Injury update: I hate resting
Unfortunately, I got some worse news about my knee injury. The MRI showed that I’ve partially torn my quadricep tendon.
Basically, my quad tendon looks like a frayed rope and on the MRI image, the tendon shows as white and black lines. A healthy tendon should be completely black. This isn’t my MRI photo, but similar to what mine looked like: (black arrows pointing to the quad tendon)
Tendons are some of the most difficult areas of our body to heal because they get minimal blood supply. Blood brings the healing agents in, so no blood = longer recovery. At first my doctor and physical therapists thought I strained the tendon and it was just irritated. But, with actual tears I have a completely different game plan for recovery.
This has got to be the hardest thing for me. Exercise is a huge part of my life and one of my favorite things to do. And I’m a fitness instructor! I love teaching high intensity classes and getting down with the students. UGH!!!! No more running, biking, or taking classes for me. I’m now limited to light & restorative yoga, Pilates, and swimming with a pull buoy between my legs. I also cut out teaching Piloxing (so sad!), but I’m going to try to continue teaching barre, yoga & Pilates. In those classes I do minimal demonstration and mostly instruct with verbal cues and hands on guidance. One of my students actually told me this weekend that she likes that method of teaching better. We’ll see how it goes. If I’m still in pain, I’ll stop teaching completely.
6 more weeks of Physical Therapy (minimum)
While I was waiting on my MRI results I went to 6 PT sessions and actually saw some improvement with knee pain. Now I’m scheduled for 6 more weeks (12 sessions). I’m also very thankful for the awesome PT facility I go to, ProSport in Newport Beach. They have very knowledgable therapists who know how to treat athletes and help them get back to their sport. I don’t get a wussy, barely-do-anything PT session. I feel refreshed and challenged after each session. I was actually sore after Friday’s PT session! My typical PT routine is heat, deep tissue massage, stretching, exercises to strengthen my hamstrings & glutes, foam rolling and electrical muscle stimulation while icing.
Kinesiology “KT” Tape
On Friday, the therapists also put Kinesiology “KT” tape on my quad & knee:
Did you see the KT tape on the Olympic athletes this summer?
Image Source (Women Talk Sports)
Here’s a great article about KT tape and how it works from Fiterature blog.
When they first put the KT tape on my knee, I was skeptical that it was going to work. I did my normal PT exercises and it felt better than normal, but I still assumed that’s because my knee is getting better. Then, while I was doing side steps with the theraband, the KT tape peeled off my knee and pain instantly flooded my knee. Whoa, it WAS working! They put on another piece of KT tape after wiping down my leg with more alcohol (too much lotion on my leg) and added more sticky spray to help the tape stick. This time the tape stuck and after 3 days of PT exercises and showering, the tape is still there.
The KT tape assists my quad tendon by pulling my leg back to straight and prevents my knee from bending too far. Even going down stairs feel better. The only tough part is not being able to sit in a chair with my leg at 90 degrees. And, it’s not the most fashionable accessory. When I first told my mom she said, “cool, does it help? should be interesting how you dress around it.” Haha, mom is always looking out for me! (Thanks Mom!)
Maybe I should get the tape in pink:
Have you tried KT Tape?