My neck and shoulders have been hurting/burning off and on for about 3 weeks now. I had a wonderful massage where my therapist suggested that I
- use ice and heat alternately (I have to force myself to do this for 15 minutes, although I know ice is good for inflammation)
- do an exercise with a weight to stretch out the muscles between my neck and my shoulders
- do yoga stretching
- get an over-the-door shoulder pulley and use it to stretch out the muscles
- STOP doing whatever it was that was causing the problem!
I’m still having problem, but 1 through 4 above are definitely helping. Since I have no clue what I did/am doing that causes me to tighten up like this, it’s a bit hard to ‘stop it,’ but it’s great that I now have an arsenal of ways to make it stop for a bit.
I received a new neck pillow I ordered (Amber ATE the one I had while I was out working with the weed whacker), so I’m again doing all of my stretching and relaxation poses on my yoga mat.
Thanks to Sixty and Me and their “Gentle Yoga” DVDs (for old broads like me) with instructor Cat Kabira for teaching me ways to stretch myself out, try to relax, and strengthen my body to feel better.
Even though I’ve been working hard the past two months cleaning out 30+ years of ‘stuff’ in my house, apparently I haven’t been moving my body well. It’s letting me know loudly and clearly. I’ve been particularly stiff and sore the past couple of weeks.
Today I did 30 minutes on my elliptical out in the garage. I came back into the office a few minutes ago after doing about 20 minutes or so of stretching poses in the living room. (Our two dogs think I’m playing, so I have to pen them up in the office with my husband before even thinking of getting down on the floor. :0) )
I had been doing pretty well with two DVDs I purchased called, “Gentle Yoga.” These are designed for people who are old like I am and have never done yoga before. The teacher is wonderful. She is very straight forward, gives you lots of choices, and mainly stresses that if you’re TRYING to stretch in the proper way, the poses will do you some good. She tells you how important it is that you get on the mat every day, even if only for a short time. I didn’t really believe her, so now I’m paying the price.
Today I had trouble even lying on my back without pain. I remembered to take things really slowly, breathing into the pain, trying to relax. FINALLY, my back eased. I did this with each of the changes in pose I made. I don’t think I’m as stiff as I was before I started the good DVDs, but I’ve lost a lost of flexibility I had gained. A lesson learned.
I feel pretty good now. I’m very happy that I stretched slowly and carefully, taking my time, easing into new positions and listening to my body. I could actually FEEL my body finally letting go!
So this is DAY ONE of my folding myself into a paper airplane practice. I’ll do several more days of just stretching on my own and then I’ll start the DVDs again. I can only get better from here!
Somehow, in my recent yoga efforts, I did too much of a good thing. I wasn’t careful enough, threw caution to the wind, and stretched as much as I possibly could – folding myself up into a paper airplane – messing up my back in the process. :0(
Cat Kabira, the teacher, STRESSES not to push yourself past what’s good for you at a given time. She asks you to do your best, but STRESSES, “if this is too much for you, don’t do it.” I didn’t listen, stretched beyond my comfort zone, and am now paying the price.
I’m having back spasms that are really cramping my style. (ha ha – pun) I can still function, but I’ll be in the middle of standing up and all of a sudden my back is clenching. It’s really annoying.
I’m doing a combination of pain meds, muscle creams, and the heat pad, and these are helping, but it amazes me how long it takes me to get back to what passes for ‘normal’ around here.
Today I’ll get on my mat and do SUPER careful stretches v-e-r-y slowly and see if I can get myself straightened out again.
Today is DAY FOUR of getting my act together once again – eating low carb and doing yoga. I did the section on “spinal health” today. I really felt as if I were trying to fold myself into a paper airplane. Apparently over the last few months I’ve stiffened up a lot, even though I’ve been moving a lot more than I have for years.
I learned today that just ‘moving more’ is different from doing things that actively help you align your spine, increase flexibility, alleviate pain, etc. Cat Kabira, the teacher on the DVDs, stresses that you should concentrate on doing what you can at any given time. As long as you’re TRYING to do the pose, you’re stretching in the right direction and should derive benefit. I hope she really means that because I felt like a brittle old woman today. :0(
I remember, though, that not only was I doing this session before, I wasn’t having any trouble with it after several practices. Between her kind attitude and encouragement, and the knowledge that I was doing this pretty well a few months ago, I’m hoping that the next time I try it, I’ll be able to stretch more.
I really like being able to do this in privacy in my home. No one can see me struggling. No one is there to judge. I’ll just keep on keepin’ on and I’ll
My yoga practice today finally gave me relief from some sore muscles I had in my lower back and right hip from my last leaf mulching marathon! My body tells me to just sit quietly, maybe take a nap, when I hurt. My head is learning new ways to cope with pain, stretching and breathing into the stretches via yoga positions. I’m making progress!
I just finished the session on “Legs” and then the “Overall Flow” session and I feel relaxed and free of pain. Part of me worries that this will only last for a short while, but that’s the old me. The new me knows that the stronger and more flexible I become, the less I’ll have problems with sore muscles. I just need to do some yoga EVERY DAY, even if it’s only for one lesson.
Now – if I can just keep from eating after I treat myself to my orange dream bar, I’ll have it made. All appendages are crossed – including my eyes – that I’ll manage to keep my mouth shut, except for drinking more water, tonight!
One day at a time.