The first step on the road to recovery!


I had my first appointment at physical therapy for my hamstring today. It went pretty well, with no surprises, per se. Well, one, but it wasn't physical.

I arrived a few minutes early and filled out the requisite paperwork. The receptionist was either really bored or a control freak, as she hovered about 2 feet from me while I filled out the questionaire. I find such people annoying.

Off to the examining room I went, managing to pull out a magazine and find my place before Laura, my physical therapist, showed up. Laura is, well, tall. Really, really tall. And blonde. Did I mention slender, with pretty eyes? And, she didn't have the tall woman syndrome (of hunched shoulders to look less tall).

Laura went through a series of move the leg this way, push here, pull there, does this hurt, do you feel the strain when I do this, what angle can you move your leg and the like. The only off balance item of interest for me is that when twisting sitting on the edge of a table and lifting my foot up towards my chest, my right leg can angle up 42°, whereas my left can go only 32°. Everything else was nicely balanced and even.

The diagnosis was a slight hamstring strain coupled with a sciatic (spelled wrong, I'm sure) nerve "inflamation" (not her word, but mine). The injury has caused my left glute to seize, and both glutes to weaken. I received the following three stretches and two exercises, to be done after warming up with a walk.


  • Lying back, lift the left leg up, knee bent, until the quads are 90°+ from the ground (slightly closer to me than perpendicular). Try to straighten the leg. Hold for 60+ seconds.
  • Lying back, lift leg straight up, as far as possible. Now gently drift towards the right side then back to vertical. Continue for 60+ seconds.
  • Lying back, put the left heel on the bottom of my right quad, near the knee, then pull up on the knee to stretch the glutes. Switch legs.


  • One legged squats with minimal weights. 3 sets of 15.
  • Standing leg pulls - with a Theraband band, stand with the band around the ankle (the other end secured under a door with the knot), with slight tension on the band and the foot about 12" in front of me. With both legs straight (no bending knees!), pull the forward ankle back next to the other ankle. 3 sets of 15, alternating legs. Keep the knees straight! Works the standing leg more than the moving leg.

And, I'm not supposed to run. I'm supposed to find an aerobic exercise that doesn't exert the hamstring. So, running is out. Swimming is out. Biking may or may not be out. The elliptic trainer is another maybe. I think I'll start jumping jacks and jumping rope.

Ultimate, I'm happy to say, isn't a complete no. Enough side to side action in the game that if I don't do a lot of straight line running, I should be okay.

This Sunday is going to hurt.