Riding the caution cone

caution conesFor those that know me personally, you know I have been battling a knee injury for quite some time.  About a year and a half ago I was exercising in the gym, in a gymnastics class, swimming, biking to work and playing basketball all in a typical week.

You could call me crazy, but it was just fun.  During this time period I ended up with patellar tendonitis, a condition where the tendon from your knee cap to you shin (tibia) gets inflamed and starts to hurt.  I took some of the steps I would teach an athlete to do, but the most important, rest, was never on the list.

patellar tendonitisMy pain got so bad I couldn’t walk correctly 3 days after doing any activity.  I tried to exercise, but again the next three days were miserable.

I went to a doctor 3 or 4 times for my injury with no luck on many of the treatments, until recently.  I ended up having a FAST treatment.  This treatment is fairly knew but it was AMAZING.

Imagine a scope, but with out all the tubes and scars.  They slapped a band-aid on me gave me a brace and some crutches and I was off.

The recovery part of this has been the “fun” part.  As I biked in to work today the concept of dodging caution cones was very similar to rehab from a major injury.

caution tapeOn one side it is safe, you know you won’t get hit by cars, but you still have to avoid a few obstacles.  On the other side it is more danger, but you get to go faster, further and push it some much harder.  I like the later side.  I, personally, go until I can’t anymore, hence why my knee started to hurt in the first place.

This recovery process is all about finding that balance of when do I push it and when do I hold back.

If you are recovering from any injury let pain be your guide.  Your body will tell you when you have gone too far, because it will start to hurt again.  The pain-spasm cycle MUST be the guide in determining how far you must go.

Some pain is good, for example being sore after an exercise or having scar tissue broken down. In either of these cases the body uses the pain to remove the broken down tissue and repairs itself.  However, if you can’t walk the next day or you HURT and you know what that feels like then you have gone way to far.

So just like the caution cones on my ride today, walk that line of “when can I push?” and “when should I hold back?”  You will find that your recovery period maybe longer, but the results from the recovery will be much longer.

If you have any specific questions on this topic let me know and I will do my best to help you out.


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