Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Beat Goes On (Hamstring Injury)

Drums keep pounding rhythm to the brain. La dee da de dee, Le dee da dee dah

I have an injury. This may not be news to you (I have been writing about it for a long time) but I am coming to terms with it. Maybe you noticed my Monday Morning Motivation was about injuries? It helps me to put it all into perspective.

After my chiropractor released my contracted glute muscle, it, and muscles all down my hamstring were inflamed, and I started hitting them hard again, I have been doing everything within my power to grow my legs, twice a week I hit the quads and twice a week the hams. I may have overdone it. 

Wednesday night, a week ago, I trained with Roy, heavy squats and was fine. We tried to see if it was my “magic pants” that made my squats so easy on Saturday and it wasn’t just the pants, I really could knock out some heavy squats; he decided we were going too light when I was able to do 12 reps my last set.

Lunges were next and they also engage the hamstring, the left was painful, the power wasn’t there I stopped early as it hurt and then I become afraid that I am doing harm to myself.

I got home and strapped on my ice pack, once I took it off I could see a large, hard bulge on my left hamstring.

Good looking hamstrings do bulge, but it’s a smooth transition, you should not notice a “lump”. I asked David if he could see anything and he pretty much flipped, it was big. He starts to search on the Internet for what it could be. I don’t bother as I know there is a whole lot of garbage and opinion on the Internet; I will just go see my doctor as I had been told by Dr. Leahy to do.

I texted Roy and told him I would skip my training in the morning, after all, it was hamstring day and it didn’t sound like a very good idea at this point. I slept in and it felt amazing!

I saw my doctor the next morning and described the last two months and my various treatments. He examined me, moved me all which way and checked out the hamstring. I was wearing my shirt and a thong (pants had been removed to see the hamstrings), he asked me to face away from him and bend over. Hmmm…he was sitting butt height, facing my butt, this is rather awkward! Oh well, over I go and he pushes and prods my hamstring and asks questions. The whole time I am thinking "bikini gals do this all the time, what's the big deal?"

On the table on one side, the other, more pushing and prodding. On my stomach and back, again over and over.

The decision? I have a hamstring strain, which is minute tears in the muscle. He said because I never felt a pop or acute pain, it was most likely due to the contracted glute muscle, then all of the muscles became inflamed. The bulge I see is where the muscle attaches to the tendon, and tendons don’t swell and become inflamed, they just tear.  He also found that my left IT band is inflamed and tender.

He asked what I would say if he told me to stop training and I replied “I would say no.” “I thought so” he said.  He has been my doctor since I was 23 years old, so that means 28 years we have been together, he knows me all too well.

He asked if we could then perhaps agree on physical therapy? "Yes, I will do that, no problem!" I replied. I have to continue to take anti-inflammatories  and I also need to get a standing work station for my computer at work.  I can continue to train, but go light on the hammies and stop when I feel any pain. It will heal over time.

I was angry when I left his office, and I sat in the car for a bit just thinking about it all. Then I put it into perspective. Its not like I am an Olympic athlete who has been training all her life for this one moment only to become injured. Not like Walter Dix, who injured his hamstring at the Olympic Trials this June.

I will keep training but need to go easy on my hamstrings, so what will it mean? The worst case scenario is I cannot do my sprints and stairs and am relegated to walking on my treadmill. Glute Ham Raise is out and Roy and I need to find other ways to train hamstrings without causing pain and more damage.

Before I left the doctor's office parking lot, a song came to me and I ended up putting it on my iPod. I am a child of the 60's, the era of free love. This song was on the Billboard top 10 in 1967, and was one of my favorites for years. Sonny and Cher- before Cher underwent so many cosmetic surgeries. The audio isn't the best, but the recording is great. It brings back good memories and will help me to remember that no matter what happens to me:

"The Beat Goes On"

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