Drugs are not always necessary,
but belief in recovery always is.

Norman Cousins, Ultimate Success Quotations Library

April 14. Monday.

Today is a milestone. I am returning to the physio after a month of being left to my own devices and I have a feeling that I am going to be an astonishing surprise. Last time I was in her office, I was laying on the bed while she instructed me to try and slide my foot from straight out back towards me while bending my knee. The kind of movement you would do to bring your knees up to your chest. At the time I couldn’t manage it at all and she told me that my “ultimate goal” would be to be able to do 10 leg lifts with my leg straight and my left leg raised off the bed. I knew what she meant, my leg knew what she meant, but we disagreed on the execution. I remember leaving her office, happy that I had been given the all clear to go very gently back to the gym. The first day back I worked on my leg, tried to do 5 minutes on the stairmaster as I had the week before and started on the leg lift quest. It is now a month later and I am still working on the leg, but I am doing 30 minutes on level 2 on the stairmaster and I am easily able to do 30 leg lifts with my opposing leg off the floor. I am at the gym 6 days a week and although I do get sore, my back pain as such is gone and the strength in my leg is rapidly returning. I am still a little unstable climbing up and down stairs, but I can get into the Jeep without having to back in bum first which is a huge leap in the dignity department. I no longer use the cane, haven’t for 3 weeks now, and have stopped wearing the belt also. However, I have not yet been able to shave off much of the weight I have gained since the operation. That is my sole focus now since the less weight I have, the quicker my recovery will be. This past week I have lost a couple of pounds, and I am going in the right direction, but as we all know, this is the ongoing war of my life no matter what the motivation.

Still, I need to lose the 20…

On to stupid mask tricks and then I will fill in what happened at the physio since I haven’t been yet.

It starts innocuously enough with the single elastic. Daring I know…

Casual mask day

Then we move on to the “I am eating/drinking” stage…

Casual mask day

This is rapidly followed by the development of stupid mask tricks…

Casual mask day

alone or as entertainment for others…

Casual mask day

Which then leads to the discarding of the mask altogether in favour of the hand filter system…

Casual mask day

Don’t try this at home folks…

Well, it is now afternoon and my visit with the physio went very well indeed. She gave me more specific stretches to do to stretch my hip flexors and adjoining muscles and a stretch specifically for the sciatic area. She was very happy with my progress, saying she did not expect for me to have made such significant progress in only 3 months. There was nothing that she was concerned about specifically, only that I should be careful with my new stretches since I am working on the area specifically linked to the injury and surgery. But her point was that even though my strength is great, I need to start to stretch the area on a regular basis. I have another appointment on May 12th at which time I am going to be assessed for orthotics. The only complaint I had going in was that I felt as if one leg was longer than the other and that my weight was not evenly distributed between my feet. After she stretched my Iliotibial band these symptoms disappeared. Once I got back to work I looked up this strange band about which I had never heard and sure enough there was the diagram and the stretch… Oddly enough, the symptoms most commonly associated with this particular area are knee problems, commonly referred to as “Runners Knee”.

The iliotibial band (ITB) is a thick band of tissue that extends down the outside of the thigh from the ilium bone at the pelvis, over the knee to the tibia bone of the lower leg. More specifically, it attaches to the pelvis via the Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL), which is a hip flexor muscle (ie bends the hip), and via the Gluteus Maximus muscle, which extends the hip. It passes over the knee joint to attach at the lateral tibial condyle (ie the outer part of the tibia bone just below the knee). The primary function of the iliotibial band is to provide static stability to the lateral aspect of the knee.
A second more technical assesment of function:
The ITB is considered a continuation of the tendinous portion of the tensor fascia lata muscle and is indirectly attached to parts of the gluteus medius, gluteus maximus, and the vastus lateralis muscles. The intermuscular septum connects the ITB to the linea aspera femoris until just proximal to the lateral epicondyle of the femur. Distally, the ITB spans out and inserts on the lateral border of the patella, the lateral patellar retinaculum, and Gerdy’s tubercle of the tibia. The ITB is only free from bony attachment between the superior aspect of the lateral femoral epicondyle and Gerdy’s tubercle.

Unfortunately, most if not all of the information that deals with this tissue is in relation to Runners Knee and has little or no mention of hip discomfort or imbalance caused by or as a result of shortness, tightness or damage. I will keep looking.