My physical therapist, to be exact.
About six weeks ago I was messing with my mountain bike on a cold day – blasting around the yard, riding down steps and generally having a high old time. Two days later I began to hear some complaints from the inside of my right knee. A week later there was swelling…so I made the conservative choice and took a three week ice-pack and ace bandage vacation. When I resumed training everything seemed to go okay for a few days, and then the symptoms returned and I began to see the swelling again. My knee started talking trash again, but since this is a G-rated blog I will not be sharing any quotes.
I heard about a sports chiropractor in town who’s been treating a lot of school athletes and called for an appointment. After a pretty thorough exam to rule out my worst fear of tendon damage, the doc treated me with active release technique [A.R.T.]. Apparently traumatized muscles become chronic offenders due to scar tissue and an inability to relax. Using a mix of aggressive stretching, trigger-points and the equisite torture of manually breaking down scar tissue, my muscles released their stored tension and begin to heal.
It makes sense. Wouldn’t you become a chronic offender if you couldn’t relax??
in the end it all came down to fashion
I also experienced kinesio tape for the first time. It showed up stuck to numerous athletes during the London Olympics – and has recently become rather fashionable. They make the stuff in designer colors, as you can see in the picture above. My first choice was bright yellow with the words BIO HAZZARD printed in bold caps – but the doc was running low – so I had to settle for African batik. Anyway, he stabilized my knee cap and said the magic words:
YOU CAN START TRAINING AGAIN, JUST DON’T KILL YOURSELF
I’m 52, so you don’t have to tell me twice the part about not killing myself. I did that back in my 20’s and 30’s before I knew what scar tissue was, or that it accumulates over the years [and that body parts wear-out]. I’m already something of a fanatic when it comes to injury prevention. No one has to shout hellfire and brimstone at me – I’m already a convert.
And, by the way, it’s working. Three workouts later everything feels pretty good. I’m two weeks into my base miles training block, the bike no longer feels like I’m seated on a foreign object, the cadence and power intervals resemble something almost fun, and I’m looking forward to a strong season.