I’ve had injuries before. I’ve sprained my ankle, broken my big toe, damaged the ligaments around my shoulder after falling on it, had shin splints, more blisters than I’ve had hot dinners, been bruised on almost every inch of my body, I’ve got scars on me that I have no recollection of getting, I’ve even ripped my face open [slight exaggeration] when I fell off my bike (I wasn’t wearing a helmet) and my face landed on a wall. And all that after one night out in Dundee!
Okay, just kidding. But I’ve had all those injuries over time and none of them has come close to my knee injury I mentioned the other month. To recap, I woke up one morning with a bit of stiffness in the back of my knee that I put down to walking to the train in the morning (it’s harder work than you think). That night I played football on it and that made it hurt some more. I played again the next night and that really made it hurt – I twisted around and heard / felt some rather nasty cracking noises coming from my knee. My game was over and so began my current injury lay-off.
At first I had to sit around with an ice pack on my knee (I have used that thing for so many hours it’s like a security blanket now). Then I’d hobble around, limping from place to place with a grimace never far from my face. Eventually it started to improve and loosen off until I thought I could start exercising it again. I took it easy on the weights deciding to gradually build up the strength again until I felt ready to do some running. Idiot. That just made it worse and put me back a few weeks. So I carried on taking it easy and it’s been very gradually improving. Almost imperceptibly. It’s been over two months since I had the injury and I’ve not felt any closer to being able to run with it (or even do 20 rep squat sets with a proper weight) so I thought it was high time I saw a physio to see if I’ll ever play football again. That was on Monday.
So according to the physio I managed to stretch one of my cruciate ligaments as well as one of the collateral ligaments. Nice. As they have such a low blood supply, ligaments take an age to heal which explains the long layoff. What I didn’t realise is that your brain decides to protect the injured area even after it heals and modifies how you move the joint. He demonstrated this by telling me to relax my leg and he pushed the knee so as to bend my leg in the wrong direction. Despite trying to relax the knee it keep tensing up of its own accord – i.e. my brain was taking over to protect the knee. Weird. So I’ve got to re-learn how to use my knee properly and get my brain to break the new habit. If I don’t do it then I’m just asking for a repeat injury.
None of this is helped by the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having. I can’t go out and enjoy it on the bike, or out running or playing football. All the things I love doing! So if you were wondering why I’ve been posting so infrequently lately – it’s because I’ve not been doing anything interesting enough to write about. And before you ask – no – I don’t think writing about my knee is interesting but I felt I owed you an explanation.