Monday, June 1, 2009

Physical Therapy (PT)

The physical therapist told me that my posture (head tilted to the right and forward) caused the sharp pain at my left scapula. I realized this was the same posture I had every time I listened to a counselee. His diagnosis was not encouraging. He told me to watch my posture and see to it that my head is straightly aligned (not leaning to the left or right). During younger days, one's youthful strength can compensate for "mis-alignment"; but when one is not getting any younger, the muscles tend to solidify every time it is mis-align.

So, he applied the "trigger point therapy" and taught me a set of six-step isometric (contraction) exercises. Trigger point therapy started by checking the alignment of my scapula. He told me to push against the wall while he was grasping my scapula one at a time. He turned it left and right. My scapula proved to be a little inflexible and the muscles surrounding it are hard or tensed. So, I laid down on one side then he put pressure around the scapula, detecting which point/s are tensed or tender. The mid-point of the left scapula proved to be the most painful. He pressed it then released or relaxed the point. This is to allow the blood to fill up that painful portion. He explained and demonstrated through his fist that my muscles are tensed so it can only move a little unlike relaxed muscles which can move very flexibly.

Isometric therapy begins with the head. I will move my head downward with my hands on pressing it until I feel the tensions in my back neck muscles (10 seconds each count for 10 counts). Then, relax by getting to the head straight position. Second exercise is to press my hands on my forehead, with my hands putting pressure on forehead and the latter resisting my hand pressure (1o seconds each count for 10 counts). Then, back to relax position. Third exercise is to press my right hand against my right head (opposing pressure) (10 seconds each count for 10 counts). Back to relax position. Fourth exercise is similar to the third; on the left side. Fifth exercise is to place my hands on the back side of head putting pressure on my head while the latter resists it. Then, back to relax position. The last exercise is to place left side of my body against the wall with my left hand pushing my head to turn towards the right, looking down and feeling the tensions at my back neck muscles (10 seconds each count, 10 counts). Back to relax position. Do the same exercise on the right side of the body (10 seconds each count for 10 counts).

Those set of exercises actually released the tensions I had at the left scapula. Hope I can do it regularly. The therapist reminded me that the upper portion of the body affects the lower portion of the body and vice-versa. This is in reference to my complaint of numbness on my right foot. He hoped that those isometric exercises will ease my right foot numbness if I will religiously conduct those exercises. Though he noted that numbness usually means there's some nerves affected. He also reminded me to stand up and walk after 30 minutes of sitting which I have to be reminded of because a counseling session usually lasts for an hour or two. I realized that the body is somehow affected no matter how I relax it or debrief my self after a day's work.

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