Progress Since the Last Update
In my first post
, I briefly touched on some improvements in my knee's range of motion and the reduction of pain in the back of my knee. As of today, I'm thrilled to share that my progress has exceeded my expectations. I can now fully stretch my knee without experiencing any discomfort. Being a hyperextended leg dancer, it's crucial for me to maintain proper alignment while stretching, so my goal isn't to stretch my knees into hyper-extension, but to aim for a straight line instead of a curve.
However, it's nice to feel my legs equally able to tense the quad muscle and achieve full range of motion without discomfort or pain. I credit this progress to consistent strength training with weights.
Moreover, my relationship with my thigh muscle has evolved significantly. For a considerable time, I hesitated to use it due to discomfort and sensations of pulling within my knee. However, incorporating a consistent routine of strength training with weights has helped me reconnect with and feel my thigh muscle more intensely. This breakthrough has been pivotal in my rehabilitation process.
Another significant milestone is that I no longer experience any knee pain in the back of my knee. My manual therapist identified the cause of this discomfort as a result of tension in the tibia muscle caused by unintentionally flexing my foot while walking and performing daily activities, as a means to stabilize my knee. Addressing this issue helped alleviate the pain, allowing me to bend my knee fully with ease. Now I can sit on my heels completely relaxing my body weight! Relapse in February
After making progress I got sick during the winter time and couldn't continue training properly. Then came January and I was doing a lot of organisation and management work for a production of mine, so I didn't have the time and capacity to dedicate a lot of time to training, as other problems seemed more urgent.
All of these events led me to experience a setback in February, which was quite disheartening. It happened during a Dance & Basketball class in the midst of an enthusiastic game. I got very determined and involved in the game, which lead me to take more aggressive steps while running away and this caused my knee gave way... again. Staying calm on the outside, I immediately stopped the activity and applied ice to reduce swelling. However inside I was devastated and full of uncertainty and fear. Did I tear other ligaments? Did I injure my meniscus?
An MRI later revealed that no additional ligaments were torn, which was a relief. However, this setback affected my wish to track my ACL's healing progress so far. My initial idea was to make an MRI after 6-7 months to see if it healed or not but this relapse made it impossible for me to ever know the state of my knee up until that point.
Seeking Professional Rehabilitation
After this setback, I realized the importance of comprehensive rehabilitation. I began researching and asking for professional rehab centers and decided to give Proreha Frankfurt a try. The facility had a reputation for working with professional athletes, including dancers, which gave me hope for a tailored training plan to fit my needs as a dancer.
At the rehab center, the trainer analyzed my knee and developed a personalized training program, based on the Melbourne ACL Recovery Guide
. He set a specific goal for me: to be able to leg press one and a half times my body weight with my injured leg to prevent further injuries and stabilize my leg. This target gave me a sense of direction and motivation to work diligently towards increasing strength and stability.