I got an 80% full thickness tear (doing boxing) on 29/11/2013. The only viable option, in order for me not to loose more than half the strength in my left arm permanently was to surgically reattach the tendon to the forearm.
But I persevered, 2-3 weeks post operation I started with hydro therapy, basically I was trying to move my arm in the water in as many angles as I could without pushing it beyond the initial tension level and never beyond the acute pain threshold.
The muscle atrophy and subsequently the loss of strength has been quite substantial. I've been trying to maintain the healthy (Right) side, but that's another blog post.
Meanwhile I have been doing mobility and light flexibility training on a almost daily basis, I say almost because when the tendon, which takes around 3 months to fully reattach itself, felt sore or when i had a minor accident, something falling or hitting my arm, I would then rest it until it felt safe and ready to start working with it again.It's been a slow, and at times very frustrating, process. I went from being able to do 178 (strict) push-ups and 29 pull-ups (I'm 190cm and weighed 80kg before the injury) to 0...but I managed to do my first set of double-arm push-ups on 14th Feb, that's right on Valentines day, and I've been doing simple Yoga postures, that didn't strain the wrist too much, since 7th of Feb.
BUT TODAY - finally - I did my first session with the Meels, It felt pretty good; I was fairly gentle and kept the exercises simple with a 4kg set (2kg each club) for about 10min continuous swinging until I felt the pain approaching, mainly from fatigue since I have not used these muscles for a while.
An interesting observation is that the shoulder stability is pretty much out the window and has to be rebuilt; the injury has pretty much affected the entire left arm from wrist up to neck and entire left shoulder girdle.I'm more confident now that I can swing the Meels again; with the stimulation that the exercising with the Meels provide, in basically all planes of shoulder, elbow and wrist movement; I am certain that I can reduce the recovery period dramatically from what the doctor thinks will be the case (1 year).
It definitely feels like I've lost a lot of momentum in my fitness progression and that in someways I'm starting all over, but the good thing about that is that now I can experience the build up from the ground up...for the 2nd time :)