I finished my physical therapy appointments in March and haven’t had any significant hip pain since then. My knees have been doing well, too. The trick is always how to stay motivated to keep up with the stretching and exercises when nothing is hurting.
I did OK with that until my dad passed away in April. My PT was only one of many things that slipped through the cracks after that. A lot of my friends have been surprised that I’m even still skating, I only took two weeks off from that. Truthfully skating is one of the few things that I feel very motivated to do right now.
But if I’m going to skate I need to stretch, and after more than a month I gradually picked that back up again though I haven’t re-started the strengthening exercises yet.
After a previous round of PT, for my knees, I did my exercises for a year and a half and then stopped, coincidence that I started having hip problems six months later? Probably not. I will need to pick up some of my old exercises and some of my new ones and do them at least twice a week.
The areas that need stretching and strengthening are similar for both problems, and it all goes back to the asymmetries of figure skating. Skating (and a lot of other sports) overbuilds the quads, especially the outer part of the quads, and tightens the IT bands and hip flexors. To balance that, I need to stretch and build up counterbalancing muscles that aren’t used as much in skating like the the inner thighs, calves, and the back of the body in general.
Jumping and spinning in one direction also causes strength and flexibility imbalances between the sides. It’s daunting to think that with all that time on the ice I also need to do other exercise to make it work, but it’s true.