How you do anything is how you do everything…
What this all means
The priority has been hard to keep in the forefront. The relief my lower body now has does not mean I am free from the localized back pain and incision. They cut through bone, and muscle to reach my disc during surgery. This means I have tissue trauma that needs repair. You cannot just cut open the body without alarming all systems. This foreign invasion becomes priority for the body to heal. Just like your temperature rises with a fever to fight it off, your body sends signals to heal the wound.
Overall, I minimally take the prescription medication. I had to return to work and function all varieties I was given made me drowsy. I also wanted an honest assessment of how I was feeling. Pain medication can allow relaxation to put the healing body in compromising positions.
I took three days before I began my rehabilitation program post-surgery. This was on a Sunday after being operated on Wednesday. The session began with Reflexive Performance Reset a certification I obtained this spring that I highly recommend to anyone. I would not have been able to manage my body all spring and hit personal goals without the implementation of RPR. RPR sets itself apart from the practical implication of fixing your patterns right at once. Simple flexibility and mobility benchmarks give immediate feedback. If standing up and walking lighter is still not enough evidence for the individual to be ready to move. It is crucial that I continuously test and retest the firing patterns along neurolymphatic pathways which set the muscular firing patterns. Stress, overuse, structure, and fatigue can alter how our body is supposed to function and fire. This alters three levels of movement that are all intertwined to moving and performing safely; muscular, myofascial, and the complex nervous system. This leads to faulty movement patterns that put the body into a synergistically dominant state. This leads to muscles that are only supposed to assist take over as prime movers to pick up for weak links. This leads to injury and nagging pain. The deepest level the nervous system is targeted with RPR and if you ever have had nervous system dysfunction like I have RPR is an easy sell to integrate before training.
I will share simple firing pattern dysfunctions that have limited my progress over the YEARS.
- Power movements require proper hip extension. This proper firing pattern is 1. Glute, 2. Hamstring, 3. Quadratus Lumborum. It is common knowledge in strength and conditioning that many athletes have glute amnesia, these are contributing causes. Some individuals who always complain of “tight” hams have them in the number 1 slot and are at risk to pull the hamstring or experience lowback pain. If you have ever felt your lowback QL (which is supposed to be an endurance/stabilizing muscle) lock up it simply could have been from this muscle firing first or prematurely before the glutes. This is a daily check and taking time will make each rep target what you actually want to work. Activation without changing the pattern could still train the glutes, but with a delay from the other muscles firing beforehand.
- Tight Hip flexors can alter our breathing patterns and limit recovery and oxygen delivery. This is because our diaphragm is connected through fascia to our psoas. This connection can tilt up the ribcage visually and alter one into an anterior pelvic tilt. This again can lead to low back pain and limited range in hipextension. Quads can then become overworked and dominant. This overdevelopment is another risk factor for knee injuries.
After RPR tests and resets I incorporate neural glides. These appear to be simple hamstring stretches with knee flexion and dorsiflexion of the food to try and decrease dural inflammation along the sciatic nerve. Basically, my reasoning is not muscular flexibility, but I can incorporate my women’s basketball courtside pregame band stretch and have the job almost covered. I repeat this 3-4x throughout my day.
As someone who felt like they lost weight difficultly and always held onto muscle. A surgery will prove how fascinating the human body is. It is amazing how fast you shrivel up into a skinny fat version of yourself. A few days post op I had lost nearly ten pounds and it was not in a favorable direction for what I like. Once the rehab began and muscles were firing being utilized just in daily life and not laying around some of this returned. The quick scale jolt however, proved to me that I cannot do the whole I am not eating, because I am not running mindset. If you eat below maintenance calories and lose weight without weight training you will lose your hard earned muscle.
Also, your tissues and body needs nutrients to heal and a caloric deficit puts one at risk for reinjury and increasing recovery time. Why do this to yourself? The quicker you heal the sooner you can train to actually make a difference in your composition/strength. The battles I faced with this can be an entirely different topic. When it is all said and done I will be thankful I was forced to overcome some obsessive behaviors with diet and exercise.
Onto the training. I tried very hard to call this training in my mind and when I spoke. I needed to feel purposeful and deliberate with every action still moving forward to my goals. That I had been blessed with a chance to a clean slate and allow old habits to be erased. The training was very simplistic at first, but even with that my whole midsection would shake. The intention was to use my core in a stiffening manner and brace before every rep with deep belly breaths.
To keep my mind right I still went through setup as if I were about to crush prs. More mindful than ever of technique and breathing. Also I hiked the residual damage from my nerves will leave numbness in my foot awhile so running is out of the question for now.
My incision is still healing so the volume on deadbugs and other supine movements will increase as I scar over.
1. Cable Pallof hold. With this I over exaggerate tucking my hips forward and hold there without favoring a hip or leaning and maintaining a neutral spine 20-:30s with 15lbs resistance
2. Contralateral core lift- keep a neutral spine and lift the body through opposite knee and elbow. Contralateral sequencing is a huge factor in running efficiency.
3. Pole tilts- inhale 🐱then exhale 🐪into neutral spine. This is a good one to loosen up the si and control sacral flexion (what is supposed to happen in hip extension)
4. Body weight hypers (I’ll add resistance soon the stretch at the bottom tugs on incision at this point) the traction of the pendulum allows decompression of the discs/spine. Then an isometric hold in the back with in/out movement at the ankles for the hips.
Honorary mentions- birddogs, deadbugs, side plank variations, Sorinex leg curls, rollouts, soon I’ll add hanging leg variations for core.
Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. Pretty sure that was Einstein