For those who care about buffness

pay peanuts and get monkeys… NHS physio vs private ones

since surgery i have been seen by an NHS physio. i had always been jealous of ppl who got to see them because hey, it’s free (as opposed to the £70 for one hour i paid for the last private sports massage).

but yes. well there is a reason for that. and i am sure the lady is more than competent… for “normal” clients.

i saw a physio straight after surgery who gave me basic “assisted” exercises. i.e. the kind you do using a broomstick to lower and lift your arm behind yr back etc. at that time well in all honesty i wasn’t so sure i would ever be able to lift my arm again.
but i stuck with it and quit wearing the sling very early on to enable my shoulder to move freely (thus avoiding frozen shoulder probs altogether). just before my trip to japan and exactly 11 days after surgery i saw the NHS physio who would be taking care of me for the first time. it was hard to explain what i do on straps, although i thought comparing it to gymnastic rings was the closest we would get, she still seemed puzzled.
she assessed my shoulder movements and deemed my left scapula was winging (and indeed it was, check previous post) so she gave me a lot of rotator cuff exercises to strengthen them and mobilize them.
while in japan, my shoulder got heaps better so i decided to push it and increase the weight (i was told no weights for the cuff exercises but it became remarkably easy).
my next app was due to be today, a good 2 weeks after i came back from japan. since i thought this was too long i went back to my specialized physio.

so last week i had a one hour sesh w the circus physio. he thoroughly checked the range of movements and indeed for 5 weeks, it is very good (and better than pre surgery too). but it’s not that simple. according to him, yes it’s good to mobilize my cuffs, but they are fairly strong already. the problem is more an imbalance, particularly w the pecs and the teres/infraspinatus combo at the back. they are pulling the scapula in the wrong place. so he proceeded and punded the crap out of my poor “mutant” muscle (teres), in the most painful deep tissue massage ever. then moved on to the pec, but as painful as this normally is (elbows blazing!), it felt really relaxing after the previous destruction.

the goal is now to make sure the shoulder starts moving in normal “good” form, as it is badly used to the impingement and i can’t quite make it work the right way atm. so i have a couple of new exercises:
-one involving lifting the arm forward while leaning against a wall and holding the lats down so they do not engage.
-another lying flat on my stomach w arm falling to the side (lying on a coffee table), someone then holds the lat down and pinches the left trap to prevent it from engaging. my left arm must then reach towards the front and extend as much as possible. very painful but very good as “forced” rehabilitation for the left shoulder to stop the big muscles from engaging.

but then today i went to see the NHS lady again. i confessed to seeing the circus physio because i was concerned i was going too long without a checkup. that already did not impress her.
when i reported on the issues the circus physio thought he found, they were more or less ignored and focus was put back on the rotator cuffs.
fine.
but then i was asked “so really, how is this affecting your daily life nowadays?”
“well, i can make myself a cup of tea if that’s what you’re asking?”
“so it doesn’t affect you really?”
“well not my daily life really no i can finally cycle again”
“so what are we trying to achieve then?” *puzzled face
“err i want to be able to train straps again? otherwise why would i have bothered w surgery and the lot?”
“oh right i see”

then yes she tried to help me improve the “hold your shoulder blades back” as i find it hard to disengage the traps while doing that. and then concluded the traps were too tight (uh huh) so said she would massage the left one.
i could have done that better w my right hand. such a weak massage. when i said perhaps she could do acupuncture then, i was told we were out of time. 30 mins gone.

obviously, i am sure if she squeezed an old man’s left trap he would prob scream in pain, but hell lady, i need more of a squeeze than that. i have a knot in there the size of my wrist, stroking it will not help!
i guess it’s all relative and perhaps for mr smith this is great, but i am used to clenching my jaws when i get my back muscles massaged. anything else just doesn’t work. honestly. it doesn’t!!
unless it involves needles. or perhaps cups. but Arnold knows cups best…

apologies for the long post and the lack of pictures…


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