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Old 09-19-10, 09:19 AM  
lorajc
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Pain, Spasms & Lifting - Questions?

Hi my VF family. I've had some injuries in the past that I'm still having issues from. Was rear-ended last year and suffering with back pain. Have a job where i stand on my feet 9-10 hours a day and have been working 54 hours a week for the past month.

Also, a year or so ago, I did a flip and a half down my cellar steps and got bruised up badly (mostly rib area) from which I've been suffering residual side spasms and pain. To top it off, I already had bulging discs in my neck prior...but I've learned to modify and workout around these issues.

However, of late, my massotherapist has told me that I've been so tight (probably moreso due to the stress of just starting a new position at work) and he told me I should back off weight lifting and just do yoga, cardio and pilates for a while.

First off, I LOVE to lift weights. It's my fave form of exercise. Second, I don't want to lose any muscle, as it's hard for me to build it in my upper body as I tend to be an ecto on top.

For the past week or so, I've kept all my cardio low impact (haven't even been getting that great of workouts) and I refrained from lifting (mostly - if I did any lifting, it was just like Petra's Elegant Strength with 3 lb weights or Ellen's).

I don't feel any better. I want to start lifting again. What does everyone think? Any words of wisdom, advice, etc?

I know this is long and I'm asking for a lot.....so thanks for listening and thanks in advance for your advice.
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Old 09-19-10, 09:29 AM  
Sara1000
 
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If the massotherapist is an expert and has a lot of experience with your type of injuries I would listen to him/her.

If you're on your feet that much you may not need a lot of exercise other than stretching.

The barre type workouts I've been getting lately claim you can build muscle using low weights, high reps. If you feel you must do upper body work maybe that type of weight work would be best.

I haven't done anything else for several weeks and I feel wonderful and have not lost any muscle size I can notice. Others have said this as well. Physique has an arm/abs workout using low weight, and Ellen and many others have weighted segments using very low weights.
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Old 09-19-10, 02:43 PM  
horsemom2
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
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I started using Fitstix for cardio and haven't touch a dumb bell since cuz my joints love the Fitstix. My current muscle definition in my arms at the age of 61 was never better in my earlier 50's when using real weights regularly.
Maybe Classical Stretch will help work your muscles safely too?

Barb S
who rarely uses real weights anymore, just Fitstix, bands and isometrics like Classical Stretch
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Old 09-19-10, 06:10 PM  
RedPanda
 
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If the massotherapist is an expert and has a lot of experience with your type of injuries I would listen to him/her.
x 2

I would also seek out a good physiotherapist for a rehab program. Spasms are an indication that something is wrong.

Yoga and Pilates may be good for you now - if fact they may help to rebalance your body, as well as relieve some stress.

Having suffered some nasty injuries myself, I'd be very cautious.

Take it slowly, and I hope you're on the mend soon.
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Old 09-20-10, 07:44 AM  
lorajc
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
every time I've gone for physical therapy, they have me doing weight excercises that I already do at home. I'm frustrated. I think I just have to live like this. I did yoga again today....but I'm not sure that it isn't aggravating my shoulders also?
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Old 09-20-10, 08:48 AM  
Sophie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorajc View Post
every time I've gone for physical therapy, they have me doing weight excercises that I already do at home. I'm frustrated. I think I just have to live like this. I did yoga again today....but I'm not sure that it isn't aggravating my shoulders also?
you can definitely aggravate your shoulders doing yoga, particularly if you have a pre-existing condition. On the other hand, the body weight aspect of yoga can certainly also build strength as well. But form is even more critical if you're already having issues. But spasms are not only an indication that something is wrong, it also indicates that things could get worse.
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Old 09-20-10, 02:31 PM  
Kimberly33
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I've had that frustration with PTs--I think it's important to talk to them about your expectations and ask them to be clear with you about what their plans are. Sometimes, they have you do exercises you do at home, but with lower weights to make sure that the smaller muscles are actually engaging. As I understand it, sometimes the big muscles do all the work, but the little guys aren't working to stabilize the joint, which is problematic. I agree with the others--spasms seem to generally indicate real problems.

Have you looked into functional fitness workouts? In particular, the Fitness Fix DVDs from a few years ago (Denise Beatty, I think). They aren't very heavy weight, but they are designed to help with joint stabilization. That might be something to look into in the meantime. JB Berns Freedom Restoration is a "home PT" set that can be helpful.

Jill Miller's Quick Fix DVDs are good, too. They use small balls (the same as "Pinky" balls you can get in a toy store) and yoga to really address tightness and imbalance.

All that said, I think starting with a professional is best. Maybe get a referral from your massage therapist?
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Old 09-21-10, 11:46 AM  
lorajc
 
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I appreciate everyone trying to help.....but I should have mentioned that I know I have bulging discs in the neck, as well as facet joint problems (base of neck) with a spur at C7. I was told this would start getting worse as I aged (which it has). I've been thru PT so many times that my insurance didn't want to pay any longer.

Recently, per the pain clinic I go to, they are having the massotherapist do manual therapy on me once a week. It has not really helped. I get relief for a day and then spasm back up.

I guess I'll try just doing yoga/pilates and cardio for another week or so and see how it goes.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I know spasms mean something is wrong, but I already know I have stuff wrong......just need to live with it and figure out how to stay healthy, in shape and help my pain from working out. I've not yet learned any of this from going for PT several times in the past.

For the record, I'll be 51 next month. I've been living with these injuries for a good 11 years or so. I think my problems were recently exacerbated by the fall down the stairs a while ago and the car accident last year.

I'm just so frustrated right now. Thanks for listening everyone.
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Old 09-21-10, 12:00 PM  
Sophie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorajc View Post
I appreciate everyone trying to help.....but I should have mentioned that I know I have bulging discs in the neck, as well as facet joint problems (base of neck) with a spur at C7. I was told this would start getting worse as I aged (which it has). I've been thru PT so many times that my insurance didn't want to pay any longer.
I understand your frustration. I don't think I have the bulging discs, but I do have the "possibility of arthritis" in the facet joints in that region, which may be a contributor to the spasms I get in the shoulder/neck/upper back area. I went through a very severe bout of this two years ago.

PT did work for me, mostly through manual manipulation, and the exercises she gave me were more like un-exercises - very gentle mobilization exercises staying well away from the point of accumulating tension. She also did quite a bit of acupuncture. The PT sessions helped me considerably.

I did a lot of restorative yoga - passive poses with props. Really the fall of that year was all about learning to undo rather than to do. At the time, my back was too sensitive to do self-massage ball work - but that did come in useful after the severity subsided.

By January I was ready to start lifting again, starting with NROLW rather than kettlebells (which I prefer) because I could go at a slower, more controlled pace. By February I was back to doing judo.

Anyway, I am saying this to say it's possible to get back to lifting, but very gradually, and I had to spend nearly three months UNdoing - most of all, it was about reducing the hypersensitivity of the nerve(s) causing the spasms, so as not to keep returning to the pain/spasm/activity feedback loop. And I still have to be careful - I have to watch that region for signs of recurrence, and go back to more restorative practices if they begin again. At this point, the Jill Miiller ball work/Quick Fix is very useful.
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Old 09-22-10, 08:30 AM  
lorajc
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
so how long did you not lift? How did you start back ? You say slowly....so I'm just wondering. Lifting is my FAVE form of exercise!!

I ordered a couple self massage tools and a cervical traction pillow from a website the massotherapist showed me.

I got The Accumasager, Still Point Inducer, and Omni Cervical Ease Traction pillow. I already have Jill Miller's balls, Elaine Petrone's, a foam roller and Bongers. I hope these tools help me.

www.Massagewarehouse.com
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