Over the past three weeks, have been ticking over the same physio and gym routine as in Weeks 22-44. There is no doubt that coordinating my pregnancy and my knee rehabilitation has taken a toll on the progress of the latter. In Week 13 of my knee recovery, I was getting to the point where I could work to a high level of intensity and enjoyed my first, and as it turns out, last workout to exhaustion for the short term; just before discovering I was in a family way I hit a spin class hard and it was AWESOME! Hadn’t felt that good in weeks and while my cardio was down, it could have been worse and the knee stood up to it. Likewise, I had started to ease back into regular BJJ practice with drills and some sparring with trusted partners. Pregnancy reversed or at least stymied this trend in progress and has had a pretty big influence on my personal experience of recovery.
On the one hand it is not recommended to work to exhaustion when pregnant and on the other, during the first trimester I certainly didn’t feel well enough than to do more than the bare minimum. I’m about 19 weeks now and feel much more lively, nevertheless my exertion levels are much lower than pre-pregnancy. This also influences motivation, as it is difficult to feel pumped about doing a really boring workout at a pretty low level with no prospect of getting back to my pre-op, pre-preggo levels of fitness until next Spring. It is all a bit academic and de-motivating, especially in light of the idea that I’d be training and working out to a pretty decent level at this stage of knee recovery if that was the only issue that was being handled; a thought which should give heart to fellow knee-warriors! This may sound like complaint, but it isn’t meant to, simply laying it out and putting my rehab in context and while I do find it insanely dull to do light weights, walking, cycling and swimming, I am keeping as consistent as possible. Gotta do what you gotta do!
As the progress has slowed to a crawl, my physio sessions have changed too. Previously, they were more about tweaking my exercises and moving me on to more challenging movements. Currently, they are more about checking in and getting a massage to loosen up the hamstrings. While I have integrated more foam rolling which is great for the quads and IT-band, it doesn’t help so much with the hammies and calves. The Physio has recommended two options for self-massage:
- taping two tennis balls together and rolling out the hamstrings and calves
- using The Stick to roll out the offending muscles
Hope to implement this advice over the coming three-week cycle. Considering alternating my 3-week physio appointments with sports massage, as I’ve got a great guy who is cheaper and better for that, though my Physio is superior for tracking and guiding my recovery.
|25-27||Gym, gym, walking, cycling and more gym.||Keeping it consistent|
Every ACL op and recovery will be particular to the person. The thoughts and experiences recalled in this series of posts is in no way intended as medical advice or as a replacement for seeking medical attention for any injury. This information is presented merely as a record of one person’s experience with ACL operation and recovery.