As a follow up to my last post in January 2015, the following outlines the final stage of my recovery from an Achilles Tendon Rupture which required surgery in September 2014.
In February, (5 months post surgery) an isokinetics assessment revealed the strength difference between my both legs was only 15%. This indicated that I was now ready to start back running. Martin prescribed a Rehab Running Program which consisted of 3 blocks:
Jogging – 8 sessions to be carried out over 3 weeks
Striding – 6 sessions to be carried out over 2 weeks.
Multidirectional running – 6 sessions to be carried over 2 weeks.
Alongside the running, I continued receiving treatment from Martin and Mark; I was also doing 1-2 rehab strength sessions on my Achilles per week. At this stage, getting the right amount of rest and recovery between sessions was very important. When I started back running, I was surprised at how easy and natural it felt and I had no pain or discomfort.
As the running progressed in speed and intensity, I undertook sessions with Martin and The Running Team to assess the mechanics of my running technique. This was to ensure that I was not overloading the Achilles. I found these sessions very helpful as they highlighted that I was slightly overloading other areas of my legs while running in an attempt to subconsciously protect my injured leg. Down the road this could lead to potential problems but with the advice and direction of The Running Team I managed to correct it before it became an issue.
Following completion of the running program, I returned to full contact training in April and within a week I played my first full game with my club, Knockmore.
In summary, some important aspects of my recovery were the treatment from Martin and Mark which was vital in helping to relieve pain and discomfort, and to restore the normal range of motion in my ankle. In addition, the isokinetics sessions really accelerated my recovery as I found that each session of isokinetics was as beneficial as 5 -6 normal rehab sessions. Also, towards the end of my recovery, the input of The Running Team helped to correct and adjust my running technique.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the support of Martin and the Team at SISM. When faced with recovery from an injury of this nature, the input of a professional sports injury team had a major impact on my recovery.
Shane McHale , Mayo and Knockmore GAA Senior Player
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