The beginning of rehab …

The rehab of my torn gastroc muscle began on Monday. I met with the physical therapist, Scott Waugh (who works with the Red Sox and Bruins). He told me the following: it looks like I used to be a neutral runner but now on my left side I have a mild case of overpronating and need different shoes for the condition (this overpronating may have had an impact on the calf and, in part, led to the injury), my left calf is 1/2 inch smaller than my right calf, that I could probably be running in six weeks, and that in the meantime I could swim, bicycle or use the elliptical trainer – the only thing I can’t do is run. He indicated that I need to strengthen the calf and at the same time stretch it out. My lack of stretching didn’t help my situation and stretching should be a part of my post run routine. Overall, it was a good meeting and I had a good impression of him.

My rehab goes like this (when I am in his office – when I am at home I just do the exercises and stretches):

  • Heating pad on the calf for 10 minutes (it has some clay insert that gets pretty warm)
  • A rough massage on the calf by Scott (this really hurts at points) and then high frequency ultrasound for five minutes
  • 5 minute warm up on elliptical trainer
  • 2 x 25 calf raise (both at once – a quick pop up on and then gently down)
  • 2 x 25 single calf raise (left one)
  • 2 x 20 hops from left to right on the toes
  • 5 x 25 jumps on the jump rope
  • 5 x 30 seconds for both calf – wall stretch
  • 10 minutes ice with electrical stimulation

The whole routine ends up taking about an hour and the environment is pleasant. I am scheduled to have two rehab sessions a week and then I should do the exercises three more times during the week for a total of five sessions.

So, the rehab process has begun.

In the meantime, to maintain my fitness, I am doing 45 minutes to an hour on the elliptical trainer (keeping the HR at 135-145). With any luck, I will be back on the roads at the end of May. And, now that I have the information, I will need to keep these strengthening and stretching exercises going – as well as getting new shoes that address the mild overpronation issue.

On a final note, the doctor called today to follow up on my question about tearing the muscle from the bone. Yes, that did happen and no it is not something they surgically repair. The muscle will be fine, it just may look a little different than the other one – but overall it will return to functioning as it used to. I guess that is good news.


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April 2007
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What I am reading:

Again to Carthage, Robert L. Parker

Music I am listening to:

LCD Soundsystem, This Happens Gorillaz, Plastic Beach

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