Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ode to Physical Therapy (and a lessening of my back pain)

Bald eagle, Homer Alaska (Webshots)

As predicted, physical therapy for my back pain is just the ticket.

You have to work (gasp!) but it helps.

I'm working with a sphygmomanometer (honest, I think this is spelled right) - a blood pressure cuff!

It's such a slight movement, when I perform the exercise with the cuff in the small of my back, but it helps an ol' swayback like me know when I'm activating my core muscles located in my pelvis.

It turns out the core is deep in there, under muscles and also in charge of bladder control, at least in ladies.

It's a common problem for the muscle to weaken and therefore control of the bladder. Had babies ladies? You can understand.

And for those who haven't had children you're in good company - me! I'm convinced my years of depression, sleeping too long, avoiding breakfast and reality is all coming back to haunt me, now that I'm awakened by Abilify (I discuss this a few posts down).

Anyhoo, thank God that these people can help me, because my back was killing me.

Turns out you must strengthen the core muscles in the tummy in order to reach the multifidus, or back muscle, that runs the lenghth of your spine, widening at the base (read: source of my lower back pain).

I encourage people to talk to their doctors about physical therapy in lieu of drugs, that aren't going to last long enough for healing, or work very well anyway (my experience).

The physical therapist told me that 90% of back pain goes away for patients, regardless of what a patient does, but only 20-30% recur in those who do the exercises.

My thing is that I have found relief in a short period of time, and knowledge on how to help control it, just in the few light exercises I've had so far.

I'm just sharing my experience. I figure you never know when it can do some good for others.

Thank you, PT!

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