Chronicles of Cross Training: May 21-27

It’s Monday. It’s Memorial Day, so I’m off work.

This week was another crazy work and life week. My days were filled with meetings, along with two trips to Mt. Pleasant over our wonky Wando bridge, which is currently one lane in each direction. On Thursday, a wreck happened downtown, and traffic backed up from Charleston to Ladson (15 miles away). Clay worked from home a lot this week, and I avoided any unnecessary trips.

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Needless to say, we’re spending Memorial Day close to home. After a busy week, my boss told me to not even think about technical writing or our company for three whole days, so I’m enjoying a long weekend of Netflix + chill + grill with Clay.
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Monday 60 min. Elliptical
Tuesday 60 min. Arc Trainer
Wednesday 60 min. Elliptical
Thursday 60 min. BodyPump
Friday 60 min. Arc Trainer
Saturday 60 min. Elliptical + 1 mile test run
Sunday 60 min. Arc Trainer

On Tuesday, I went to Dr. Bein at The Rehab Docs, where we talked about my MRI results. Since the MRI showed a low-grade partial tear and high hamstring tendinopathy, he adjusted my exercise plan. We did single-leg deadlifts, kettlebell swings, goblet squats, lunges, and a new exercise where he holds my feet down and I fall forward. I’m still working on toe, foot, and ankle flexibility as well.

On Wednesday, I got a second opinion on my MRI results from another orthopedic surgeon, who is the former chief of sports medicine at MUSC but now has a private practice at East Cooper Medical Center. Both orthos agreed on continuing rehab and possibly opting for a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection for my achy proximal hamstring.

The proximal hamstring area doesn’t get much bloodflow, and a PRP injection sends growth factors to the injury site to promote healing. The evidence is still out on PRP, and I don’t know anyone locally who had it for a hamstring injury, but I’ve read some success stories on various blogs and Instagram. I’m talking it over with Clay and a few trusted friends before making a decision in the next few days.

I sought a second opinion because PRP is expensive, so I wanted to talk to another doctor before opting for that, and because the ortho at MUSC suggested I try to run to see if the rehab and glute strengthening are helping. The East Cooper ortho agreed, so since two sports medicine orthos told me to run, I ran one wonky-but-not-painful mile on Saturday.

As far as cross training goes, the doctor said no jumping, no explosive movements, and be careful with lifting heavy weights. Thankfully, easy ellipticalling while watching The Goldbergs and catching Jerry’s Final Thought is A-OK.

I’m linking up with Holly, Wendy, and Courtney for their weekly wraps. Come join the fun!

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20 Responses to Chronicles of Cross Training: May 21-27

  1. HoHo Runs says:

    I’m sure the decision for a PRP injection will be a tough call, especially since your test mile was not painful just wonky. (If you were in horrible pain, you’d probably say “I want it now!”) In general, did they indicate how long it takes for a hamstring to repair itself? I think the time factor would be key for me. Hang in there! And, good luck with your decision! Thanks for linking.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Eh, if the test run was painful, I probably would’ve messaged my doc that day to see when I could get in. Since it wasn’t painful, I’ll wait until after the holiday weekend and call.

      No doctor has given me a time estimate on how long it would take to heal. I don’t think they really know because there are so many variables with the injury and how people treat it. I posted on a Facebook page asking for advice on PRP and other therapies, and several people responded that it has taken them years to get rid of it.

      N = 1, always.

  2. Well at least you will have plenty of time catching up on shows while working out on the elliptical and treadmill. It makes the time go by faster.

  3. Hollie says:

    Of the few people I know that have gotten PRP, they’ve all had success with it.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Most of what I’ve read has been positive. It’s also very low risk, since it is your own blood. Insurance companies don’t like to cover it since it’s “experimental”, and I understand the price scares people away (although that varies tremendously, even locally!). For an experimental treatment, it’s fairly easy to find people who’ve had it. It’s nowhere near as common as say, a cortisone shot, but it’s been around for a few years to have enough anecdotes and a few research studies to read before making a decision. Plus, two different docs who read the MRI and did exams both recommended it as a next step, which weighs heavily on my decision.

  4. AJ says:

    Good for you for getting a second opinion! My grandma always said that doctors were just practicing:)

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Your grandma would be right.

      You see social media posts about someone coming back from injury and setting a “surprise PR”, etc. Those things definitely happen, but it’s a highlight reel. Even the measures of treatment success like “Return to Sport”- that means exactly what it sounds like- being able to run or play, not necessarily that you were a starter before and you’re a starter again, or that you set all new PRs, etc. Still, I love running, and I hope I get to be one of those in the statistic that has a comeback story.

      • AJ says:

        I’m sure you will as you’re going about your recovery the right way:)

      • Amy Lauren says:

        Eh, if it doesn’t happen, it’s not the end of the world. Life goes on, and it’s just running.

        But I really miss running with friends, having coffee and breakfast afterwards, taking post-run pictures, and all the good times. It sure beats The Goldbergs and the Elliptical!

      • AJ says:

        Ya I know it’s just running, but it is a big part of my life! I love all those things too and can’t imagine being stuck with just the elliptical

      • Amy Lauren says:

        Yeah, I’m grateful I can do strength training as well (both my PT exercises and BodyPump). I want to make it to a yoga class- I was hoping to do that this week, but my gym’s schedules changed with the holiday weekend.

      • AJ says:

        Oh I hope you get to one this week:) I just had the weirdest yoga class tonight!

  5. A lot of the words you used in this post have been topics of conversation with my PT and Drs. You probably mentioned this before, but what kind of out of pocket cost do you think the PRP would be?

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Like all medical treatments, I’m sure it varies by geographical area and where you get it done. Insurance also comes into play. Most insurances do not cover PRP, but some may, or some may cover parts of it. May also be able to use HSA funds.

      Insurance is a fickle thing. For example, my insurance doesn’t cover PT at all until my deductible is met- and it’s a high deductible. Some insurances cover PT fully, or with a copay, for a certain number of sessions. Believe it or not, my MRI was cheaper than the X-ray I had to rule out a fracture- that I had to have in order for the doc to order an MRI.

      Your best bet on any medical procedure: Ask your provider, but know your insurance benefits. Cash pay may actually be cheaper.

      • oh yes, insurance is crazy. Trying to get an idea of a procedure from a hospital is even crazier!! Our insurance pretty much covers the minimum check ups, and everything else is high deductible. So lots of out of pocket $. I don’t get benefits from my job, bummer.

      • Amy Lauren says:

        On my insurance provider’s website, there is a “treatment cost estimator”. Of course, those are estimates so may not be the actual cost but it gives a good idea.

        Almost all the time, on my insurance’s estimator, the hospital is the most expensive place for a procedure. For my MRI, I used a place called Imaging Specialists of Charleston, which is outside of hospitals. There’s also one called Tri-County Radiology. If you need an MRI, check to see if there are places near you that are in your insurance’s network but do them outside of the hospital setting. My ortho actually told me to go to that place and said it would be cheaper- and it was. They also do other procedures there like mammograms.

        Of course, there are circumstances where having the MRI at the hospital would be the way to go- like in an emergency. But with a chronic injury, I was OK with waiting a few extra days to save hundreds of dollars ;).

  6. Wendy says:

    I know how badly you want to heal but it’s hard to justify an expensive unproven treatment over conventional rehab! That’s a tough injury to heal and I’ve had several friends who have been there. Everyone healed and was back to the road eventually.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I’m very glad that your friends all healed from proximal hamstring injuries. It’s always good to hear success stories.

      I am NOT stopping rehab. I go each week and do exercises on my own several times a week. The goal of rehab is to address the root causes of the injury and (hopefully) prevent others. No injection or procedure is a magic cure if you don’t address the structural issues.

  7. Elizabeth C. says:

    Awesome job being consistent with your cross training. I know you don’t enjoy it as much as running but it will really pay off and mentally help keep you on a schedule. I admire your dedication and I hope you are able to overcome this injury soon!

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