Last night I had PT for the first time since last Wednesday when I really angered the psoas by doing the rotating lunges. I went into the appointment thinking that A) I was GOING to increase my weights on that leg raise (for the first time in about 5 weeks), and B) I was going to conquer the lunges. Why I thought I would conquer the lunges is beyond me…I can’t even understand how my brain operates and it’s in my own head.
Well…I accomplished A and went up one pound in every leg lift exercise. I was really happy about that. It was hard to do the exercises, but not painful…which was a bonus. Then I did my physio ball hamstring curls and then moved on to my core exercises. I DID add in the marching planks on the Bosu ball like I said I might do in my last post. I did 4 sets of 10, so I was psyched about that. They weren’t even painful, really...my leg is still just a bit weak and this exercise showcases that. That’s okay though…I expected that.
Tom and I then talked about upping the ante a bit. He wanted me to start really focusing on that psoas (and the area in the front of the hip with all the tendons and ligaments and crap in general) and the hip flexors. We decided to add in another new exercise. We added in standing leg circles with the Ab Dolly. Now, that’s like gibberish to you people so I’m going to do my best to explain. Here’s my best description:
I stand with my right foot (this is my RPAO-ed side) flat on the ground, and I put my left foot on this contraption called the Ab Dolly. Here’s a picture of the Ab Dolly, and then a picture of the dolly in use so you can see its wheels and how it rolls.
|Put my foot of my good leg in the center.|
|It's on rotating wheels so you can move it in any direction.|
So, with my RPAO-ed leg on the floor and my good leg on the dolly, I use my good leg to move the dolly forward in front of me as far as I’m able, and then I swing it out to the side and behind me in a circle, and then I pull it straight forward into its starting position. This creates a big circle. While you’re doing this you’re obviously bending your right knee a little and you’re in the ever-popular “athletic position.” That wasn’t so bad, I did a couple of those and I thought I would be okay. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t really hard or painful. It was a good workout. Then Tom wanted me to focus on just one direction with the dolly. So, I would go straight out forward out with the dolly and pull it straight back in. Then to the side. Then…then I started going backward. And THAT’S when the problems began. I did it once…and it felt a little if-y. I told myself that if this psoas is ever going to get better, I’m going to have to challenge it. So I did. I did a couple more, going back as far as I was able. By the fourth or fifth one it was downright painful to come back up. I decided to do just a couple more, so pushed the dolly as far back and as I could…and as I brought it back in…pop crackle pop. The psoas had had enough and it let me know right then and there. OWWW. That hurt like a son-of-a-gun. I got off the dolly immediately…but the damage was done. I could hardly move my leg and I certainly couldn’t walk. I limped over to a chair and sat for a while hoping it would calm down. When I got up a few minutes later it felt a little better…but still really, really sore. I was talking to Tom about the pain and what triggered it this time, and what triggered similar pain last time. As I was showing him the lunge movement that hurt my leg, I felt my psoas pull and pop again. This time it really meant business. I had to just call it a night and I very gingerly limped to my car and drove home.
At first I was really discouraged. It was the worst I’ve felt since my time right after surgery. It hurt so badly and I just kept thinking that I was just going to have to deal with this and it wasn’t going to get better. I sat in what was my PAO recovery recliner of choice, and iced the crap out of my hip. I sat there and thought a lot about everything I've been through and I realized that it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better. If my psoas is really as much of a problem as it’s turning out to be…maybe I’m just going to have to keep beating it into submission until it starts to loosen up and cut that crap out. Maybe it’s just a battle of wills. Do I feel like I can keep pushing it until it finally loosens up and repairs itself? It is really painful, but I can deal with it if it’s what I have to do to make it better.
While reflecting on these thoughts last night, I also tried to think about what I was actually FEELING happening in the joint while these things were happening. It felt like “stuff” (muscles? Ligaments? Tendons? I dunno…I’m not a doctor) was moving around in there. I’m not sure if it was moving over any screws and that’s what the tension was that I felt and then felt releasing. I’m not sure if everything in there is just super tight and it’s going to take some pulling to loosen up and that’s what I felt. Pulling and tearing? I don’t know. But as I laid in my comfy bed last night, I poked and prodded at both my surgical ilium and my normal ilium. I will tell you there is DEFINITELY a palpable difference between the two. My normal side is smooth and thin and my surgical side is thick and clunky and awkward. And then, on the surgical side, I can also feel my screws...at least two of them. So…who knows what’s going on in there? I haven’t had an x-ray in a long time…so I’m not sure what kind of bone growth I have going on. I know Dr. S said that I am definitely growing excess bone. Maybe that’s wreaking havoc on whatever “stuff” is in there? Who knows!
I laid in bed for a long time, wide awake with pain. I tried lying every which way until I could finally find some comfort on my left side with a pillow between my legs. This was my position pre-PAO. This was the only way I could find relief at the end before PAO when my hip was REALLY crummy. Lying in that position last night made me sad…but it also motivated me to do whatever it is I need to do to fix this silly thing. I feel like this has gone on long enough…I’m declaring war. It’s Me vs. The Psoas!
We’ll talk soon,
Thanks for listening,
P.s. After constant icing and taking it very easy, I do feel better today. It is still very sore, but it’s not keeping me from walking. Thank goodness. I think I will be doing a better job of heating and icing for PT sessions from now on.