Fitness Friday: Injury Progress

Leggings | Sports bra | Sneakers

I'm very excited to say welcome back to Fitness Friday! I've been sharing a few injury update posts over the last few months (the first one in March and second one in May), but haven't published a Fitness Friday since I first started dealing with my hip issues. This won't exactly follow the format that my usual posts go, mostly because I don't yet have a list of classes I have taken. But I thought I would share some more updates on my injury and a little more about my PT. If you haven't read the other posts, long story short: I have a torn labrum in my left hip from overuse.  I broke down all the details within the last two update posts (linked above), but to sum it all up: I thought I had a very slowly healing pulled groin muscle back in March. After 6 weeks of rest, I went to see an orthopedic PA and was told it could be a labral tear, or could also just be tendinitis. A few weeks later, I got an MRI that confirmed that the issue is a labral tear.
I mentioned in my last update post that because it is not a muscle, the only true solution is surgery. However, there was also a chance that I would respond well to an anti-inflammatory and strengthening exercises. I can now say after 6 weeks of that plan, I have been responding pretty well! There has been a lot improvement and progress in that time. I am not dependent on always taking the pain medication, and the pain levels have really gone down. It doesn't feel like it is back to normal, but I tend to feel more stiffness in my hip than pain lately. I did not discuss this at my recent followup appointment...but I was thinking about how the worst pain was right after the initial injury (although an overuse injury, the pain suddenly came on during a workout), and the second worst was after about 2 months of rest. I've also mentioned I have a fairly high pain tolerance and I was struggling to just sit in a chair at work or walk for more than a few minutes. So I wonder if the muscles around the injury losing strength actually made it feel worse for a few weeks? If any medical professionals are reading this, I apologize. Anyway, I was even told I could start to ease back into my classes! I'm trying not to get my hopes up or rush into it, in case I need more time or the pain comes back. But I have to say it is quite relieving that surgery does not seem necessary at this moment. However that could all change, so I am trying to be very careful as I add in more movement. Here's hoping the pain can be fully managed if I just stick to this current plan! So I thought I would break down a little of what I have been doing to strengthen the injured area.

Weeks 1 and 2
I started with just the physical therapy exercises I had been given on their own. I was given a packet that consist of 14 exercises mostly either working the glutes, stabilizing over the left hip, or strengthening the core. They require a few extension bands and light weights, and were supposed to be done 4 times per week.

Weeks 3 and 4
After I thought I had a handle on the prescribed exercises, I added in a little cardio on the spin bike. Luckily, my apartment's gym was equipped with them and I did a quick 15-20 minutes before starting the PT. I was still doing PT 4 times per week, but I was only adding in cardio once or twice.

Weeks 5 and 6
Similar to the addition of cardio, I added in a series of arm exercises to do after the PT exercises once or twice a week. At this point, these combinations of exercises were taking about an hour to complete. I feel like most people would not be excited about that length of time, but I saw it as getting closer to getting back into classes that were almost as long! Now that I have been told I can do a little more, I started off with just a slight extension to my PT. A few of the exercises were only to be done on one side, so I have started doing both sides as a first step.

I am thinking I will try a few classes here and there to see how go, maybe once a week over the next few weeks. I will be starting with the intro level of classes I used to take regularly, and will be taking it very slowly. I am (again) really trying not to get my hopes up, but I am SO excited that both my hip has been improving, and that I can start working the fitness side of my life back into my routine. Hopefully I will have a short list of classes I was able to work in, and some more injury progress for my next Fitness Friday post!

Thanks for reading!

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