Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Physical Therapy

I signed up for 8 sessions at Fast Track Physical Therapy in Falls Church, Virginia.  This is the outfit that DC-area hardman Michael Wardian used to recover from a recent injury.  I noted when I was there that they've also worked with C__, a Northern Virginia guy I've done some cycling with who just set an age group record at the Ironman World Championships in October.  All a way of saying this place seems to have its head on straight.

Gavin took me through a 360 degree strength and flexibility analysis.  I'm not very flexible, it turns out, and I'm asymmetrically weak.  My right leg is weaker laterally than my left and my gluteus maximus (butt) is weaker than my hamstrings.  This is all consistent with the right knee's suffering uniquely and that knee-cap's drifting outward.  He sent me home with stretches for my hip flexors, hamstrings, and calves, and said running up to 20 miles/week is fine.  The next visit entails a stride analysis where I assume Gavin will identify what I'm doing that led to the inflammation.

My immediate reaction is mixed.  On the one hand Gavin did a very good job of seeing exactly where limitations lay and targeting places where I needed improvement.  On the other hand Gavin's analysis seemed to be subject to confirmation bias.  Everything we did supported a theory he had hatched pretty early on in the meeting.  It could well be that he hit the nail on the head, but it might also be that the subjective assessments of how hard I resisted his pushing my leg down were influenced by a priori beliefs.  I lean strongly toward giving Gavin and Fast Track the benefit of the doubt, and I suppose time -- and not too much of it, either, as this course of therapy is supposed to expire by the end of January -- will tell.

Probably this is as good a time as any to note that Ted's 13-day streak is in no jeopardy of being broken, by me at least.  I made it low single digits before concluding that riding a bike one day seemed a lot more fun!

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