Today was an important milestone. I did my first photo shoot in six months, and I did it on ONE crutch (which was a spur of the moment decision).
I last approximately 57-ish minutes on one crutch, woot!
And it gets crazier. I went home, sat on the couch for an hour doing computer work, and when I got up my left leg/hip muscles were still turned “on”, and there was significantly less pain than when I normally just stand up from sitting. I remember going, “Whoa” as I put weight on the leg and felt it hold me up. Later on when I sat back down, and then got up again, it was more “off” like normal, but still, we’re making progress.
This changes things. While it’s still tough work being on one crutch, I need to do that more. I have grocery shopping at Kroger in my sites, and then eventually working up to the larger, Meijer.
I’d also like to start using one crutch when I walk into and out of the pool facilities. In fact, I did that today. It was a challenge (especially since I’d already completed the photo shoot in the morning, so my legs were a bit worn out), but I did it.
The strides forward (no pun intended) I’ve made these past eight days have been more than usual, and very encouraging. So what have I been doing?
- Using my EMS (electrical muscle stimulator thingamajig) unit to help stimulate my muscle fibers while doing many of the movements listed below. I use the EMS unit 2-3 times per day, in about 10-20 minute increments each time.
- while standing, I’ll tighten my glute medius/side muscles and let it propel my hips in the opposite direction. Important is that I keep both feet planted. It’s harder to do this on my left side than right, obviously. I’ll do a variation of this while leaning on each leg, on tiptoe, etc, whatever I can think of in the moment.
- while standing, I’ll do a modified “hip hike”, where I’ll let my glute medius lift the hip and then propel it outward.
- micro lunges, while twisting towards the leg that is forward and tightening the glute behind me. It’s really cool seeing the progress on these, it was painful to do them at all, even with shallow movements. As of today, however, it’s way easier. I only experience minor pain when doing shallow micro lunges. Now I can start making them a little deeper.
- gentle deadlift/hip hinge bow
- gentle leg extensions while leaning over counter, some while standing.
- shifting weight side-to-side, then front and back
- placing left leg slightly in front of me, as if I were going to take a step. And then slowly shifting my weight onto that leg. I only go as far as I can with minimal pain (I can’t get far yet). This one seemed to reduce my pain when walking with crutches and moving around in general. I’ve also started twisting away from the leg that is forward.
- taking the stairs on occasion
- 5-7 minutes on the elliptical (not every day yet)
- stationary cycling
- holding a side plank in the jacuzzi, starting today. This was challenging, even in water. Eventually I want to be able to lift the leg on top comfortably.
- aqua exercises/jacuzzi routine for general tissue work and conditioning
Future progressions I’m considering:
- adding weight to the leg extension while leaning over counter
- doing the leg extension while laying flat on my stomach on the floor
- standing on one freaking leg, yeah!
- being able to do side-lying leg raises
- being able to lay on my back and lift my leg
- walking on the treadmill