Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Just Keep Swimming...

My knee felt great yesterday.  I had stopped stretching and foam rolling for a couple to days to allow the acute inflammation to subside, and apparently it worked!  I figured that since I was pain-free yesterday, it was time to add the stretching and foam rolling back in.  Bad call.  Today it is worse again.  I think it was the stretching that did it.  I should have waited longer to start stretching.  All the journal articles I've read have said ice, NSAIDs and rest (nothing that involves repeated knee extension/flexion) in the acute phase.  One I found today even said this:

"Although this study9 demonstrates the effectiveness of stretching the iliotibial band, participants in the study did not have iliotibial band syndrome and studies have not demonstrated that stretching hastens recovery from the syndrome." (from The American Academy of Family Physicians).

"Effectiveness" in the context of the paper simply meant that they were successful in lengthening the IT band, which isn't really relevant to me since the participants didn't have any pain and inflammation in the first place.  In terms of what is supported: 

"Hip abductor weakness seems to contribute to the development of iliotibial band syndrome. Strengthening of the hip abductors has led to symptom improvement.6" (from the same article as above.)

I have been doing a lot of hip abductor training since mid February.  This week though, I'm limiting those exercises to ones where I don't have to bend/extend my knees (ie side-lying abduction with the theraband, clamshells with the theraband, side-steps with the band, and hip drops.  Some of the other exercises, like lunge variations, seem to irritate my knee, so I'll hold off on adding those back in for now.

Next up, I guess I'm going to give KT tape another whirl, at least while I'm at work.  The IT band strap seems to help, but I have to put it on so tight that it makes me nervous to leave on for an extended period.  It seems like it would impair venous return like a tourniquet and put me at risk for a DVT.  I don't "get" how KT tape works at wall (I'll read up on it today), but at least it looks pretty harmless.  I don't see how it could make me any worse or cause any issues at all, which is more than I can say for everything else I've tried so far.  (Thanks for the video link Rhoda, though I'm not sure if you read this or not!)

As for the foam roller, well, I don't think it's hurting anything, in terms of worsening my pain, but I'm also not convinced it does anything at all.  Other than give me bruises, apparently.  I noticed these this morning when I was getting ready to swim:

Eff you, foam roller.  
Swimming went well.  I did try to kick a little bit instead of using only my arms and the pull* buoy between my thighs, but I noticed that even that was hurting (it hadn't the last time I did it), so I went back to arms only.  It sucks, because it's a much better workout with kicking.  It's pretty easy with just your arms.  I don't really notice my heart rate elevating much.

*apparently it's a "pull" buoy, not a "pool" buoy, as I was calling it before.  Oops, sorry!

I used my nose clip this time, and aside from the first couple minutes of getting used it, I really liked it.  I'll stick with it, dorky or not.  This is the one I got:

It has a "confortable" fit!  How could I say no to that?! ;)
As usual, I spent an hour swimming.  Next week (Tuesday), I start swimming lessons with this girl.  Hopefully I'll be able to kick pain-free by then.  I'm planning on 3 one-hour lessons to start.  We'll see about more if I find them beneficial.  I like swimming, but I wish it wasn't so crowded in the pool sometimes.  I'm hoping once I bet back on my "normal" schedule and go in the late evening closer to closing time that it will be more empty (vs opening time at 6 or 7am which is when I've been going recently).  We'll see.

My brother gave me like 15 hours notice that he was coming to visit yesterday (all the way from PA!), so I had to scramble to get my work shift covered last night, but was successful!  He leaves and I go back to work tonight.  Good thing.  In showing him around and stuff we ended up doing way too much eating.  Last night I had a TON of sushi (not the healthy kind, the kind stuffed with cream cheese and/or deep fried), and then a cupcake from "Just Baked".

After that we went to Wolverine State Brewing for Trivia night with some of my former coworkers.  I know I tend to majorly overeat in group social situations, so I avoided all the chips and stuff for a while, but then I had one and it was downhill from there.  That makes two days this week where I've been eaten WAY over what I burned.  It's funny, but whenever I stuff myself at a large meal (the sushi in this case) I crave dessert way more than if I eat a small meal.  The more I eat, the more I want to eat.

This is the only "picture" I took of my brother from his visit:

He claims he doesn't like cats....


  1. Have you tried breathing out through your nose while your face is under the water? That's what I do and no water goes up my nose.

  2. I hear you on "The more I eat, the more I want to eat." I get into a ravenous cycle for a day, and I will, pretty literally, never get full. Also, that nearly 5K of cals you put up in your "Undoing" entry is impressive, but I've nearly doubled that on some of my really bad Fat Tuesdays over the years.


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