Not much of a diary keeping, am I? Or maybe not much of a blog writer. But, like you, even if limping around a bit, I still have to work. So, like you, I had to fit my rehab exercises into my busy daily schedule.
Also I would like you to keep in mind that I “suffered” just a minor muscle injury: a pulled calf. Annoying and painful, sure, and preventing me from enjoying my activities when not at work. But I am not seriously injured. The aim of this blog is to encourage you to be more proactive to support your rehabilitation rather to adopt the “wait and see” tactic.
How to progress and when to stop your rehab
- I progressed my exercises always based on the pain and on what I judged being able to do pain and risk free. Depending on your injury you might need more time with less intense exercises and stay on the same level for longer.
- Keep this in mind: while you are exercising and/or after exercising you experience pain of intensity 1-3 out of 10 you are safe and doing the right thing.. Between 4-5/10 your body is telling you not to push it and that it is better to stop and have a rest/reduce intensity. Pain above 5/10 > stop and have a rest for a day or two and try to find out why it hurts.
Here how my rehab looked like this week.
Day 1 after injury
My mission today is to try to keep the rest of the body in a normal function . Main focus is to avoid overprotective pattern which can lead to tensions in other parts of the body.
- Started the day with some “muscle oxygenation”: before getting out of bed I lifted my leg to the ceiling and moved the ankle 30x to activate calf muscles and blood circulation. This also helps to stretch the hamstrings.
- Next step: my usual sun salutation routine, and other stretching & core exercises. I simply added some isometric calf exercises (basically pressing the ball of my foot against the wall in a pain free range and intensity when sitting on the floor) 3 x 30 seconds .
- There after I enjoyed (NOT!!) rolling over the foam roller. Everything seems to ache more! I targeted the hamstrings, quadriceps and ITBand, (the major thigh muscles) as well as the gluts and the not injured calf.
- Finished with a very gentle massage of the pulled one with my hands and massage of the foot sole over the spiky ball before going under the shower
Total time needed: 8 minutes. Good start.
Throughout the day I made sure I drank at least 2.5 liters of fluid.
Also I added resisted upper body work while exercising with my patients.
You can easily add some of these during your breaks if you work at the desk. You can use a resistance band.
- As a good last, since the car was in service and the metro late, I walked a couple of miles to a meeting. I made sure though that I wasn’t limping or causing any sharp pain. And again I drank a lot of water. If walking is too painful for you, wait an other day or two.
Today I kept a good hydration and activated the blood circulation around the injury. I tried to release tensions of the leg muscles on both sides. Slowly started to engage the calf muscles in a pain free range pushing against the wall and walking as normal as possible. Resisted exercises with the upper body to keep endorphins going.
I didn’t need extra time today. Just a focused mind-set do “do something” for my calf. If I can do it, so can you. Why don’t you give it a try if you just “pulled” a muscle?
Want to know what I did next? Read here.
If you need some tips for your exercises just drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would feel more confident if I had a look at your injury, please book an appointment here or call us. Here our number 0191 296 0567.Published on: 10th October 2021