Well, a number of factors that have occurred since my last blog detailing my disastrous slip and subsequent hamstring tear, on the early morning ice 2 weeks ago.
Whilst I looked after the injury correctly (as you would of course expect) and gradually added load back onto the injured area, I neglected something that we are fastidious about with our clients here at The Reinge Clinic: 'Look after the other side' because you will favour it!
So for two weeks I was limping on my left and favouring the right leg and a few days ago a new chapter was added to the sorry saga.
As my left hamstring was now feeling remarkably good, I did a long needed trip to the recycling centre with a car stuffed to the roof with the remanence of Christmas: A tree, a million boxes and an old carpet.......don't ask 🙄.
Throwing the tree and the boxes into the skip went very well, but the old carpet was a different matter, this was quite heavy. As I performed a natty little pirouette type manoeuvre to launch the carpet from the car to the skip......PING..... went my left calf 😖!
Now this was completely avoidable had I practiced what we preach and put a little time into massaging and stretching the right leg. But it also leads me think about a subject we have never blogged about: How we are MEANT to use sticks and crutches 🤔.
Many of us will at some time have been handed crutches and most of us will have put our entire body weight through them whilst swinging the injured leg through the air, not daring to let it touch the ground. Unless you have been specifically instructed to be non weight bearing (which is unusual) this is the WRONG way to do it!
The idea of crutches and sticks, Walking Aids to give them their correct name.....the clue is in the name 😁........is that we should use them to 'Normalise Gait'.
In English that means to walk without limping. So most of the time we need to put the foot on the ground and only unload the injured leg to the point that it stops you limping. Now, it's really important to aim to 'normalise gait', because it prevents exactly what happened to me and don't forget I only limped for two weeks! Most people are on crutches or sticks for several months.
So the generic sequence for walking aids during rehabilitation tends to be: Two crutches non weight bearing for a few days, progressing to partial weight bearing, then full weight bearing, then one crutch. If further rehab is needed you may then be moved onto two sticks, then one.
Next week I will cover this in more detail: How do we get crutches and sticks to the right height? Which should we be using for various issues? What are the different walking patterns with different walking aids and what are the progressions?
Of course this is also something we deal with here at The Reinge Clinic, it's not all about treatment, we do an awful lot of advice too. We even have a supply of sticks and crutches for our clients to borrow, should the need arise 👍😃