Monday, December 22, 2008

SCOOTIE-POOTIN WITH WALT: "the wheels on the trike go round and round"

Today was the first of my Once-a-Week Therapy Sessions. It was very productive. My muscles are all quite sore from the prescribed exercises to increase strength. Also, my knees are sore from an exercise where I put my back and feet against the wall and slide down until my legs are a 90 degree angle at the knee.

The therapist changed the position of the feet to about two feet out from the wall with my feet angled outward from heel to toe. That small change eliminated the knee pain but still stressed the muscles as desired.

The excercise of stretching the thera-band downward to my sides hurts the torn rotor cup in my right shoulder. That exercise was discontinued. My daily exercise routine has now been extended beyond an hour with three additional exercises.

The therapist had me discribe my weekend: To church, to dinner and to Sam's. I was unable to walk from the front of Sam's back to the discount rack due to pain in my right hip and thigh.

The therapist put me on a treadmill and watched me walk. After a couple minutes the pain was a 2 to 4 on a scale of 1-10. This had been better last week when I walked for 10 minutes relatively pain free. He then had me bend forward from the waist and continue to walk. The pain decreased markedly. He said that bending over increased the "hole" through which the irritated nerve passes. Bigger hole, less pain! Makes sense to me.

Then he called in the "walking expert" of the firm. I walked for them for another 10 minutes with my hips disrobed. YES, IT HURT! The walking specialist then took me to a table and examined my hips, knees, ankles and leg motions. He then measured my legs. Upshot? My right leg is a quarter to a half inch shorter than my left which is resulting in injury to my hip, probably a result of my adjusting to the pinched disc, which is now improved.

To correct this disparity in leg length they put a lift inside the heel of my right shoe. I was then shown a new walking technique to affect the "bigger hole"relief. Pretty simple, I have to retrain myself to walk differently.

They want me to keep my belly button sucked in all the time, walking very upright with a slight reverse arch in my rear, lower back. Head up, shoulders back, gut in! Back to Boot Camp, huh?

We then talked about my riding the trike on the trainer. Physically, I can ride the trike for five minutes four times alright. Changing shoes and sox, clicking in the pedals, riding the trike for only five minutes, unclicking, rechanging shoes and sox four times a day is a nuisance. Also, riding the trainer like one who is riding only for physical conditioning and like one who is riding in preparation for an event can be two different exercises. There is really a big difference.

As a purely physical exercise one rides continuously. In reality, on my trike, I'd rarely pedal continously for 10 minutes unless I was climbing a hill. Instead I ride and coast. Get up to 15MPH and coast down to 10MPH, average 12.5MPH. Do that for 4 hours and travel the desired 50 miles per day while keeping exertion to a minimum.

I will change to riding the way I will be riding on my trip. Pedal and coast. I will also increase the session from 5 minutes to 15 minutes and reduce the frequency from 4 times a day to only 3 times a day.

So, this week I will be on the trike for 45 minutes a day instead of 20. A long way from the planned 270 minutes a day, but another step in the right direction. In fact. riding for 15 minutes is half way there as on the trip I will be stopping every half hour or so to stretch.

My work is cut out for me this week. Forty-five minutes each day on the trike along with over an hour of strength building exercises. Looking up! March 15th I'm getting ready for you. Yea!

Next assessment a week from today. I'm looking forward to it.

"Oh, the wheels on the trike go round and round, round and round, round and round"

God bless us, everyone!

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