Monday, February 2, 2015

Some Physical Therapy exercises which have worked for me

I mentioned last month that I would be attending physical therapy. I don't have TMJ but have "tmj symptoms" which mostly means I have trouble turning my head all the way to the right. This wasn't a big deal until I started clenching my face all day and getting headaches. I normally got 1-2 headaches yearly and all of a sudden I had 3-4 weekly!

I've been going for a couple of weeks now and here are the ones which have really helped me:

Upper Trap Stretch:

I do this one all the time now. Face forward and tilt your head to one side. Attain a deeper stretch by pulling with your hand. You should feel this on the side of your neck. My instructions were to repeat three times on each side for 30 seconds at a time twice a day. I do shorter stretches all day just because it feels good!

Levator Scapulae Stretch:

This time instead of facing forward tilt your head down (in front of your shoulder) towards your armpit. This one feels great at the back of my neck. Same as above - repeat three times on each side for 30 seconds at a time twice a day.

We do other stretches and now I'm lifting (light) weights and using resistance bands to strengthen my back but those two are the ones which make me feel the best.

Ever since I started PT my headaches have been completely gone and I do have more neck mobility. I'd been getting weekly acupuncture treatments for about two months and while the post-poking massages did alleviate my pain they didn't eliminate it.

The PT'ers have said these exercises would benefit anyone accustomed to being hunched over a computer - which let's face it - we eBayers and bloggers definitely are!