April 3, 2009

Resorting to Therapy

Physical Therapy, that is.
After a couple of nauseating migraines, much neck/shoulder tension, and an inability to relax my shoulder muscles I headed to the doctor for some relief. Expecting a prescription for muscle relaxers, maybe some stretches to do, I received a referral for physical therapy. I'll try anything.
This morning I had my first PT appointment. My therapist had already discussed my condition with my doctor, I was a bit surprised, but happy to hear it. We talked over my symptoms and pain. He felt my shoulders and asked me to turn my head and cough. No he didn't, just making sure you're paying attention. He told me I was hyper-something-or-other, meaning very flexible. (I already knew that.) He explained that my ligaments are very loose, allowing for my great flexibility, but making me more susceptible to muscle tension problems, because my muscles have to work harder to keep things (like my head) in place. No joke.
He was very confident that in working with biofeedback, pressure point therapy, and stretches he could fix me. He said I would probably stop having migraines, or they would be very infrequent. I swear I heard angels singing.
He pushed on different muscles in my shoulders and neck, sending shooting pain up into my head. He explained as he went along, creating then relieving the pressure on my muscles. Despite a great range of motion, my muscles were very tight, I could not drop my shoulders. He couldn't even push them down.
After my therapy, which consists of the therapist doing most of the tough work, we talked through stretches I must do throughout the day. Then, the second piece of fantastic news of the day (and it was only about 7:15 am). He started to explain how my neck and shoulder tension pushes my diaphragm down, causing me to breath solely with my lungs. He explained how we would work on this problem. The 100 watt lightbulb clicked on in my head... Could this be causing me side aches and terrible breathing trouble when I run? Absolutely. Wow, an answer to the enigma that has been plaguing my exercise attempts for about 2 years! I giggled with glee. He explained that after PT and me working on my breathing and stretching exercises, I would have increased stamina and energy. (ok, maybe I don't need more energy) I am thrilled. Thrilled.
I know that I'm talking a big game here, expecting great response from the physical therapy. I really, really hope this works, and I'm willing (and realize) I will have to work hard to get myself to where I want to be (both tension-less and aerobically). I've got my fingers crossed for PT success.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Wow, that's great news! I hope the stretches help you out.