I've been through physical therapy for longer than some, shorter than others, and I've learned some things - figured I'd share the wealth! Maybe some of these bullet points can save one of you from potential physical and financial pain...
- Foam roll. Please. Keep things loose and flexible. I don't think you need to roll everyday for 30 minutes or anything, but it helps to occasionally get on that baby and squirm.
- Some stretches require long holds, other stretches are more active and more "pulsated," if you will. A good rule of thumb in my opinion is that if it is an INTENSE stretch, do repetitive holds for 5 seconds.
- An interestingly large amount of discomfort can stem from your lower back. A lot of nerves are attached there, and you can experience tingling, burning, pain, and/or loss of feeling from your hips down to your toes from bad posture.
- Girls - weird things happen during our time of the month. We get pressure in our lower backs from menstruation, thus possibly leading to the aforementioned issues.
- As I said here, a good indicator of a healing injury isn't necessarily the lack of pain during exercise but rather the recovery time afterward.
- If you have to sit, maybe take a rolled towel and place it behind your lower back. Keep that gap - look like a C pointing away from you; don't form your body into a slumpy forward C!
- On that note, bean bag chairs are apparently the devil.
- Recovery isn't linear. You'll have good days and bad days.
- DO NOT GOOGLE. This is something I'll admit that you should do as I say and not as I do. Googling leads to A) the belief that you're dying, B) stress, and probably the worst offender, C) comparison. Just because so-and-so recovered from IT Band Syndrome in 2 weeks doesn't mean that you will. Everyone's recovery journey is different, and reading message threads about others' adventures (disasters?) could end you in a funk of extreme discouragement and negativity.
- Trust your therapist. They are trained to help you!
Disclaimer: I'm no doctor or therapist, just a recovering recreational runner with her fair share of medical bills ;)
Hope you all had a great start to July!