Saturday, April 7, 2012

Physical Therapy Should Not Resemble Torture

There's a common belief among those of us with frequent and infrequent neck and back pain that "physical therapy" does not have to resemble torture of the Middle Ages variety.  I think we all believe that a little pain is necessary for the gain, but less pain is more desirable.  The researcher/therapist/inventor dude or dudette who creates a pain free way to alleviate a painful back or neck or leg or arm injury, will be a gazillionaire and I will personally erect a shrine in his/her honor. (Hint, hint!)

After I finished ruminating on the line-art man's posterior area and how I might attain such a bootylicious figure for myself, my PT had me get up on this table/bed thingy that looked like something I've seen when Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures visits a deserted insane asylum.
The one he put me on resembles this.
He then told me how he was going to "...stretch your neck a bit to help relieve the compression on the nerve bundle."  I gave him a "WhatchutalkinboutWillis?!" look.  He then told me that I would put my head between these two "head stabilizer thingy's," strap my head down, then turn on the machine that would apply 25-30 lbs of weight to pull my neck back and, thereby, remove the stress on the nerve bundle. 

I've wanted to do some crazy things in my life, and, truth be told, I have tried to do some of them.  However, stretching my neck has not been one of those things.  I watched a documentary on NatGeo about some tribal people who elongate their necks by putting rings around their necks and causing the neck to stretch and grow elongated.  I will admit that I was watching the show primarily to see if the tribal women still walk around with no top on, but the neck stretching thing interested me.  I have a desire to get a few tattoos and to have my ears pierced, but I have absolutely no desire to look like this...
She's pretty but I've never wanted to compete with giraffes for my food.
I did as I was instructed and he strapped me in.  He handed me a cord with a red button on the end.  He said, "Push this button if you start to feel dizzy, nauseated, pregnant or anything unusual."  I looked at the button for a minute.  It reminded me of the Nurse Call buttons they give you in the hospital.  If this thing worked as well as those do, I was in for a lot of disappointment if things started going wrong.

As he walked out, he said, "Now, just lay there and relax.  I'll turn the lights off and you can try to sleep." 

REALLY?  REALLY?  I think he was serious.  All I could think about was those slasher movies like SAW.  I've never seen those because the previews scare the crap out of me, but I have heard people say that there's a lot of torture and being tied down in those movies.  So, I lay there really still with my iPhone in my hand, waiting for some creepy slasher dude to come in and begin to try to experiment on me.  Sleeping in a dark room while strapped to a table with a machine pulling on your neck is just not an option for me.

The "treatment" went pretty well.  No slasher guy appeared.  I didn't end up looking like that lady above and I did experience some relief from my pain.

As I was getting ready to leave, he told me that he had a portable device that did the same thing.  He said he would let me take it home and use it so I could get relief from the pain when I needed it.  He gave me the micro-version of the neck elongation device with some instructions and then wished me well.  He told me to call him in a few days and let him know how I was.

Last night, I decided that the pain was returning and that I might try the portable neck stretcher device.  I had The Spouse help me get strapped in.  I lay there, on the bedroom floor, with my neck stretching and everyone leaving me alone.  Until the phone rang...
'Cause that's how I roll!"
More's Saturday morning and I haven't stretched my neck yet.

1 comment:

  1. Physical therapy assistants can work in nearly a dozen different types of settings, each with different focuses, clientele, expected and outcomes. Visit link for the details.


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