a true pain in the butt - the recovery (part 2)

by Sandy Reimer

“It’s just a hammy, Sandy, it’ll heal”. These words of encouragement and wisdom came from my good friend Howard Dell, ex-Olympian.

It’s just been over 5 months and yes, it’s true. Time and physio/rehab have served me well. My pain in the butt is mostly down to a little twinge here and there, but for the most part, my life is back to ‘normal’.  I’ve started jogging again, teaching classes and am happily and confidently leaping and jumping! Being able to move freely brings me joy!

It was a process, and I was reminded of many things during this time. We really need to go through all the steps of healing, and I was thankfully guided by my physiotherapist. The torn hamstring needed to heal first. Next, we started to strengthen in a stable setting, and finally (after a time that seemed forever to me), we started to strengthen the hamstring in an unstable environment. We got here by adding small leaps, agility training, etc. (by the way, there was no stretching during this time).

I must admit, I was a good patient – okay, except for the occasional tears and frustration! The hours at physio provided me with a much needed get away from life – to simply heal through muscle stimulation, ultrasound and skilled massage.

At home, I did my prescribed exercises diligently, which started with butt exercises – standing leg extensions, bridges, clams. Then we added step ups, variations of lunges and squats and finally leg curls and power movement. Funny, I’ve been an instructor for years, but each time my physio prescribed an exercise, it felt like I was doing it for the first time! I often felt awkward and uncoordinated!  I’d start with 10 reps, progress to 2 sets of 10, then 3 sets of 10. I knew I was doing too much if the muscle began to tweak. The science of training is fascinating...it works!!

I have to mention, at one point I thought I was totally falling apart. The pain, lack of movement and mobility in my hips snowballed into other symptoms...for many weeks I also suffered from headaches, and tingling down my arm. X-rays revealed osteoarthritis in my neck and lumbar spine... not uncommon as we age.

I started doing Pilates and attending Feldenkrais classes (see bottom picture) at the YWCA to try to connect my core muscles and simply move and stretch. And here’s the great news.... once I was able to move freely again, stretch, maintain good posture and alignment, those symptoms disappeared.

Movement brings joy, unlocks energy and promotes freedom. Explore the relationship of our muscles that are all connected...our bodies are amazing! There are so many ways to move and so many amazing instructors and teachers to learn from if you need guidance. Just keep moving...just because you can!