I woke woke up this morning feeling nice. I got up, and had some fresh ground coffee (I got a bag of Seattle’s Best for $2 on clearance at Wal-Mart, but they were whole beans…either way yay for budget shopping!). After having my coffee (I usually can’t eat until later) I swept and got the floor ready for my yoga mat, thinking that I would start the day out with some PT stretches. Why the urge to do my stretches (you say)? Because, the therapist recommended that I get a foam roller. She said that it would really help with the mayo facial pain…kind of like giving yourself a deep tissue massage. I had just happened to see foam rollers on clearance at Wal-Mart also, so I figured, what could it hurt. Me…it hurt me!
I had tried the foam roller for just a second at PT on Thursday, but quickly decided that it would be an activity that I would do in the privacy of my own home in case I cried.
Let me insert something here: if I have never explained the pain sensation associated with stretching out adhesions, let me do it now. My old physical therapist used to do it manually, so I am familiar with the sensation and also know that the pain is to be expected. It is sore the next day, but then later it feels soooo much better. Ok, so there are two types of pain the foam roller causes: mayofacial release (in my case stretching out and loosening up the adhesions) and trigger points. The first feels like a white hot sword is slicing slowly through your body…yeah, not fun. With trigger points, once you hit one, the pain rushes (radiates) from the trigger point all the way down that nerve. So a trigger point in your low back can actually be felt half-way down your leg.
Now I bet you’re wondering why the hell I would do that to myself…it helps. If it weren’t for my last physical therapist, I wouldn’t know that, so muchos thank yous to her. Ok, so this morning I felt that strange, Christmas morning feeling when you want to play with your new toys (which I get no matter what I buy…I don’t know why I’m like that) and this sick in the pit of my stomach feeling because I knew what was coming.
I warmed up with all my usual PT stretches (many are basically modified yoga moves) before even touching the foam roller. I apprehensively grabbed it while I thought to myself “Joy, now I know you are some sort of masochist.” I started out with something easy…my calves and worked my way up. It wasn’t until I got to the trigger points in my buttocks (the ones that tend to affect the sciatic nerve) that I really wanted to cry. I didn’t. I stayed strong. And the funny thing was that the longer I stayed on a place that hurt, the more the pain started to ease away. I ended up so confident in the foam roller that I even used it on my stomach/pelvis where the majority of the adhesions are, especially around the surgical scar. I was so proud of myself!
I also had a little bit of energy left (or the workout gave me the energy…whatever…that I was able to wash some clothes, the dishes, and wipe down the stove and countertop.
Around 2:00 pm I started to get ready for church. I showered and had every intention on wearing dress pants, but it seems that none of them fit, so I ended up having to wear a dress. Everyone was so nice there. I ended up making friends with a little old lady who sat next to me during mass and tried to explain everything that was going on (I’m not Catholic). I was even invited to “fellowship afterwards, which meant coffee and cookies. Something inside told me that this was the church I was supposed to go to. I was nervous at first, but that quickly faded away.
So, that was my day today. I am absolutely exhausted now, and will probably spend tomorrow recuperating, but it was a good day, a day of surprises and of me proving how strong (and strong-willed) I really am. I was proud of myself today for the first time in a very long time.
- Using foam rollers (infin8fitness.com)
- Eliminate Pain with a foam roller – how to do it properly and why it works (thejourneyof1000milesbegins.wordpress.com)
- Beat Muscle Soreness (primalcotton.wordpress.com)