A PT Set Back and Starting Over

by - Tuesday, September 20, 2022

So I've officially been in PT for about 2.5 months now, and the last time I checked in, I mentioned that I didn't think I was making too much progress

Well since then, I suffered a big set back, and it felt like we had to start all over. 

Sometime in mid-August we were ramping up some of the intensity of my PT exercises, and I was doing a new move where I had a resistance band around my waist and my PT was holding it behind me, and I basically had to walk around the room pulling her behind me. 

At the time this didn't seem to bad and was kind of even fun and funny. 

But the next day, I started feeling a lot of discomfort in my knee. And the day after that, I could barely walk down the stairs I was in some much pain. I emailed my PT right away and she had me back off several things before I came in to see her again. 

I also was waking up in the middle of the night in terrible pain, so I scheduled a follow up appointment with my doctor. I was terrified I had torn my meniscus. I couldn't get in to see him for two more weeks, and when my PT did an assessment at my next appointment, she didn't think I had any structural damage. 

By that point some of the pain had started to ebb, but certain movements still bothered my knee. We basically threw out everything I had been doing in PT up until that point and had to start over. 

I was devastated. There were many, many tears. 

This hip pain has been going on for over a year now. My hamstring has been about 9 months. To have given myself another injury in PT, forcing us to start all over and feeling like I lost 1.5 months of work was beyond frustrating. 

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This was the last time I raced, last December, and I was dealing with these issues well before then.

But we started over. I had a new set of exercises that focused first on continued stabilization of my hips and knees. After a couple weeks of that, we added in a few more weight bearing and balance exercises. 

Running was off the table again, and honestly, I was OK with it because I was so scared of another set back. 

About two weeks ago now, I had an assessment at PT to gauge progress. I didn't feel like I had made many gains, but I performed better on all the tests than I had back in June at my intake appointment. I had better balance and less pain. 

At that point, my PT started to add in some trigger point work to specifically target the areas where I was having continued pain. In my hamstring, that seems to have made a significant difference. About a week after that I walked 9 minutes before I felt a single twinge in my hamstring. 

That might not seem like a lot, but it was a really big win for me. I haven't been able to walk without pain in over a year now. So 9 minutes was a lot. 

At my appointment last Monday, she told me it was time to bring back the running intervals. To be honest, I wasn't ready, and I told her as much. I'm afraid of another set back and having to start all over again. 

But she said the only way my body would learn to run without pain again is that if we reintroduced that movement pattern. I have very specific parameters I have to follow. A 10-minute walking warm up, followed by 4-5 sets of two minute intervals. I have to monitor my pain levels and my form, and I'm not allowed to run on consecutive days. 

The first run I did was uncomfortable, and my hamstring didn't feel great when I got home. But I did my PT exercises and the next morning it actually felt pretty good. 

I am still nervous about all of this, and very scared of another set back. But as of now, things actually seem like they might be moving in the right direction finally. 

I know I still have a long road back to where I was running wise, but after a crushing disappointment with August's setback, I'm feeling a bit more hopeful. 

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  1. Yeow! How disappointing. A friend of mine has been going through something similar up in New Jersey. I hope the therapy and the new routine will work wonders. I know how important it is to be able to run. Warren