Friday, November 16, 2012

Muscle Soreness and Massage

I have been sore, for weeks now. It’s odd, I go through periods of not being sore for a long time, then all of a sudden I feel like I am hit by a Mack truck for days on end. I can usually count on being sore when my training changes, sometimes it lasts and sometimes it doesn’t. This time it’s been a while.

Typically when I start a new program, I am sore the first few days after a new exercise, grip, or foot stance. It doesn’t take a huge change to make my body respond. I can tell the difference between muscle soreness and an injury, although I try to ignore it, or just brush it off, I know the difference, when I try to “convince” myself that I am only sore, I know it might be more.

I have been cursed with a couple of issues since June, my left hamstring, left glute and both hip flexors.  You have read all about it over and over, I won’t go on about it. In the last two weeks I have now just decided that my hamstring is fully healed. I started up training again with my regular weights long before that though, and I could tell after every workout that I still wasn’t…quite….right. 

But I kept going. Might have been a bad idea, might not have been. The soreness was more of a pain, and when it’s not evenly distributed, that is worrisome. But now;  now I can tell the hamstring is fine. The only soreness is a muscle soreness that both hamstrings feel, it’s not pain, and it’s done, a part of my past like so many other things I will allow to slip from my memory bank.

The last couple weeks my upper body has been crying, but it’s not the soreness of an injury, it’s muscle soreness. I seem to keep training so hard that I don’t ever give my body enough time to recover. My delts are tremendously sore due to the slight changes in foot position and tension that Roy has made.

He has me standing with my feet four feet from a pole, I am leaning in and doing a side lat raise. Now you have probably only seen people do this leaning out, but we are doing it like this to recruit the delts differently. No one will dare say anything to me such as suggesting that I am doing it wrong- one look at my arms and they shut up and start taking notes.  It’s obvious something I am doing is working. Even my son saw me recently and said “My god mother! Your arms are huge!”

I am training my Back hard and heavy as usual, super heavy and only once a week; my lats have been screaming for weeks. I have had trouble sleeping because it’s all so sore. My arms cannot find a comfortable position as I try to lay there, I move and toss and turn. Laying flat on my back seems to offer the most relief, but not how I like to sleep; I just lay there, wondering when the soreness will subside.

Dressing and undressing have been a challenge, a couple times I came home and was alone, all I wanted to do was to take my shirt off, so I crossed my arms at my hips (right hand to the lower part of left hem of shirt, and left arm to the right hem), I couldn’t lift and uncross them to take my shirt off. I just crumpled in frustration and slumped to the ground.  Just….want….it….off…. I want to cry but I really don’t have tears, it’s more frustration than anything. I pick myself up and get the shirt off. Luckily I have no hips, so I can pull my bra top down past my hips and butt, and off, I just step out of it, there would be no way I could remove a tight piece of clothing over my head and shoulers.

David has had to help a few times, he laughs when he does and likes to watch me flounder a bit but we both laugh afterward.

I couldn’t take it any longer, so the other day I texted Matthew at Trio Therapy: “Can you see me this afternoon? I am so tight, my lats, delts, shoulders, upper back; and my left hip flexor just a tad”

Yes, he put me down for 5:15…I waited anxiously all day.

The pain and the pleasure;  along with the relief that comes from a deep tissue massage is amazing. Sometimes I want to cry. As he worked on my left  I.T. Band, I think I flinched, he said “Are you ready for this?”…”Yes” I was, I took a deep breath and slowly released it.  His arm traveled up slowly, the pain coursing through my body straight to my core.

The left glute. Nothing…..the piriformis was fine! But over to the right and that glute was sore, but not the I.T. Band, how odd. I said “This time it’s the right butt cheek and left I.T. band; at least the soreness is moving around and not staying on the same body parts, I suppose that’s a good thing”. He laughed and said that he could tell by how deep he could go and my reaction each time.

He was working on my shoulders and lats, it didn’t feel like he had to use a lot of pressure to make me feel the intensity of it, but then there is really no fat anywhere on my back, so his hands are moving over lumps and bumps that are hard, and tight and very, very sore. I am breathing hard, sometimes I find myself holding my breath and I have to tell myself the pain will go away, breathe, breathe. 

My arm is hanging limply from the table, and he holds it gently at the shoulder, to work the knots out of the upper shoulder, I can hear the hard tissue moving under his hands. It’s those damn chin ups I tell myself. But my back, my back has gotten so wide, I cannot stop now.

Biofreeze sprayed over (most) of the body. I laugh and tell him “You know how many Biofreeze accidents I have had in the last couple weeks?” 

Then to the front of my body, my quads are sore and I hadn’t realized it, you don’t sometimes, at least not until someone puts pressure on them.  The chest, the neck, and parts you just don’t think about.

My left hip flexor, he finds ‘the spot” and I rotate the leg in and out, just a slight tightness on occasion, but why put up with that? I want it completely gone. I told him how a guy at the gym was “flashing” me from across the room; he was lifting his long shorts to reveal pink Kinesio tape on his leg!  When I spoke to him a few days later, it turns out it wasn’t Kinesio tape at all, it was pink duct tape! His daughter was working on a school project, so he decided to put some tape on his leg as he had seen on mine…..I told him that tape must have hurt like a son of a gun when he ripped all the hair off his leg removing it, Kinesio tape doesn’t do that. So when Matthew was asking which color I wanted on my leg this time, I got pink in his honor, and I showed it to him the next day too!

90 minutes later, actually a bit longer and he was done. I could lay there for three hours doing this if I didn’t have to get up to use the bathroom.

I slipped into my clothes and uggs, home to egg whites and spinach and bed. I slept better, my shoulders and back didn’t keep me awake all night long.

Massage is vital for healthy tissue and muscles, especially if you exercise like I do. Don’t take it all for granted, healing just doesn’t take time, your muscles need proper fuel, rest, hydration and post training bodywork. That includes stretching and massage.


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