I am rather surprised at how sore my muscles are the day after physical therapy. There is a decidedly burning ache in several spots that my painkillers do not seem to relieve.
I really hurt on Tuesday, but I carried on with most of my home exercises anyhow--what horseperson wouldn't? Then by Wednesday, I felt much better, only to go to therapy at the center in the afternoon.
Today, Thursday, I am quite sore again, although it's not quite as bad. This is a hopeful sign that over the next week or so, things will get better. I am using heat on the muscles and ice on my knees and that helps but I will admit to being pretty darn uncomfortable a good part of the time.
But, I also have to remember that I had bad knees for a long time. My right knee's damage was nearly fifty years old and over those years, my body and especially my leg muscles adapted to a skewed carriage and conformation.
Now, my legs are straight with correct support and the muscles have to re-learn how to work properly, stretching or contracting in entirely new ways when I both walk and move my legs. It would have to be very much like what a horse goes through when it begins correct retraining after having moved in a stiff, inverted way for much of its life. Suddenly asked to be round, to carry itself with unfamiliar, unfit muscles, I am sure it too would experience some of the discomfort I feel now.
The only advantage that the horse might have over me is that its muscles would not have been damaged by surgical incisions, so it might recover a little faster than I am at this point.
This experience will serve me well when I start to ride again, both for me and my horses.
We are all going to have to retrain some muscles that just might decide to protest as we work through our new adventures.