A Visit with ISU Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab

This year the Forward Motion Athletics triathlon team is being sponsored by the Indiana State University Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation Clinic.  We have had the pleasure of visiting a couple of times already this year.  The first visit to the clinic was focused on using foam rollers and specific exercises to reduce and repair overuse injuries.   Very worthwhile visit and they also spent some time with each of us in testing for strengths and weaknesses.  Needless to say I have a few weaknesses they gave me some tips on improving.

The second visit was a bit more interesting, especially for me.  The first part was to introduce resistance band exercises and show us how to use them.  We also did some knee and back strengthening work.  Now the fun part began.  After the clinic they asked if anyone needed some specific work, and they were offering to do some Graston Technique on us if we wanted to.  I’ve read and heard a fair amount about Graston, but have never had it done.  A picture is worth a thousand words in describing it so hopefully you will get the idea real quick just by viewing it.   Basically the purpose is to breakdown scar tissue and fascial restrictions using a metal bar to work them out.  I have a history of calf muscle injuries so I was an early volunteer.  Much like what I’ve read, it is very effective in removing scar tissue in short order, but not necessarily in an easy fashion.  I can say a definite “Yes” to the fact that it hurts, but I can also say it did the trick. 

Like Nicole told me, I would be bruised up and sore for a couple of days, and it happened just like that.  The bruising did go away fairly quickly and I was able to do a long run a 3 days later without any real issue.  What the effect is over the long term I can’t say yet, but I can tell that the really tight spots they worked on feels much improved.  Nicole also explained what really causes the calf issues are not running with my feet tracking straight.  Depending on how you run it can affect either the inside or the outside of the calf muscles.  Had no idea about that before despite being a runner for 30 years.  Just shows how effective a short visit to a physical therapist is.

Later this year the clinic will be offering the use of Dartfish running gait analysis.  Dartfish incorporates a combination of video and software to help prevent injuries and improve performance.  Just another reason I’m really becoming a fun of the clinic.  The only thing they don’t offer was a bullet to bite on for Graston.  Oh well, I’m tough, well sort ah …
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