Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

physical therapy ended

I graduated from physical therapy, so to speak. The plan was six sessions, I completed six sessions.

I was going for back pain that I encounter while sitting and I still have that same problem, but I've learned some things to keep working on. There's a lot of good stretches that I can do for a break that decrease the pain. Moving around has always diminished it, and now I have more ways to move around. Working with a professional has given me the confidence to try more things. For example, when we did planks or warrior III balances in my yoga classes my back would start hurting. My old solution was to not do those things. But every time I brought something like that up to my physical therapist, she'd point out how I could engage other muscles in those positions. The back pain was a sign that something else wasn't working hard enough - core, glutes, sometimes shoulders.

towards the end we did a ton of plank sort of exercises, and I started getting better at them. the biggest challenge is the up-down plank, that I couldn't even do with my knees down. You get on knees and elbows, then without moving your hips, use your arms to get up on your hands. I felt this in my back almost immediately and told her it was a terrible idea. But now I can do 4 or 5... still on my knees, but getting there. I can hold a plank for a while now, and even do side planks to work on my obliques/side abs.

She says it takes six months to build real strength, so keep working at home and come back in a while. I can do that.

I debated quitting in April with all the pandemic going on. Is my physical therapy really essential? But the place grew less crowded and we all masked up in there, so I went for it. I did decide not to do the traditional 1-month follow up though. I finished the last session and that was it. It's hard to say if I'd quit without the pandemic. Maybe. I only know one world now and that's the one where we all stay at home all the time. I bought some resistance bands from them, and was happy to get them since home gym stuff is sold out of big stores. Before the pandemic I was just going to the actual gym to work out. Now I can do my lateral pullbacks at home, which might just be better.

building up shoulder strength with a wide variety of arm exercises. for core and glutes it's a lot of bridge pose, bicycles, planks, cat/cow stretches, twist stretches. And really just finding new things all the time. There is no one right workout, cross-training will always be the key, so I try new things. Yoga one day, interval cardio the next, pilates, then a run outside or long bike ride. my back is better when I do those things, but it's not just magically better, that seems to just be how life is. we'll see if there is are still improvements to be made.
Tags: health

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