This morning I saw Megan, my PT, who pronounced my leg length equal and my hips level!!! So we are done with PT for this episode in which, to use her words, “your chassis was all cattywampus.”
We went over a final set of exercises for my foot. Here’s a new (medial) view of the tendons, since in my last post I provided a lateral (away from the center line of the body).
The affected tendon seems to be the tibialis anterior tendon, so she came up with an eccentric muscle exercise to do. I am to flex my foot with very little effort, then push down on the top of the foot to provide resistance while pointing the toe. I can do this seated using my hands, or use a theraband attached to the leg of the bed or circular weights around the foot while sitting. The trick is not to use force to flex the foot (this would undo the purpose of the exercise) but to really work the foot by providing downward pressure while it is unflexing.
So the recommendation for “professional athletes” on these exercises (which of course I will gleefully adopt) is 15 times a set, with 3 sets per session, punctuated by a 2-minute rest between each one. And I have to do this 3 times a day. For 12 weeks.
No calf raises for a while, and I must take it easy on stressing the foot in other ways, which I hope will be much easier now that my hips are level. (I didn’t really need to put that in boldface, but my rapture level is pretty high right now.)
We also talked about my relearning to walk and run and do other things on my new chassis. She gave me some ideas about Feldenkrais and Alexander technique, which I will look into. But the main thing to try is to pull my lower abdominals as I walk (or skate, or stand). When I do this, I can feel the muscles all around my left hip kick in, front and back, which is a reminder that I haven’t been doing this enough so that it’s instinctive.
So it’s a great day. It’s -6 degrees (F) outside with a wind chill of -28 degrees, so cold that our brand new dishwasher has stopped working and they cancelled school for my kids. But I’ll be singing as I’m doing the piled-up and crusted-on dishes and looking forward to those eccentric exercises and standing tall and level. Hooray!