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« My First Halloween with the Bug (Dressed as Dorothy) + First Physical Therapy Session | Main | Laptop DC Input Power Jack Loose »

Physical Therapy More Painful Than Original Injury

Extraordinary Rendition | A Frontline Special (PBS) broadcast Tuesday eveSecond physical therapy session today .. for my neck. Last week, the doc assigned me to one of her therapists (or vice versa). "Today," she said, "you get *my* hands working on you."

This made me a bit nervous, cuz last week, the girl working on me suggested the doc applied more pain .. cuz "she's never been on the other side of this table."

The doc is tiny, but in good shape. She had me working on range-of-motion exercises. (Last week was more of a deep-tissue massage.)

I honestly cannot say which hurts more. Both involve serious pain. I'm feeling beat up (baseball bat style). But I can turn my head to the left now (~45-degrees). Couldn't do that yesterday (maybe 10 degrees max).

She had me at a place (turning head to left) where the slightest movement represented the difference between "comfortable" and 90% pain-threshold. We spent a long time (seemed like an eternity) fluctuating between 20 and 80% pain-threshold.

••• today's entry continues below ••• 

I often use humor/laughter as a defense mechanism when faced with a stressful situation. (Always have.) I can get pretty dang funny, given enough discomfort. (Beats crying.)

The doc brought my hips up off the table a few times (with severely-painful manipulations) .. after which she could said, "Okay, we're not gonna do that any more. Let's go a different direction."

I asked her how badly — "on a scale of 1-to-10" — I'd jacked up my neck. "Oh," she said confidently, "this is easily an 8."

"Eight," I mused. "That's 1 away from a nine. Which is 1 away from a ten."

"I've seen worse," she said, "But not many. They're usually older or arthritic, .. and they can't move at all."

Last week, I was feeling fairly carefree while walking into the clinic. Today however, I *knew* pain would be involved. Then, when the doc walked in and said she was gonna work on me .. uh, that's when I started sweating bullets.

At one point, one of the other therapists walked in and said, "You're scaring everybody out there." (with my moaning-n-groaning.)

The *real* issue however isn't the pain in my neck. Sure, it may hurt like hell. But (physical) pain is something I can handle. No, the *real* issue is .. » maybe (just maybe, folks) I ain't the hotrod I used to be.

And maybe I can't do those things I used to be able to do. And (to put it bluntly) » maybe I'm getting old .. especially when you consider it was less than a year ago when I hurt my back (lifting the Bug).

That's the real issue I'm dealing with. Felt emotional after therapy. Didn't cry, but felt way-sad. Also caught a glimpse of what the road-to-recovery looks like .. it ain't pretty. Painful enough to make anybody cry.

The *good* thing today was that the doc confirmed I have no nerve/spine damage. It's all muscle. (Mostly on the left side of my neck.) "I don't want to put words in your mouth," she said. "You need to tell me exactly how you feel, and exactly where it hurts and when."

And muscle heals. It may take a while, .. and it may (uh, » definitely will) hurt like h3ll stretching them back to normal. But they *do* heal.

One last thing » I have never broken a bone. (Ain't for lack of trying, that's for sure.) Knock on wood. My bruised ego made me share that.

PS - Tomorrow night Frontline features a special on » Extraordinary Rendidtion. Should be interesting. Done by Stephen Gray, who spent 4 years researching the topic. (PBS, 9PM here on Left coast.) Or you can watch online.


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Comments (2)

mountain shoes:

i couldnt agree more. this has even more traumatic experience than any other treatment.

It is true. Neck injuries are very painful and will also prevent you from being 100% at work.

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