Monday, January 8, 2018

Self care

Aka:  Humans need massages, too

Remember back on Christmas Eve when Theo was a rampaging dork, pulled me off my feet a bunch, and set back my recovery on my left shoulder?  It's had two weeks off and while it's much better, it's not where I expected it to be.  Funny thing about low grade, chronic pain.  It's hard to pinpoint.  After a lot of fussing, I realized part of it was my back.  Not surprisingly, Theo also messed up my back with his theatrics.  I've also been compensating, so starting to see some soreness and tightness in the other shoulder.

He's not at all sorry that my sore shoulder encouraged me to take some time off

With the holidays and crazy weather, I let it sit and rest.  Not actually the best thing, as my posture on the couch leaves much to be desired.  Today I went in and got my massage.  I'm lucky enough to have a friend that is a sports massage therapist with an office only seven minutes from work.  I texted her, we set up a time, and I warned her it was a bit of a mess.

It's a good thing she's my friend.  I said some fairly obscene things as she started working through my back.  While doing an assisted stretch on my bad shoulder, it let out a huge crack.  Hm, might be a bit of locked up tension there.  After an hour of concentrated effort, it was about a 30% reduction in pain and a noticeable increase in range of motion.  She also worked on my calves which were very tight from my running.  She is mentored by a Thai specialist, so she used her heels as necessary to get through the really tough spots.  Good gravy did I say some stuff when she squished all of the knots out of my legs.

The assisted stretches were particularly enlightening.  I was suddenly aware of spots that were tight, sore, and pulling that I didn't notice before.  Holy crap, I'm a mess.  No wonder I can't sit deep.

More selfie fail.  It was -2* actual temp when I took this picture.

I have my next appointment scheduled already because, evidently, it's worse than I thought.  I didn't notice that I couldn't really turn my head until after the massage.  I was pulling into traffic, turned my head, and the lack of pain was noticeable.  Huh, that was supposed to hurt?  I had to think about where I was expecting pain and the left side of my back was expecting something to go wrong when I turned my head.  When it's all a sea of aches and pangs, it's hard to figure out the source.

I dropped by the barn on the way to work to change Theo into his medium weight blanket.  I have my barn clothes stashed under my desk so I can go to the barn after work.  The break is over.  I'm hoping Theo will be cooperative and not undo all of the work I just got done.  Legging up means it's mostly walk and some trot today.  Assuming he's on board with that.  I think I'll start lunging to the right so he hits my good shoulder if he decides to be a kite.  My massage therapist needs to be given a fair shot at making some progress.

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