L5-S1 Rehab “traithalon” – Good Progress

I pushed myself a bit today.  I did a long walk, rode my bike and then did water therapy.  No pain, and I felt pretty good.

The “Triathlon”

This does make me laugh a bit; I didn’t do a triathlon in any way.  I did a lot of activities that made me tired though.

The Walk

I started the morning with my normal weekend walk to the beach.  I have now pushed it out to the pier with a stop for a Kono’s coffee.  I felt good on the walk and my pace is way up for the 3 mile trip.  I was happy to even break a sweat.

Once I got home, I decided to give my road bike a try.  I took the cruiser around the block the day before and was able to sit on my road bike with no pain.  I tested sitting on the bike one more time and it felt ok.  I could keep my lower back in extension no problem.

The Ride

After I did some more core exercises and stretching, I geared up, put air in the tires and headed out.

First I tested going around the block.  That was nice.  We live on the edge of a small hill, so I coasted down to a flat area and then turned up a small hill.  I felt very weak in my legs, but no back stress.  I did a few loops around the house getting slightly bigger and I felt good.

I ended up going for about 20 minutes.  At one point I saw my reflection and noticed that my back was still in extension, so I was doing well.

I could feel two areas of weakness.  General atrophy was apparent in both legs, but I also could feel a lot in my right calf.  I stood a few times and could instantly tell I couldn’t push with power in my right leg.  I hove some easy power, but very little.  Part of my butt muscles area also having a hard time firing, but they seemed to be waking up a bit.

I hope to do a few more rides this week.

The Swim

There is a pool near the house at a resort hotel where we have a membership so we can use the gym and pool.  Mainly the pool is for the kids.  It is a very relaxing pool, so I think it is funny that the term triathlon popped into my head.  I used some of the kids water floats to do some physical therapy in the water.

Balancing on the floats really activates your core and back muscles as the floats try to float away and I try to stay upright.  Add some kicking and arm strokes and I end up with a nice workout.  20 minutes of that tired me out and then I did some walking in the shallow end.  So, I got a solid 30 minutes of water exercise leaving me very tired.  I earned the right to lie by the pool, read, people watch and eat my lunch.

General Progress

The whole weekend was good for me.  I generally got out and did things.  I am not doing life at 100%, but I am doing more things.  It is easier to be social without getting uncomfortable and generally do things throughout the day.  I think progress is still measured over weeks.  I still feel more progress, but I know I have a long way to go.  Instead of general therapy, I am focusing on the really weak muscles.  They seem like they are waking up, but they are still weak.

The best news is that I am not experiencing pain.  A lot of the challenges are mental.  I am scared of hurting myself again so I am being conservative.  Both the boat and the bike were big pushes for me.  They made me better physically and mentally.  The recovery road is still long and I am still on it.

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