12 Week Surgery Update

It's been really fun sharing my rehab experiences with you all! I think (and I hope!) that it has really been helpful for those of you dealing with surgeries and injuries, current, past, or future. I have always been one to seek others' advice when it came to injuries, but not everyone has access to the right people to ask to questions. Hopefully, I have been a shining light for some. It was so much fun to answer questions in my Q&A video on Injuries and rehab. It really showed me the need for this discussion to continue to happen. 

So far, I have had a lot of ups and downs typical of surgery. My last update focused on the the types of workouts I was able to maintain while I was living in a sling. The next phase has been working on increasing my range of motion (ROM) as well as adding band strength rehab. I have also been cleared to do some light swimming, which has been an awesome and freeing feeling for my shoulder!

However, this process has certainly not been all roses. The first phase of working on my ROM was extremely uncomfortable and came with a lot of aches and pains. I was having a lot of discomfort sleeping whenever I would turn and bring my left (surgery side) arm across my body. It was not used to this kind of motion after so long in a sling and so would be painful and cause my trap to go into spasm. Not fun. This was, and still is, where communicating with my physical therapist has been key. I have needed to remain consistent with these professionals to work on soft tissue and use other techniques to help the surrounding muscles of my shoulder calm down. It becomes apparent in the phases of coming back to motion, that your body became very used to NOT moving. But also apparent that there are solutions to the discomfort, that are usually entirely helped through a professional. 

The next challenge with adding the theraband exercises, has been the increase in load. I now have a routine where I start with ROM, like walking my hand up the wall and horizontal sweeping motions agains the wall. From there, I move onto my band exercise supersets. Often, I become very stiff and achey from pushing my range, that the first few exercises can be very uncomfortable. If you have experienced the same things, make sure that your surgeon and physical therapist are on board with your symptoms. For me, I have been instructed to work with that discomfort, and recognize that the pain due to ROM exercises in this instance does not mean I am hurting my shoulder. Tough concept, but important to know the difference between pain because it needs to be pushed, and pain because it's being injured.  

As of right now, my next month will be a step up in the resistance training. I must first meet with my surgeon to see what he approves of for this month. Based on how well I have increased my range of motion and where I am in the recovery process, he knows what I should be doing because of the way he made the repairs. It's a cool process that kinda feels like I get a present when I meet with him next week. What will I get?! Weights? Partner-less wrestling drills?! 

I am getting excited about doing sport-specific rehab. This is really my specialty. I love getting creative with the ways I can replicate wrestling action with rehab exercises. I will continue to communicate and ask for direction. There is never a reason to hurry your rehab, and that is a concept I always keep in the back of my head. Speeding up my rehab will only set yourself back once you return to sport. You discover that you actually aren't as ready as you thought to do that double leg or swing that bat. 

I hope this is beneficial to all of you out there  seeking more info on the topics of injuries and rehab! Best of luck! 

Katherine