Sunday, 27 March 2016

ACL rehab

So, everyone has been askig me where have I been. I apologise for being missing for so long.

Well, just a few updates, I got myself a full time job, hurt myself, AGAIN, real bad and started changing my lifestyle to appreciate myself and my family more

What did I do?

If anyone recall, I had an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) reconstruction in 2013. I was supposed to take good care of my knee but turns out I managed to hurt myself again. So, here I am, back to where I was. Going through physio and strengthening exercises again.

I thought it would be nice to share a few exercises with everyone (esp those who are going through the same injury as myself).

The exercises shown in the video are just some basic things that we can do for starters.

1. Squats
To build quads and hip strength. Speaking from experience, squatting can be quite painful especially when you just hurt yourself. So remember to go slow and do not do weighted squats until you are really ready for it. As for myself, squatting used to be such an easy task but now it is a luxury to be able to squat properly. If you, like myself, have instability and discomfort (sometimes pain) when squatting, here is what you can do. Squat till 90 degrees, hold for approx 2-5 seconds, then instead of standing up straight, get up to about 160 degrees. Reason being, when you go from bent to straight immediately, you may find it very painful or sometimes unstable especially at the end of the movement. When you keep your knees constantly bent, it will keep your muscles contracting all the time and apart from strengthening your muscles, you are able to maintain that stability around your knee and train your muscles to work correctly. Yes! I mean it. Your muscles can sometimes forget how to function. Even simple tasks such as walking can be a problem.

2. Lunges
To build quads, hamstring & calf strength. For starters, do not do alternate lunges as it can be very painful. What you can do is actually this: Keep your injured leg in front, go into a full lunge and hold that position for about 10 seconds. Then while keeping balance on your good leg, try to stand up while minimising the pain. This can be quite a task but after a while, when your muscles get stronger, it will be easy. NEVER put your injured leg at the back because it can be EXTREMELY painful at the early stages when your muscles have atrophied (muscle wasting). It will take time before your muscles become strong enough to support your body weight so take things easy. When you feel more comfortable, try doing static lunges. 20 reps x 3 sets is a good start (only on the side where your good leg is up front). Then as you progress, you can increase the number of repetitions and try placing your other leg in front. Again, alternate lunges will be quite dangerous as you might not have full control of your knee while alternating and end up injuring yourself further. REMEMBER, safety first. LOL

3. Push ups
To build upper body strength. Well, it's good to balance out your training so push ups will be a good addition to your routine. 

4. Scissors
To build abs, quads & hamstring strength. It might look simple but trust me it is not. Some people ask me if it is necessary to build up your core strength if you want to build up your knee stability. The answer is yes but not directly. Reason: If you have a strong core, it will allow you to do non-weight bearing exercises that is good in the early stages of knee rehab. By doing the scissors, you are working out both your quads and your hamstring but by removing the your body weight, it will decrease the discomfort and allow your muscles to build itself up before going on to other weight bearing exercises such as squats and lunges.

Lastly, what else do you need? A good brace. Why? Because it gives you confidence to train harder. Although many believe that the brace is just a form of self comfort and psychological rehab, I do believe that it is very helpful. Firstly, when I was doing the strengthening exercises without the brace, I constantly found myself being very unstable and lose confidence to continue exercising. As a result, my muscle atrophied (become smaller) further. DO NOT repeat my mistake.

Secondly, I set the brace to limit my knee extension to 170 degrees so that I do not hyperextend my kneex (which was how I hurt myself in the first place). By doing so, I removed quite a lot of discomfort especially like mentioned above with regards to my knee instability when it is fully extended.

The brace that I got is Donjoy 4titude brace. You can get any brace that you think you are comfortable with but I personally think that if you want to get a brace, it is better to get one with proper support at the sides so stop yourself from injuring your knee further.

So, that's about as long as this post goes. Drop me a comment if you have any questions and good luck with your rehab. As for myself, I still have a long way to build my muscle bulk back.

Min ^^



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