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Attention: Leopold

Posted by Kathy G on 6/13/05 at 13:05 (176671)

I answered your question but it took me several days. My response is now on Page Two. I just didn't want you to think that I was being rude! :)

Re: Attention: Leopold

Leopold on 6/14/05 at 12:14 (176765)

Hi Kathy,

A reply to your message is on Page Two too!! Thanks for answering. I was curious since you too have chronic neck pain is it hard for you to work at a regular job? I'm a MAH so I can't imagine being out in the working force with this chronic pain. If you are, how do you manage?


Re: Attention: Leopold - Continued from Page Two!

Kathy G on 6/14/05 at 19:11 (176783)

Now, if Julie were here, she would be able to describe the exercises I do much better than I but I'll give it a shot! The following exercises were given to me by the best physical therapist I've ever encountered. She seemed to instinctively know what I could and couldn't do and I was never sore from any of the exercises. With my body, I have found it's better to start with few repetitions and work my way up very slowly, and she actually encouraged my doing so. That being said, I was doing most of these exercises, but only once a day, not twice. Here it goes!

Sit in a straight back chair, feet on the floor and shoulders in a natural postion. Keep your head in a neutral position. Slowly turn your head to the left and look over your left shoulder. Stretch your neck as far as it will comfortably go. Do the same on the right side. Start out doing it ten times and work your way up to fifteen times. Do it twice a day.

Still sitting in the straight back chair, tuck your chin in toward your chest. Bring your right ear toward your right shoulder, stretching it as far as it will comfortably go. Do the same with the left side. Again, work yourself up to fifteen times twice a day.

Bring your chin to your chest. Link your hands and push gently on the back of your head, above the neck. You will find it gives you a much better stretch. Same number of times. Because of OA in my hands, I usually don't use my hands but if you can, it makes quite a difference

Finally, this one is tough to describe but I think it helps a great deal. Tuck your chin into your chest, as in the second exercise. Bring your right ear to your right shoulder. While holding this position, rotate your chin by looking up at the ceiling. This will stretch and strengthen the Scalene muscles. I was told to hold the position for thirty seconds and repeat it ten times a day (on each side). I don't do it quite that long because it causes the trapezius muscle to become numb but I do a set of five twice a day and will hopefully work my way up to the number I'm supposed to do.

Then there's the old shoulder shrug, where you shrug your shoulders up toward your ears. She never told me how many times a day to do it but I've been doing it for about thirty years, countless times a day. And if I crack, all the better! The PT wasn't so sure about that, but I find the crack makes me feel better.

And, last, lie on a surface such as a well carpeted floor but not a surface as soft as a bed. Put your head back, tuck in your chin and push against the floor. Do it very gently, pressure on and pressure off, very quickly. If done incorrectly, this can cause a devil of a headache called an occipital headache. Actually, she told me to do it initially and was going to show me how to do it while sitting in a chair but she decided not to chance the headache. I was told to use a pillow at first but I didn't feel I got enough of a stretch, so I got rid of the pillow. She said not to do it more than five times a day and she was kind of uncertain about this exercise for me, so I offer it for your consideration. Because of my cervical arthritis, she feared that this could do me harm. She finally told me not to do it but if you are certain you don't have cervical arthritis, you could give it a try. The times I did it, I thought it really relieved the tension in my neck.

So that's what I do. It helps but it doesn't take care of the pain in my clavicle which no doctor seems able to diagnose as anything but moderate arthritis. That just kills me when I drive or sit for any length of time, especially in a car or plane. I'm currently on 3-4 Carisopridol (muscle relaxants) and Darvocet a day and they are helping but they do make me tired.

And no, I don't work any more. I had to give up my part-time job of ten years (I was the manager of a Hallmark card department) six years ago because of my PF. After that, I worked less time in the library but after eighteen months, I had to give that up because of my feet and my hands. So, I'm a lady of leisure and thank God every day that we don't need my income to get by.

I hope these help you. Don't hesitate to ask me if you don't understand my directions. You can always email me and I'll make a copy of the sheets the PT gave me and send them to you. Let me know!

Re: Attention: Leopold - Continued from Page Two!

Leopold on 6/16/05 at 22:15 (176977)

Hi Kathy,

Thank you so much for the description of the exercises! I will have to try them.

I tried muscle relaxants but they didn't seem to help me any. It sounds like our problem is very similar. The docs have described my x-rays of my neck as moderate arthritis too. I am in pretty much chronic pain with things like exercise, heat, cold, pain pills helping me. It sure is discouraging though trying to find something that will actually cure the problem and coming up against a brick wall!! I'm pretty frustrated about the whole thing. It sounds like you are learning to live with the problem much like myself.

How bad is your PF? I had the surgery 9 mos. ago and seem to help my situation. I have had the problem 8 years.

Please respond,