28 September 2009

Flexibility of the Tin Man


I went to my scheduled appointment at our university's athletic training office to confer with the experts—and experts in training—regarding my back of the knee pain. I had no idea the place even existed. After traveling (with an escort) through mazes of dungeon-like concrete corridors and racket-ball courts—that I am convinced no one campus even knows exist—I managed to come across the athletic training office for the first time in eleven years. I am convinced that this place does not really exist, but just shows up under two full moons—appearing for a brief time— and vanishing until the lunar cycle comes full circle again.

Anyway, I was greeted by a senior Physical Therapy major named Katie who seemed really confident and gave me the run down. She asked me a bunch of questions about activities I participate in. I was way too eager to talk triathlon and marathon in great detail and had to remind myself several times that I am not trying to convert someone here, but just trying to get some insight from a qualified professional. Her teacher came by and gave me a look after her assessment as well. Katie was still a little green, but completely on the right track with her assessment. Her teacher (after a little poking around the back of my knee and some stretching exercises) said that there is a tendon that connects to my hamstring right were I am feeling my discomfort. My knee pain is not really related to my knee, but stiffness in my hamstring. My wife reminds me to stretch all the time, but I have been blessed with great big Italian legs (with hamstrings to match) and have the flexibility of the Tin Man. I was no where near 90 degrees when he tried stretching my hamstring—more like 65-75% I had been stretching quite a bit prior to the half-Ironman, but not much since. He recommended more ice, laying off for a few days and stretching, and slowly getting back into the running. Phew! He assured me that had it been an ACL or MCL issue that my knee would have let me know by being swollen the size of a grapefruit the next day.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

I'm working on stretching too. Check out excercises/stretches with the foam roller.