I was just about at the three month mark when I went to see the physio. He invited me into the big room with the mirror and watched me walk up and down a bunch. He said my gait had improved 'dramatically'. It seems that like my yoga practice, and the physio exercises I've been incorporating have paid off. The exercises I've been doing are:
1. Little Bridge
Lie on your back, arms at your sides. Slide your feet on the floor towards your head until they are under your knees, hip width apart. Squeeze your glutes to raise the hips, stopping when there is a straight line from knees to shoulders. Hold for 20 - 30 seconds, then lower slowly. Try to bring the two hips to the floor at the same time. This works Hamstrings, Glutes and Core.
2. One Legged Bridge
Go up into the bridge, then lift one foot a few inches off the floor. Hold for a few seconds, then put it down and lift the other. It helps to put the hands on the hipbones, so you can feel if they are level.
An excellent exercise for Core Stability.
3. Leg Extension.
Lying on my back with my thigh over a bolster or block, I extend the leg to straighten the knee, hold it for a few seconds, then lower my foot. This strengthens the quads.
Lie on your back, knees bent, then roll onto the unoperated side. Feet should be in line with hips, knees bent at 90 degrees, head supported by the arm. Put the other hand on your upper hip as a reference. Without moving your hips, lift the top knee away from the bottom one. Eventually you can wrap do the same exercise with a Dynaband. This works the Gluteus Medius and Maximus.
I've also been doing my best to walk with my feet parallel, and my pelvis tucked under. Sounds like it's working...but maybe too well.
The "Bad" News
John says that I've changed my movement patterns so drastically, that I can't stretch yet. He advised me to let the muscles, bones, and fascia settle into their new places before moving on to lengthening my hamstrings, and softening my tight hip muscles. Sigh.
On the Other Hand...
On the good side, he said that by August 1st, no one will be able to tell by looking at me what I've been through. John gave me my walking papers. He says there's nothing else he can do for me.
Already I am getting comments on how well I walk. What I really care about, is that the pain is dissipating. I can lie on my operated side. In fact I can sleep in any position I like these days, which is so exciting!
I so appreciate being able to move more freely. I am mostly keeping my restrictions, but not too strictly. Pun intended. I have been told more than once by friends that I walk very differently than I did. I really didn't know how much I limped, how ungainly my walking pattern looked to others. I only really see it, see myself moving in my mind's eye, now that it's over. I am so blessed.
Today's Quote: “You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert