Friday, August 23, 2013

Rehab Level 1

"I am too positive to be doubtful, 
too optimistic to be fearful, 
and too determined 
to be defeated."

So part of the keys to rehabbing successfully is knowledge and determination. This experience has been a huge eye opener for me. Coming to the realization that there are many people out there just like me dealing the very same or similar struggles. Being a healthcare professional myself I can certainly say we need a lot of work and it definitely appears we are going about this the wrong way. 

I recently had an interaction with a orthopedic surgeon who stood in front of me and told me that I had degenerative disc disease and annular tears in my back. He preceded to tell me that the pain I was experiencing was something I will have to deal with for the rest of my life and that there was absolutely nothing he could do for me. Wow, being a very active person and having a very active job this came as quite a shock to me. Of course I believed him. I mean he's the doctor right? 

Being a person that has always been determined to find a way no matter what of course I was not going to leave it at that. In my last semester of nursing school the instructor told me there was no way I could pass her class and graduate. Well guess what...I did. I was determined to prove her wrong. I spent the last 3 weeks of school putting everything I had into it. Of course I had to take anxiety and sleeping pills to deal with the anxiety attacks I was having for those 3 weeks but I was going to do whatever it took. I had worked too hard and nobody and I mean nobody was going to stop me. I made an nearly perfect score on my final exam to pull that off. 

I have never been one to be told I couldn't do something. And that part about me won't change. I am however getting wiser with age. Years ago I became determined to take care of my body. And as much as I thought all my fitness endeavors were part of being healthy it was probably more fun then it was beneficial. But without regrets because those were some fantastic years. It is time for me to really listen to my body. 

Listening to my body right now and doing things right is the only way I will be able to live a somewhat active life with minimal pain at this point. Which means that there is hope. Not hope that I will one day run a marathon because that would not be a smart thing for me to do but hope that I will be able to possibly not be in pain for the rest of my life. Hope that I will be able to continue to be fit and play with my kids when I have them. And hope that maybe one day I will be able to play a softball game, go for a hike, and ride a bike. It's really the simple things that I look forward to. I want to go back to work and continue with a job that I love so much. 

After 8 weeks of trying to deal with this pain and find the appropriate people to help me recover and get through this I have finally found a very dedicated and talented team of people that I know will get me where I want to be. A great chiropractor, incredibly talented massage therapist, a doctor who will listen, and a physical therapist with miracle stretches. Yes miracle...4 stretches that pretty much instantly took my pain away and allowed me to move in a way I wasn't able to move before. Now of course it will take time. These muscles didn't become tight overnight and I will continually have to work at it to stretch, strengthen and obtain more balance in my body. With all this I will get less and less pain and be able to function better each and everyday. 

Below are the muscles I will be tackling first. It is time for me and my muscles to loosen up a bit. 


Quadratus Lumborum Stretch
The Quadratus Lumborum is a quadrilateral-shaped muscle of the abdomen that arises from the iliac crest and the iliolumbar ligament, inserts into the lowest rib and the upper four lumbar vertebrae, and functions especially to flex the trunk laterally

Psoas Stretch

Psoas are muscles of the lower back. There are two psoas muscles on each side of the back. The larger of the two is called the psoas major and the smaller the psoas minor.
The psoas major originates at the spine around the bottom of the rib cage and runs down to the thigh bone (the femur). The psoas major acts to flex the hip.
The psoas minor also originates at the spine around the bottom of the rib cage but it runs down to the bony pelvis. It acts to flex the lower (lumbar) spine.

Hip Rotation Stretch

Iliacus Stretch
The iliacus is a triangular muscle that passes from the pelvis through the groin on either side and, together with the psoas, flexes the hip.

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