Physio, progress, pecs, posture...as I sat in the physio's office yesterday and let my mind wander as she stuck me full of needles, I realized yesterday was full of P words. Back for my monthly check in with my old physio girl...honestly, I know I say it overandoverandover again about how great she is, but I'm going to say it again...she's SO fabulous and I'm so happy that I found her. I actually had a panicky thought last night about what would I ever do if she moved away or something. Must not think of such horrible thoughts, lest I crawl into the fetal position and hide under my desk.
In my last post I was saying how much better I'd been feeling and she was thrilled with how I was doing on the lower half of my body. I was standing better and more evenly on both legs...the first time I came to see her, I was actually almost standing solely on one leg I was so far shifted over to the left. She liked how my hip, hammy and glute were doing so that means the stretching, rollering and exercises I've been doing are key and working. My upper body, however, was a whole different story. I was still feeling sore from Friday's workout and woke up Tuesday morning with a stiff neck, so had her check me out and sure enough...my scapula and back were locked up and my whole torso was restricted in movement. I had done a lot of chest movements on Friday and because my back wasn't helping stabilize me, my poor little wee pecs were doing all the work and...well, let's just say they were a wee bit pissed off. It's all very interesting because I had noticed recently that pushups were inordinately hard for me...I thought I was just losing fitness, but because I couldn't activate my back muscles, I was relying solely on my chest to do all the work. Not good.
My super fabulous physio girl worked on me diligently as I peppered her with questions. What was causing all the issues, what can I do to stop this from happening, how can I get better? Stretching, different exercises?! It all came down to my posture. Yep, I admit it...I'm a serial sloucher and have been for the better part of my life. The one awesome thing about working with weights is that I've made huge progress in my back muscles and my posture has improved greatly...my physio said that my shoulder and back position now is good, but I've got what is know as "forward head posture".
Caused by years of slouching and sitting at the computer for work, my head position was far in front of my shoulders, much like the second picture and causing all sort of issues. My ears are supposed to be in line with my shoulders, but they were at least few inches forward...then I throw in a restricted back/torso, hypermobility and a bajillion pushups and it's a recipe for a big old hot mess.
If you're interested in seeing if you've got forward head posture, check out this link. Basically, your shoulder blades and the back of your head should touch the wall when you're standing. When my physio put me in the proper position, it felt so weird! But when I checked out what I looked like in the mirror, it did look way better than the Hunchback of Notre Dame position I had before. She gave me homework to work on my head position and watch how I'm seated at work (I tend to schlump to the right when I sit) and check back in a month, but not before she did a round of beloved needles all over my neck, traps and pecs. Not gonna lie, didn't love it but I've come to embrace the pain as a sign that I'm getting better. Or at least that's what I tell myself when I'm writhing in pain. Heh.
So there we go. I am feeling way, way better and now that I know what's up and what I can do, I'm all over it as I want 2014 to be the Year of Being Pain Free.