Tuesday, June 22, 2010

hamstring part deux

So, it's been a few days of intense self treatment.  I spent many a waking moment in the last couple of days putting a heating pad on my leg (no more than 20 minutes at a time mind you).  I also spend a few minutes every hour stretching out the muscles using the stretches we have learned in class.   At the end of the day, my leg hurts worse than when the day started.   I also have been using some of this oil to relieve the pain:

I'm trying to figure out how much to use to make sure I'm not using too much (just a few drops is what I've been told) yet enough to make a difference.  It gives me a warm tingling sensation when I have just enough on.  It also smells WAY better than Bengay.

During class tonight, I also tried one of these:

I didn't know this before but the intent of the wrap is to keep the leg warm so it's loose and doesn't stiffen up while you are exercising.  It does NOT provide support. It seemed to help this evening at least.  I was given a warning by a co-student that using these wraps can actually cause your knee to be weaker and you risk injuring your knee.  He said that is what happened to him and I do remember him injuring his knee during the last cycle.  I haven't found corroborating evidence though.  I haven't found the magic answer on the intertubes (yeah...old joke!) though.

And now for the positive side.  I've discovered that I'm not that in-tune with what is going on with my body.  I didn't really understand what muscles I was using until I tried to do some kicks that I thought were going to be safe.  Specifically, only my right leg is injured.  I thought for sure I could do a side-kick with my left leg no problem.  I was so wrong.  It's actually way less painful to do the side kick with my right leg.  Same thing with my back kick.  The supporting leg is the one getting more use of those muscles on the back of my leg than the one I was kicking with.  This is NOT the case for the jump front kick (obviously), some round houses, the ahp bar, axe kick, etc.  

Another side effect is that while doing my forms, I'm being very cognizant of the move that I'm about to do to make sure I don't do anything stupid with that leg.   This injury has helped me to focus on the form more than I would have normally.  Albeit, I'm being a lot slower with it as well.  I have a tendency to finish a step or two behind the other students now.

Anyway, I wouldn't wish this on anyone.  Next time I hear/see some pro sports player with a hamstring injury, I'll have a little more compassion.

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