Friday, March 19, 2010


Today was my 7th physical therapy session for a total of 3 weeks. It was more of the usual: start by applying moist heat to the shoulder for about 10 minutes, then do some exercises, and finally the massage and mobilization techniques applied by the physical therapist himself.

Almost every time I go, they throw something new into the mix, though. This time, the physical therapist asked an assistant to work with me on some PNF. I was intrigued, because I had just seen this acronym in an article last night but hadn't had time to look into it.

In this particular case, it was a rather lame exercise. I lay down on my back, and moved my arm straight up in an arc as far past 90 degrees as possible (which is not much), with my thumb pointing in the direction of travel. Then I rotated my hand so the thumb was pointing towards my feet and moved my arm back down to my side. While doing this, the assistant applied a very small resistive force against the motion of my arm. This really felt completely useless, but in any case didn't go on for long.

It's a mixed bag in the area of pain. With so little sleep yesterday, I fell asleep pretty easily. I still woke up a couple of times with pain in the middle of the night, but fell back to sleep without much trouble.

When I awoke this morning, the pain was pretty bad, and I kept debating whether I should go to physical therapy, scheduled for midday. I went anyway. The mobilization techniques were still agonizing, but it was more bearable, similar to what was done last time. The therapist has been easing up a little, and I think that is helping.

Since I did 1.5 hours of physical therapy today, I opted to do my weight-lifting workout tonight. For any exercises involving my left shoulder, I use very light weights and try to stay away from anything that causes the least bit of pain... I feel pretty good right now, no pain at all. This disease is strange, the way you can be in fierce pain in the morning and then feel normal just hours later.

I still don't have any ibuprofen so I wonder how I'll sleep tonight.

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