5 Things I Learned in Physical Therapy
Following my surgery for exertional compartment syndrome I went to physical therapy twice a week for nine weeks.
I was initially only supposed to go for about six weeks but I ended up with some scar tissue buildup near the incisions that required more massage therapy to breakup. Now the scar tissue buildup is basically gone and I’m free from PT.
I really liked my physical therapist, Steve. He was chatty, knowledgable and helpful. During my time there he helped me realize five things about myself that I think I was vaguely aware of, but didn’t really think about too often.
1. I SUPER Over-Pronate
One day I forgot to pack my sneakers, so I did my session in just a pair of socks. It was on this day that my PT exclaimed that I REALLY over-pronate as he watched my walk around.
I always knew that I over-pronated but my PT pointed out that I actually over-pronate to the extreme.
Perhaps not surprisingly, over-pronotion is common in runners because repetitive pounding on a hard surface can weaken the arch. Maybe that’s why I had never heard the term before I became a runner.
I’ve been wearing Brooks Adrenalines for years now and they are a great shoe for correcting over-pronation. I like them a lot, and I’m glad to confirm I’ve been wearing the right shoes all these years.
2. I Have Flat Feet
It’s really common for people who over-pronate to have flat feet – and I have flat feet. I honestly had never thought about it before and didn’t think they were flat. But they totally are! SO WEIRD!
3. My Calves Will Always be Tight
My PT stressed over and over again that he believes I’ll always have tight calves. Some people have chronic tight hips, hamstrings, etc. and I have chronic tight calves.
As long as the tightness isn’t related to exertional compartment syndrome or some other medical condition, then it’s all about stretching and management.
I was really bummed to hear this because I thought the surgery would leave me with loose/normal calves. My calves are generally so tight that 30 seconds after stretching they feel just as tight as before I stretched them.
Oh well, what can I do? “These calves are tight I know, but they are not yours, they are my own and I am never broken.” (Do you get that reference? Think: Jewel lol.)
4. I Have Poor Balance
I’ve pretty much known this my whole life. After surgery it got worse though. Sometimes I’d be standing and start tipping over!
While much of my PT focused on stretching and massaging my calves, another good portion of it focused on improving my balance. I did see a major difference in my ability to (more) successfully complete balance exercises at the end… but I still wouldn’t say I have great balance.
5. I Have Good Flexibility
When measuring my foot/ankle flexibility, full range of motion came back really fast even with some swelling still lingering about. Oddly enough over-pronation is common for people who have flexible yet flat feet.
I guess I can just a textbook case for over-pronation!
Do you over-pronate or have flat feet?
Poor balance or great balance?
What have you learned from PT?