NOT going to help your recovery. If anything it will make it worse. Your body is a machine. Ye,s it can heal in some less than ideal conditions, but don’t you want to get back to what you love faster? I DO! So I make sure to always drink at least 100 oz of water in addition to electrolytes or ORAL IV [You can buy it here with code: http://www.oraliv.com/ Code: Seeger20 ]. I also drink coffee so I make sure to drink even more water, if drinking more coffee.
- the ability to move or be moved freely and easily.
Damn right I want to move freely and easily. The more mobile I am the easier my functional movement. Compression and yoga are great to increase that mobility. In addition, foam rolling, trigger point therapy and massage are all tools that can be utilized to improve mobility. Check out www.mobilitywod.com/ for some great tools.
By staying as consistent as I have been willing to, I have been able to heal faster than I thought - and maybe even faster than most. But let’s just say, writing this blog has motivated me to be even more consistent.
I have about 8 more weeks until I can run again. I want to get in even better shape than I was before. Not aesthetically, but I want to have some killer mobility, awesome mental grit and some serious endurance. This journey, so far, has proven to be much more positive than what I expected. I will continue to share what works and hope that it will help you!
We all spend lots of time training and putting our bodies through the wringer and not giving the body the love it deserves for putting up with it. So, go get some compression, move your body, stay hydrated, eat well and do some yoga!
Here are some great links to help out with your recovery or if you just want to improve your quality of training.