Friday, June 8, 2012

Hamstring Injury Evaluation

After two months of taking time off from running,  ART (active release therapy), running a half marathon and feeling worse a week later (surprise, surprise) I decided to go back to the physical therapist (again) for my injured hamstring. Nicole, from Spooner Physical Therapy, is a running specialist and a runner herself so she gets it. She understands.  She's different than a normal PT which will have you do some stretching, some exercises and then ice.  During the evaluation we didn't talk about the hamstring except for when I would interject because I felt it should be in the spotlight, at least a little bit.

I already knew hips and glutes were important for the entire lower body system, which is why I incorporated monster walks, lunges and planks into my inconsistent routine. Getting injured is a surprise because I thought I was doing enough maintenance.

Nicole didn't focus on the hamstring in the evaluation because she knew that wasn't the cause.  Nicole had me stand on one leg and perform a one legged squat. Like the old lady who swallowed a spider, I wiggled and squilled and about fell over. My balance was horrible.  No wonder you're hamstring is sending you a message, Nicole explained, it's needing to compensate.

My quads and my hamstring have been working overtime because my butt muscles aren't firing.  I need to retrain my body to speak a new language, the buttock language.  The exercises all begin with a pelvic tilt, which fires the buttocks. The tricky thing is my quads often want to do the work and it takes tweaking the posture, focusing on the muscles and readjusting to make sure that I'm using the right muscles.
Its going to take time to retrain the body to use the glutes instead of the quads. I hope I'm a fast learner.

Happy Running!

1 comment:

Madalyn Oconnell said...

Sounds like you have a good physical therapist! It is good that your PT knows a thing or two about the sports that you are in. For one, she knows the correlation of the injury to the activity, and it will be easier to plot a treatment plan. [Madalyn Oconnell]