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Physical Therapy Update and Plans

By Gary F. Zeolla

The following message was posted in the Weight Trainer's United forum and on my MySpace page.
It is a follow-up to Hamstring injury, again and Bicycle Accident Anniversary and Hamstring Update.

I underwent physical therapy for my right hamstring and adductor and right shoulder the past two weeks, twice each week. I was scheduled to continue for the next two weeks, but I canceled the appointments for a couple of reasons.

First, I was having problems with my allergies/ multiple chemical sensitivities. At the first appointment, the therapist used ultrasound on my hamstring. But without telling me, he mixed in liniment (e.g. something like Icy Hot) into the ultrasound gel. If he had asked, I would have told him I am very allergic to such liniments, so that really caused me problems. I might have been okay with just the gel, but I did want to risk it, so that was the end of using ultrasound.

But then at my next three appointments, I still really had problems just being in the therapy room. I’m not sure it was due to the smell of such liniments being in the air or my “normal” problem of being in public places, but it just wasn’t worth continuing to go.

Second, the reason it wasn’t worth it was all I was doing at therapy was stretching and strengthening exercises. I did learn some new stretches, so that was beneficial. But the strengthening exercises consisted of using their leg press, leg curl, hip adductor, bench, and row machines. I can do all of those exercise and more at home, using what I consider to believe superior free weights.

All of this is to say, I will continue my rehab at home starting next week. I have already written up a “Rehab Routine.” I will initially plan on six weeks, simply because that is what I have space for on the workout charts I print up from MS Word.

I will stick with my normal pattern of lifting four days a week (Bench Assistance/ Squats/ Benches/ Deadlifts). For the three powerlifts days, I will the actual powerlift, followed by two isolation exercises targeting my problem areas.

On my bench assistance day (as I detail in my powerlifting book), I prefer to do “non-flat bench assistance (e.g., inclines, declines, dips, and overhead presses). But I’d rather not carry my FID bench into and out of my power rack as it is rather heavy and awkward to carry, and I am leery that would aggravate my hamstring, so will stick with dips and presses for the first six weeks.

On sets x reps, at therapy I was doing two sets of ten reps, but I really hate doing that many reps on major exercises, so I will start with 2-3 sets of eight reps. I’ll see how I feel as the weeks go on and might drop the reps some as I feel comfortable. On minor exercises I will do 2 x 8-12.

After the six weeks, I will re-evaluate and take it from there. But right now (8/8/09), my hamstring and adductor are still bothersome. It’s not too bad most of the time, but every once in a while, the pain flares up. But at least the flexibility in my right shoulder has improved considerably already.

For my rehab workouts, see Full Workout Logs: Starting 8/10/09: Rehab Workouts - Weeks 1-6 of 6.

For a related message, see Re-injured Left Pec.

Physical Therapy Update and Plans. Copyright 2009 By Gary F. Zeolla.

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