A dear friend that I treat for debilitating back pain shared thoughts, realizations, about the words we speak, or don't speak to ourselves. I was blessed. I have a lot to learn concerning blessing myself with my words. Enjoy.
"Spiritually, I'm learning to bless my back the same way I bless Stormy, our crippled goat. I give her extra love and attention because she's the wounded one...just like Jesus going to the 1 and leaving the 99. I don't know when I started doing this,but, in my heart, I've seen my back as the enemy instead of the wounded one. I had Stormy in my lap in the pasture one day and was telling her how special she is and how happy I am that she was born and came into our lives and how we didn't mind at all the special care, that we loved her best. In that moment, I had an epiphany that there was nothing in anything I said to her that I felt or said about myself and my back. It stunned me. So, I've changed the rudder of this ship to bless the wounded parts and when I'm exercising to be visualizing a healing back and muscles that work and a back that is estoring. I wish you'd write an article on it. Being around so many
injured people, I'm not alone in this kind of thinking. We even
label body parts as "the bad knee and the good knee". We slip
into that thinking without even realizing it."
I may write an article on it one day. But I don't think I can say it any better!
A team of therapists and I were working on several teachers at a local high school for Teacher Appreciation Day. A football coach, Mike, took a seat in front of me. I asked him if he had any trouble spots or pain. Mike admitted to significant shoulder pain.
“But you can’t fix it. It’s been going on for three years. I haven’t been able to throw a football since then”. Mike was quick to tell me.
I love a challenge. I immediately put my thumb on a specific rotator cuffmuscle.
“Is this your pain”? I asked, but his reaction was extreme enough that he didn’t need to use words.
“”YES! You’re on a nerve or something”!
“No, Coach, that’s a trigger point in your lateral rotators. It’s the muscle that puts the breaks on when you follow through throwing a football”.
He was skeptical. “I still don’t think you can fix it, but go ahead”.
Five minutes later he sat up and showed me how far he could raise his arm, as if to throw a football.
“I can only reach this high”. Coach lifted his arm just so.
“I can’t take it this high”, he started to demonstrate. His arm floated on up as if there was never a problem.
“Hey, wait a minute! I can… Look at this… and it doesn’t hurt”! he practically sputtered.
I smiled knowing this was one of the reasons I do what I do. Giving a football coach back the ability to throw a football again is what it’s all about.
Coach comes to the clinic now. We released his shoulder pain so that he can continue to do what he loves.
“Now, if you can fix my back pain, I’ll give you a million dollars”! he said on one of his visits, still sure that he had me stumped.
Thirty minutes later, after I released trigger points in the muscles of his low back and glutes, a sheepish coach asked, “Will you settle for a steak dinner”?
I love what I do.
BTW...If you're reading this, Coach, I never did get that steak dinner!
Krige Schabort was an avid surfer growing up in Cape Town, South Africa. He also enjoyed rugby and squash, and become active in the South African military as a young man. In 1987, during a Cold War battle with Angola, a bomb from a Russian fighter plane hit Schabort. He nearly died, and was saved by an adrenaline shot to his heart. When he woke up days later, he learned that both of his legs and one finger had been amputated.
As a disabled athlete, Schabort broke South African swim records and competed in wheelchair basketball. But it was in his first wheelchair race in 1988 that Schabort found his passion.
Schabort moved to Cedartown, Georgia, with his wife in 1997. Now sponsored by wheelchair manufacturer Invacare, Schabort has repeatedly won the Cleveland,LaSalle Bank Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Columbus Marathons, among others. He placed third in the marathon at the 1992 Paralympic Games in Barcelona with a 1:30.23 and second in Sydney in 2000 with a 1:29.28. In 2004, he was accepted into the Honolulu Marathon’s Hall of Fame, after winning for the seventh year in a row.
Schabort has also racked up many 10K victories, and holds the world record for 10 miles with a time of 35:18. During the 2002 New York City Marathon, Schabort set a new course record with a time of 1:38.27. The next year, he won the race again and broke his own record with a 1:32.19 (since broken).
At 44, (2007) Schabort is still a top contender amongst a stacked class of racers…
Addendum by Bobby Lewis, LMT, Corrective Bodywork
shared with permission
I met Krige when he first came to my clinic seeking help with his training and performance in the upcoming Paralympics Games. He was in training for the Paralympics Games. As a hand cycling athlete, he wanted to increase his ability to contract his abdominals as well as improve his range of motion with his shoulders. He had specific groin pain as well.
We designed a treatment plan to include myofascial release at the hip and through his abs in order to lengthen the muscles that had been shortened from repetitive use. On the first visit of several, we discovered trigger points in his abs that referred pain to his groin as well as to his foot! Yes, his foot! The trigger point referred to what is called a “phantom pain.” When these trigger points were released, his abdominal muscles lengthened. The range of motion in his shoulders increased so he would have great “reach and pull.” Krige reported greater strength during daily training. He went on to the Olympics and competed very well.
Two years later Krige returned to my clinic again for help in strengthening and training for an upcoming triathlon. He had limitations in his over-hand free-style stroke which limited his ability to turn his head to breathe during the swimming competition. He had pain in his neck on one side and headaches. The problem was rooted in the medial rotators of his shoulders. His lats had also shortened. With myofascial release, neuromuscular therapy and MET stretches, we lengthend his Lats. We did the same treatment on the neck muscles that rotated his head to the opposite side.
After his first visit, Krige went directly to the pool to train. He returned the same week for more treatment and was happy to report that he had taken a full minute off of his best time! Kriege attributed this to his ability to reach further with the one arm and the ability to turn his head without limitation or pain, in order to breathe. Each week thereafter he reported a continual drop off of his best time.
Krige is a determined human and a remarkable athlete. He knows firsthand the value of supplementing his training with manual therapy and giving himself the winning edge in competition. It has been an honor to be a part of this championship athlete’s journey.
I recently worked on a 60 year old gentleman, daily golfer, complaining of pain in his ribs, shoulder, elbow, forearm, hand and index finger. His index finger bothered him the most as it constantly popped (trigger tendon) and affected his grip and swing.
I began working on the larger muscle groups that affected his ribs. Working across his back to his side I found fascial adhesions, very tender, that restricted his backswing and follow through. Releasing theses adhesions on his larger back muscle,Latissimus Dorsi, and abdomen, External Oblique, corrected this for him. A specific stretch before and after a day of golf maintained his improved swing and follow through.
While working this area I found trigger points that referred pain to his elbow, hand and wrist. This didn’t totally ease his pain but it did diminish it. So, I looked at hisrotator cuff muscles on the same side. Again I found trigger points in hisInfraspinatus muscle that referred pain to his shoulder and his elbow, also alleviating his pain.
I then worked down his arm to his biceps, and other elbow flexors. You guessed it. The trigger point discovered there referred pain to the rest of his wrist and finger. He was 75% better after the first treatment.
He returned the same week. We did the same treatments. We added specific treatment on the forearm, his wrist and finger extensors. No more pain. I taught him some stretches to do before he teed off and upon completing 18-27 holes (walking of course).
He is able to maintain his improved grip, swing and game with the warm up stretches and finishing stretches.
He didn’t have to quit playing.
NO DRUGS !
NO CARPAL TUNNEL SURGERY !
My wife received a call from a friend requesting that I help her with her back pain. I agreed to see her. I learned that she suffered from debilitating back pain in her mid back for the last eight months. Bending to pick something up off of the floor, twisting, and deep breathing caused pain. Secondary complaint was her neck pain. She could not rotate her head very far without pain.
She received long term treatment for her back pain to no avail. Actually, her back pain worsened after treatment.
I palpated her mid back in the location that she indicated. It was tender. But, since she had been receiving treatment for so long in that immediate area, I decided to look for the culprit elsewhere. I turned her over on her back and began looking for trigger points in herabdominal muscles and diaphragm. It was almost immediate that we located 4 different trigger points that referred pain to the exact location in her back. It was intense.
After relieving those trigger points I looked a little higher on her ribs for cardiac arrhythmia trigger points that usually mimic panic attacks. Sure enough, they were there. They cause a feeling of nervousness and trembling that is typical of such trigger points.
I worked on her for 20 minutes. She stood up, tested it by bending over to pick up her shoe. No pain. She twisted above the waist. No pain. She took a deep breath. No pain.
I questioned about repetitive activity that could put those abdominal muscles in such a shortened and twisted positioned that could be inhibiting her diaphragm from contracting enabling her to breathe properly. When I put her in the specific shortened position as these muscles indicated she immediately knew that it was her hobby of quilting that was to blame. Actually her posture while quilting was to blame.
Leaned forward, shoulders rounded and head forward all inhibited her breathing. She was forced to breathe using her chest and neck muscles more than her diaphragm. She had developed several trigger points in her abdominals and diaphragm that referred to her back. The problem was not in her back.
She is correcting her posture and breathing pattern with the homework that I gave her to do. She may need a second appointment. But, then again, she may not.
Thank you SO much. I feel so much better tonight, and I’m making a concerted effort to keep my posture correct – I have to ‘unlearn’ some bad posture habits. You gave me a lot of good advice.Blessings, Michele