I signed up for Sectionals and booked a series of physical therapy appointments on the same day. It may seem odd– wouldn’t you be resting if you needed PT, not ramping up for a big competition?– but it made sense in my world.
I’d had some hip pain at night that I didn’t understand and worried that it might get worse from training hard over the next couple of months. After needing physical therapy twice for patellofemoral pain I’ve gotten warier of overuse injuries that creep up on you and thought this could be one. I wasn’t sure this deserved a visit to my sports medicine doctor, but I made myself go, and he praised me for coming in before I had a bad enough injury that it would force me to stop training. He knows me well.
My doctor said that the hip joint itself seemed fine and thought the pain was referred from the lumbar spine. This surprised me since the pain was unlike sciatica and my back itself didn’t hurt.
So off to the PT and also the massage therapist. We have a really good massage therapist who does myofascial release. He’s been doing massage for decades and is making noises about retiring. Please, not too soon! Neither the PT nor the massage therapist was too convinced that this problem was necessarily from my spine– I hope it’s not! I’ve been doing simple stretching and strengthening exercises from the PT– sorry about the lack of video or at least good photos, I don’t have time to make those right now but I’ve linked to a few video demos.
Here’s my daily PT. These exercises are designed, in part, to address a few issues that my doctor noted: less flexibility in the right quad than the left, and limited ability to do a backbend. He also wanted me to improve my flexibility in general, though in most aspects it’s above average already. In addition to these exercises, I also get into a stretch position and then use a massage tool on the stretched muscle, a technique that I came up with myself.
It’s been a challenge spending the time to do the PT when I’m also trying to get in my skating, but I know it has to be done. And as always, it’s a reminder that it’s good to find the time to stretch. Stretching tends to fall to the wayside until something like this forces me to acknowledge that I should have been continuing to stretch and strengthen off-ice all along.
I’ve already seen results and I’m sure I’ll get through my competition without this becoming a major issue.