Monday, February 09, 2009

The Amazing Accordion-Head!

Oh, look! Two of my vertebrae!

Ancient, eroded, probably loaded with crevices full of bats and desert mice ...

Today was my first day of Physical Therapy. Long long ago, I pulled something in my back while I was closing a huge gate ( I had complained months before to both my supervisor and the big boss that it was too heavy and sticky to be moved easily); I was sent to a Workmen's Comp office to be evaluated, and told to do a series of stretching exercises and get the hell back to damn work. It was a stupid office visit, mostly along the lines of, does it hurt when you do that? Then don't do that again, and yeah, you're hurt, but ain't we all?

So I had very little faith in what this morning's appointment would hold.

Amazingly enough, the PT dude talked to me for about 20 minutes about how I felt and what hurt and where. He concurred with the doctor and the chiropractor that there is some kind of nerve pinch in there. But instead of telling me what tough luck it was for me, and suggesting I become a Vicodin junkie, he set up about an hour's worth of interesting stuff.

First, I was treated to a scrumptious neck and shoulder wrap of moist heat. It was wonderful. Second, I got a nice warm massage of my sore shoulder and neck. Also wonderful. In a few minutes, these were followed by some gentle exercises (largely to determine my range of movement), and suggestions about how to do them three times a day.

The amazing thing, however, was shaped like an accordion with indents on either end. In one indentation fit my head; the other held my shoulders. I was given a little rubber bulb like you might see on a blood pressure device, and told to squeeze that until I could feel my neck stretch a little between head and shoulders. That I did, and voila! The pain down my arm disappeared.

This would be the same pain that had me in tears Sunday morning because it hurt so bad. For a blissful 10 minutes, it was GONE.

Of course it came back, once the accordion was off my head and I stood up, but it wasn't so bad.
And six hours later, it still isn't as bad as it was yesterday. I'm beginning to have some hope, although they told me that riding the horse is right out for a while.

Physical Therapy is scheduled for three times a week for the next three weeks. I'm looking forward to Wednesday, and another round with the Accordion-Head thing.

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