Yoga (might be) a miracle worker, or I (might) have superhuman bones
Considering the progress I have made in this past couple of weeks, I have concluded that either:
a) my injury wasn't as bad as it could have been
b) yoga is a miracle worker
c) I am in possession of superhuman bones
Given the context of this blog, I am clearly going to plump for b) - although we all know the obvious answer is c).
Week 2 - a bit more yoga thank week 1
In comparison to a painful but restful week 0 and a slower than expected week 1, this week saw the healing of my collarbone injury catapult. Over the course of week 1, I was able to start moving my shoulder and slowly regain my ability to do some normal activities like brushing my teeth and washing my hair. By the start of week 2, I felt sufficiently comfortable (and confident that I wasn't going to break myself further) to begin some self-directed physiotherapy, following the exercises recommended by the good people at the John Radcliffe Hospital - you can find these exercises in the hospital's extremely good 'Helping your clavicle to recover after a fracture' leaflet by following the link.
If you have broken your clavicle and have been able to take off your sling, I can't stress enough how important it is to start moving your shoulder in order to redress muscular tightness. It is amazing how quickly the muscles of the shoulder girdle start to stiffen up, how painful this can be and how long it will take to return back to normal. From talking to many other people who have had the same injury as me (let's just say I know A LOT of cyclists...), those who left their sling on for a prolonged amount of time (2+ weeks) not only took the longest time to recover, but suffered from discomfort on the side of their injury years (and in more than one case, decades) later. From my own experience, the muscular pain I felt when starting to move my shoulder after a fortnight was already quite enough. However, by diligently following the physio exercises prescribed, not only did the pain reduce by half each day, but my range of pain-free movement increased by half each day too.
To give you an example, on Tuesday of week 2 I could barely extend the arm on my injured side above waist height without a searing amount of pain. By Wednesday, waist height became shoulder height and by Thursday, shoulder height became arm raised above my head. Our bodies never cease to amaze me.
NB: Don't take this a sign to get carried away however, if you fractured your collarbone less than 6-8 weeks ago, it will still be broken regardless of how capable you're feeling at this point. Make sure to stick to the physio exercises, 3 times a day, every single day, no matter how easy they start to feel.
Better than quickly being able to gain a bit more movement, week 2 also saw the start of me being able to resume a more physical yoga practice, but I'll tell you more about that below.
Week 3 - a bit more yoga than week 2
Finally, a video!
Excusing the very 'rustic' production values (this is why I'll be sticking to teaching yoga, and not taking YouTube by storm), click above to watch a round-up of my yoga practice this week.
I've focused mainly on adapted Chandra (moon) and Surya (sun) Namaskars (salutations) as these sequences are especially valuable for their shoulder rehabilitating movements (flexion, abduction and extension), as well as for just getting the rest of the body moving again. I've followed these up with some seated postures to stretch the hamstrings and inner thighs, and a no-sit-up-needed exercise for the abdominals.
Over the next few weeks I'll be seeing a real Physiotherapist (rather than trying to be my own!) and continuing to build my own yoga practice back up. I don't want to get carried away, but with any luck, I'll be back on my bike too...