Shallow water running for rehab in the ocean is helping my ankle in a big way. At least I think it is.
My backstory is one of knee surgeries. Three of them to be exact. As miserable as the almost two year period of pain and injury was, it led me down the road to teaching people how to walk. And it turns out that relearning how to walk and stand can get people out of all sorts of pains, some of which might have been around for a long long time.
Physical therapy was an eye opening experience for me. On one hand I learned a lot about specific exercises for healing assorted exercises but I also saw a fairly cookie cutter approach that treated the injury rather than the injured. This definitely informed my later attitudes about helping people out of pain.
But this was long before the concept of walking lessons entered my life. I was a second series ashtangi and all I wanted was to get back to the mat (Who was that person and where did he go?) and practice again. I was willing to do whatever it took to make that happen.
One machine that showed up in the middle of my PT extravaganza made all the difference in the world. Much of what I did in PT was useful to me. Mainly I built up my inner thigh muscles, the adductors, and the quadriceps the big main muscle of the front of the thigh. I also received lots of massage and electrical stimulation. But the machine that rocked my world was the underwater treadmill that allowed for shallow water running for rehab.
Running with my legs underwater was an awesome experience. Low impact in the feet even though they are touching down and pushing off, and amazing resistance as the lower leg passes through the water.
By the end of my PT experience I was running four miles underwater at full speed and feeling incredible.
When I sprained my ankle last week I automatically looked forward to the fact that I would be at the beach for a week with the opportunity to do some shallow water running for rehab. I shot a video of it but as of now can’t seem to transfer it to my laptop.
In the water running world there is both deep and shallow running. In deep water running the feet obviously don’t touch the ground which I haven’t tried and strikes me as incredibly difficult. Shallow water running where you are usually in the water up to the waist creates awesome resistance on the leg and minimizes the impact and push-off that is incurred when running on land.
Today marks two weeks since I tripped while texting (doh!), and I am more than pleased with the progress of my healing. Yesterday, I pretty much went full out on my ankle for the first time and this morning I am feeling great.