Monday, December 18, 2006

Therapy Starts; Is it for real?

ORN: 1 mile, no pain

I’m not sure what to make of all this, so I’ll just tell the story.

This afternoon, I had my first formal physical therapy treatment. I misspoke in my last post in that the treatment was not electrotherapy but rather a technique called
ASTYM. I’ve never heard of it but now I’m a patient.

In short, I plopped onto a table; the PT guy lathered my right leg with cocoa butter and then began scraping my leg with a plastic device that looked like a really stiff spatula. He told me the mechanism was to trigger some microtrauma to scar tissue. Then, with aggressive stretching and (gasp) running during the therapy, the tendons will reform in a more functional manner. Here’s what the
treatment looks like and here’s their generic ITB treatment plan.

I asked the guy if I should go run tonight. His eyes lit up and said, enthusiastically, “YES.” Hmmmm, I guess I’ll give it a try.

As I walked out of the rehab office, my knee felt better already. However, when walking to my car after work, the knee felt flaky again. I was discouraging. After dinner and clean up, I stretched and headed out. On Sunday, I had tried to run and couldn’t even go 200 meters. Could I run a measly mile on Monday evening after getting my leg scraped??

I could.

Out I went, on my B course, and slowly, steadily and without a single tendency to walk I ran one mile. One mile. I could feel my right knee and it wasn’t perfect. But while I sure noticed it, I was not in pain.

Tomorrow morning, I will stretch and seek to run one mile again. I go back for my second of six treatment sessions on Thursday. Frankly, it all feels a little flaky to me but the proof is in the pudding. And my mileage will start small and creep up.

Thanks for all the useful comments on this. They are very helpful.


Anonymous said...

Now that is strange and interesting. I will be watching this with interest - I'm with you though, if it works, then okay!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good plan. Get scraped. Start small. build on it. You'll be top notch in no time...

Anonymous said...

You've got to start somewhere. Take care on your road to recovery.

David said...

Try it. It should work.
It looks/sounds like a massage with a tool.

Anonymous said...

There was just an article about ASTYM in the November Trail Runner magazine. Sounds like stretching and active recovery are important to get the full effect.

You are so cutting edge, Joe. It will be exciting to see this work.

Anonymous said...

Sounds promising! I hope the treatment continues to help you. : )

Anonymous said...

Sounds promising! I hope the treatment continues to help you. : )

Anonymous said...

You gotta like a plan that involves running. Sounds encouraging.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like some good progress. baby steps! Take care of that knee! :)

George said...

I hope the miles come easier and that you are back to your old self quickly.

Have a Joy Filled Christmas!!