a true pain in the butt!

by Sandy Reimer

Four weeks ago I tore my hamstring tendon, at the origin, while teaching a group exercise class. It's been 32 days and really - a pain in the butt.

What happened? Not exactly sure. I was doing a relatively common exercise, 20 minutes into the class, and I was warm. A perfect storm perhaps of overuse, stress, dehydration from a recent trip overseas and some previous hip pathology that hadn't totally been addressed. I moved, it popped! It happened.

My life is pretty much about being on the move. I walk as a mode of transportation, instruct fitness classes and train clients. When not moving, I sit at my computer - none of which is easy or comfortable with a strained hamstring. Not to mention putting on shoes, taking care of a household and having a social life!

During this time I've gone through a myriad of emotions: frustration, denial, sadness, stress, even depression. It's not an easy time when the life we're living suddenly changes...wish I could say I handled it all with grace. Reviewing the stages of injury, disease, or illness - I realized I'm pretty normal.

The loss of range of motion, and the inability to function with natural daily movements becomes a concern. You experience fatigue and chronic pain; you long to do activities that you'd like to do; and finally realize you don't even have the strength or ability to do what you long for.

Apparently ‘hamstring origin’ tears are hard to heal, and easy to re-injure. They take patience (generally 8 weeks of rehab), care and a progressive plan back into exercise.

I'm thankful that I'm beginning to move more freely once again and for my support group that includes my family Dr., colleagues and most importantly my physiotherapist who understood the ranges of movement and emotion that I'd experience.