Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Eccentric Decline Squats - Second Progress Report

Next target was to get to 3x15 squats (still once a day, just before bed) using only one leg. Again, with one exception this has gone well and I have got up to target. I have used the same approach of adding one a day. When I went to one legged I dropped back down to 3-3-3 for my three sets. I went on the assumption that a one legged squat was more than twice as hard as a two leg (due to the balance and adjustments that the leg would have to go through). I still do gentle stretching after the squats and also use my leg roller (although not getting much from that now).

Almost at the end I caused a really big flare up though. I have been gently resting my index fingers on the wall in front of me throughout to balance me. I decided to try and switch to not needing any balance assistance - daft really because I have poor balance at the moment. Instead of following my one by one approach (i.e only take away my fingers for 1 squat then 2 next day and so on) I just went for it and was in a lot of discomfort the next two days. I took a few days off and then eased back in (1 set day 1, 2 sets day 2, 3 sets day 3) and have got myself back on track and up to 3x15 - but still feeling a bit niggle after the flare up - which has slightly taken the shine out of getting to this point because it showed clearly that the really nasty underlying problems are still there, lurking and waiting to get me!

Here are the same two graphs as the last post - expanded to cover this additional period:

Note here how we do see an offset between a week of higher activity and a week of higher pain. E.g Weeks 5/6 and Weeks 8/9. The pain spike in week 13 (without an activity increase in the preceding week) is due to the flare up mentioned above. Also, the generated trendline still shows a decline in pain levels over time (or does it show the fact that I have become more generous in how I have assess my pain over time). If it were indeed a linear progression (probably unlikely) this would predict that I would be 'cured' sometime in Jan 2011 - note the big shift from last post April 2010 prediction. Perhaps it is linear and this is a more realistic projection - or perhaps it is non-linear....

It has been a shame to finish this period with a big flare-up as I had been feeling pretty positive before that and was feeling improved. Ah well....onwards and upwards....Next target is to stick at 3x15 one leg for a week and then start to add weight VERY slowly....

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    Great blog, glad I'm not the only one who has had problems and gone down several wasted paths without success.

    Like you I found that rest does actually cure the pain however if I then tried to slightest thing that is weight-bearing then they flare up again. I don't think mine are as bad as yours, as I've never had difficulty going upstairs or anything and they do often not bother me at all if I've not done any thing to stir them for a few days.

    One of your symptoms is very interesting and I agree entirely - it's that kind of wet/cold feeling you get on the knees as if your trouser is wet when in fact it's not. It's very odd feeling I never knew how to put into words until I read your blog.

    You asked about my symptoms. It started off in my right knee after a long cycle ride last year and never really settled down. Oddly enough I think the thing that tipped over was going camping I had to put a tent up in the wind on high ground which involves lots of bending squatting kneeling crawling leaning over etc and because I have generally had a bad left knee. I'd put most of the effort to my right knee which is where the patellar tendon problem was and started to play up.

    Unfortunately my left knee seems to have also gone over the past few months again, I think that's probably because I've just been compensating for my right leg being out of order.

    Initially when I saw a specialist they diagnosed it has a fat pad impingement and so was given some exercises I think you made it a lot worse. After an MRI I was told it was not the case and they spotted some thickening of the tendon and specialist basically tell me I had a “leathery” tendon but did not really explain what that meant however having read yours and Sigfuds blogs I guess I now know.

    I was not totally immobile, I then went to another physio who got me on some stretching however that the quad stretches they gave me (oddly enough ;o)) made things a lot worse and the eccentric 12 week program they mentioned I could not stand - clearly because they got me doing too much too soon as Sigfud says often happens.

    The one thing I am going to do before I start down this long path is go for a bike fitting session to make sure there's nothing in my setup that is causing the trouble. Once that is sorted I will try some gentle rides and see how that goes, however I think I know in the back of my mind as soon as I start to push it they will flare up again.

    I clearly have some genetic disposition for this type of injury as once I was told I had to stop cycling at the back of last year I started swimming that lasted a few weeks until I developed tennis elbow in both elbows which meant I had to stop swimming. For someone who is quite active all this is very frustrating.

    Anyhow I look forward to seeing the update on your blog and am glad to see you are progressing.

    Thanks for all the advice and hints and tips