I've been pleased with my exercise patterns lately, because there have been more weeks when I've done more than what I think of as the minimum.

cut for anyone who would rather not read this. Includes some numbers, and a digression about subways. )
redbird: my head and chest, from in front (new gym icon)
( Oct. 29th, 2015 10:30 pm)
A conversation with [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel has me thinking about which of the PT shoulder exercises I want to include in my workout long-term. It's an issue because while I like exercising, I have a finite amount of time and energy to devote to it, and I've been letting some of my other exercises slide while doing the shoulder rehab.

cut for people who don't want exercise details )
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Oct. 9th, 2015 04:03 pm)
I had (I hope) my last PT session this afternoon. I will keep doing stretches for the left hand and right shoulder, and even some icing and massage, along with my strengthening exercises, but the therapist and I don't think I will need to go back to see him. He encouraged me to call or email if something bothers me or I want advice; if I don't, they will call me to check in in four to eight weeks.

I've been seeing the therapist for longer than I originally expected, because while I started going for shoulder stuff, I then had some wrist pain, and hurt my ankle. My session two weeks ago was mostly about ankle and balance stuff; this time it was shoulder strengthening, wrist examination, and Ian asking how my balance was doing, and me showing that it's pretty good. (I don't think the intern I'd been working with entirely understood that I have been doing some balance stuff for literally years.)
I skipped last week because I didn't want to deal with the health insurance annoyance just then, and don't seem to have suffered significantly by doing so.

The key points here are: keep icing, even though the shoulder is feeling quite a bit better; and if an exercise starts to feel like I could do sets of 12 instead of 10, increase the weight/resistance instead. (There are some practical issues here, to do with things like availability of free weights, but I can work around that.) Also, one thing they set up, I looked at and said "I could do that in my sleep" and asked for more resistance—the "I could do it in my sleep" reaction was a combination of familiar-looking activity and the amount of resistance. (I guessed right on that one, in that I did three sets of 10, and they were moderately difficult but not painful.)

I will need to poke at a calendar and see what the best way of scheduling sessions around my June travel is; ideally I won't either go to PT while half asleep, or go three weeks between sessions. (Two and a half weeks may be unavoidable, though.)
We took Kaja and Kia to the vet this morning. feline cuteness and medical notes ) We have been taking photos, but they're still in the cameras.

After the last PT session I ordered a set of Aylio exercise bands, which arrived today. (It's a set of different-strength elastics, plus handles, a door anchor, and an instruction booklet and DVD that I am so far ignoring.) This means both that I can do more of my PT exercises (for one of them I would need 1- or 2-pound dumbbells) and that I can do them right here instead of walking over to the building fitness room. There's a lot of nonsense talked about exercise, but I think it's true that a major predictor of whether people will exercise is convenience.

The freelance math editing project chugs along; I am trying to balance it against not overusing my shoulder.

I spent an annoying amount of time yesterday and this morning dealing with problems in the MacOS mail client. I think I have them resolved, but at one point I decided this would be a good time to clean out my inbox, which also involved repetitive mouse stuff.
redbird: my head and chest, from in front (new gym icon)
( Apr. 3rd, 2015 12:15 pm)
As of yesterday, the PT is mostly about strengthening (we're still doing ultrasound). Connected to that, I have the therapist's okay to start doing my regular exercises with both arms, with a bit of care, and some new exercises to do.

So, this morning's workout was a mix of my usual stuff and some PT things that I may or may not be doing long-term. click if you want to see details )
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Mar. 16th, 2015 07:54 pm)
I started a freelance math editing project on Friday (and then didn't do much on the weekend, because I had slept badly).

I cheerfully told my physical therapist today that the shoulder is getting a lot better, which it seemed to be. Then I came home and did another two hours of freelance editing, making about five today, with chunks of repetitive keyboard and mouse stuff. At the moment, it seems likely that rest, rather than icing, stretches, and ultrasound, is what's been making it feel better.

I expect to be working close to full-time hours this week, and maybe have to go into the weekend, for this project. I'm glad to have the work, but am going to have to be careful about other keyboarding and mousing. (This is project-based and going to be episodic; I don't know how many chapters they're thinking of giving me, except that I suspect nobody gets a second chapter till they've seen our work on the first one.)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Mar. 12th, 2015 06:30 pm)
The PT for my shoulder* is going well, for values of "well" that mean I'm now doing more of the work. When it was mostly stretching, traction (i.e. the therapist stretching my arm and shoulder for me), and ultrasound, it felt easy. Now, there are more strengthening exercises, meaning I'm doing more work. I have no new homework after today's session, though. (Generally, we try something new at most PT sessions. If a new thing goes well, I say so at the next session, and it may be added to my set of things to do at home.)

I also have a new paid freelance project, math editing again. I first heard from the client a couple of weeks ago, and then nothing for just long enough that I'd started wondering whether anything would come of it. I now have my first assigned chunk of work (they're calling them chapters while saying that isn't quite accurate because this is an online first/only project). There's a training session tomorrow morning, which is being recorded; I will listen to it later, rather than getting up in time to be awake and focused at 7 a.m. PDT. The documents they sent along include a style guide, which will be useful: this is for the Australian market, so it includes the desired punctuation of "anticlockwise" and not to use "counterclockwise."

Also, I am roasting a duck for my and [livejournal.com profile] cattitude's dinner.

*I somehow aggravated the old rotator cuff injury, and after going to my GP to confirm that diagnosis, have been seeing a physical therapist for a bit over a month.
My reaction to the contrast between here and Boston is weird: snow back east, cherries and other early trees in bloom here. Bright and cold above the snow versus warm, gray, and damp. Arlington looked more "normal" to my eye than Bellevue; I think that's as much architecture as weather.

I flew back yesterday (all went smoothly except that the airplane seat made my back hurt). Exercise this morning, and then PT after lunch. Both went well; the only change to the PT is that I am now supposed to do the arm-as-pendulum stretch in three different ways instead of two, and the isometrics were easier than last time. Also, this was the first morning in a while that I haven't felt a need/desire for an NSAID. I had a brief twinge while waiting for the bus after lunch, but only brief, despite the exercise and all.

(ETA: So of course I wrote that, did a bit of other stuff on the computer, and started to sort some laundry, and another twinge. By the time I got over to the sink to take a naproxen, it was feeling okay, so I am holding off for now.)

Apparently I drafted but never posted an entry from Adrian's computer, several days ago. The title of that was "Greetings from the snowy East Coast" and I'm dropping it at the bottom of this, partly for my own reference:

I am told that as of this weekend, Boston has passed 100 inches of snow this winter. However, I apparently picked the exact right time to travel: my flight from Seattle arrived slightly early, the roads were okay (though the cabbie was annoying for unrelated reasons), and it was nice enough Thursday for me to happily go to Davis Square with Adrian, who had an appointment: tea, Diesel's special apple cider with whipped cream (sounds weird, tastes good), and falafel, linked by walking around on a sunny day. It's supposed to get cold overnight, though, and I suspect everything that melted today is going to be a slick mess by morning.

Mostly I have been spending time quietly with [personal profile] adrian_turtle, reading and talking and such; the party we had hoped to attend yesterday was canceled because while the roads are fine, parking is still a mess.

exercise details, nothing exciting here )
When I saw my doctor yesterday, she confirmed my guess that the shoulder pain was from my rotator cuff, and gave me a referral to a physical therapist. (I don't need a referral for insurance/bureaucractic purposes, but she said that this person is particularly good for shoulders.) They had an appointment available this morning, so I have now seen Ian Johnson (the recommended PT) and his assistant/intern Sheree.

He started with some diagnostic stuff: "how far can you raise your arm?" and "does this hurt?" sort of stuff, then said he agreed with Dr. Mannem that there was nothing torn, and he could help me.

We did some stretching—including correcting my form on the stretches I've had all along. I'm to do two of those (skip the over-the-head one for now) and a couple of new stretches every day (one of the new ones is for the neck). I should not do the strengthening one with the piece of elastic for now, to avoid straining the injured muscles.

They also did ultrasound, traction (gently pulling on my arm), and ice massage. Ian and Sheree want me to ice three times a day, and at least one of those should be getting someone to do the ice massage thing.

I have another appointment for Thursday; we are probably looking at 4-6 weeks of PT, two or three times a week (with an unavoidable gap while I'm in Boston, but I will do my stretches and ice).

We also discussed my exercise program. No arm or upper body stuff for now unless I can do it with just the left hand, and he advises me against ever going back to the chest press or the pushups, both because of the rotator cuff problem and because I'm over 40, and that in itself apparently puts me at a higher risk for rotator cuff problems. Leg exercises, crunches, and the hamstring bridges are fine, as are my balance exercises standing on the foam roller, and the ones where I lie on it but keep one foot on the ground.

He is in favor of NSAIDS; Dr. Mannem yesterday wanted me to be be cautious with those, so as not to mask the pain.

He also wants me to take a good look at the ergonomics of my desk, and not to spend too much time there/at the computer. I will try.
redbird: my head and chest, from in front (new gym icon)
( Jan. 19th, 2015 09:47 am)
I have been dealing with/nursing a sore right shoulder for a couple of weeks. I'm not sure what set it off, but it feels rather like a recurrence of the old rotator cuff problem, so I am trying to rest it some, taking NSAIDs, doing my stretches diligently (sometimes twice a day), and continuing with the shoulder-strengthening exercises.

The hard part is how few things I do in the course of a day that don't use my right arm/shoulder in some way.

One aspect of resting it is being careful about exercise. I did a very carefully selected workout last week, staying away from anything I thought might affect the shoulder. This morning I cautiously put back a couple of things that might involve it, and am hoping I got it right.

details, with numbers )

Addendum, about three hours later: shoulder is not happy. OK, skip the lat pulldowns and biceps curls next time. *sigh*
By the time I got downtown this morning, it was raining hard; I waited under cover for a few minutes, but not long enough, and the backs of my pants got wet as I walked to the bank (to cash a check) and then on for a cup of tea before my workout. By then my right shoulder was bothering me enough that I took some ibuprofen, and did a workout that was all lower body and core.

the specifics )

I put my damp pants back on, and went out into the rain. By the time I got indoors again (for some soup) the fronts of the pants were also wet. Nonetheless, hot soup helps many things. From there, I went to the Mid-Manhattan Library and picked up a book, and came home. By then my back was hurting (between the shoulder blades), possibly from the amount I was carrying. I am now trying a muscle relaxant/aspirin combo pill, but the back pain is distracting me from anything more complicated than writing this, and was bad enough earlier that I stopped partway through a set of my shoulder stretches. I really hope I'm feeling well enough for at least some of the usual upper-body exercise by Wednesday.

I have an appointment with the screen people to bring our repaired screens back tomorrow, hopefully in the morning. This fits nicely with my existing plan to stay home and take it easy physically.
This was a good session: I did well on balance stuff I've done before, and on some new stuff. We did have to be a bit careful of a sore left knee, however.

details, including but not limited to numbers )
redbird: me with purple hair (purple)
( Feb. 11th, 2011 10:20 pm)
I had a good session last night. I walked in not sure how it would work, because some of the muscles in my thighs (sort of at the fold between leg and torso) were sore enough that taking full-length steps was uncomfortable. I told Emilie about that, and my guess about cause (jumping onto the hip adduction machine after weeks without), and she had me use the foam roller, and then do some stretches, and it helped a lot.

Then, we did a bunch of the usual stuff, including balance work, and she was talking about my hyoid bone. I think the idea is that if I focus there, I can shift the position of my head and neck in beneficial ways. This seems a little odd, but some other odd-seeming things she's had me do have worked.

Emilie was also talking in terms of getting the shoulder to stop hurting, which would be a pleasant surprise: I am not counting on it. (This is my right shoulder, which has old rotator cuff damage/issues, that hurt unpredictably but annoyingly often.(

more details )

And a bit of the same rolling out of IT band and stretching, and a few other bits, this evening.
I am now on vacation through January 2nd; somehow, after having been worried I would have no time off left by the end of the year, I wound up with enough to do this and carry one day over into 2011 (which must be used by March 31).

Also, having been worried that I had Far Too Much to do this week, to the point that I was wondering if I'd need to go in tomorrow (which is a holiday), I was able to leave early. Around noon, Wendy came around to say that if people had finished what we needed to by 3:00, we could leave then. I had my doubts at that point, but the last bits of what I needed to get done came together faster than I had expected, after lunch. I even got to do one small task that is only tangentially related to any of my current projects, which could have waited, but which fit conveniently into five spare minutes.

So, I left work at 3, went to the gym and exercised some, then stopped off for a cup of tea (rather than waiting until I got home for more caffeine) and to pick up my bus ticket for next week. I'd bought it online a couple of weeks ago for a significant discount, but wanted to have it in hand ahead of time; I also paid an extra $5 for priority boarding.

It occurred to me, in the course of working around the latest configuration of taped-off areas and machinery and trying to find things at the gym today, that while next month may be crowded with people who make New Year's resolutions remember their gym memberships, the upside is that people are unlikely to sign up at this branch right now. (The gym has different levels of membership, and all-branches-all-times costs extra, so a lot of people stick to one branch.)

gym details cut, as usual )
I did half an hour of cardio, then met with Emilie. I started by telling her "No more lat pulldowns, ever" and explained why (my right shoulder still hurts, a week later). After I'd also talked about the knees, and some smaller annoyances, she suggested that some massage might help; we wound up spending most of my session on that (knees, shoulders, and related things like calf muscles, neck, and jaw). At her suggestion, I have also iced the shoulder.

I won't be seeing her next week, because of Thanksgiving (which is the main reason I didn't call yesterday and cancel this session).

cut for details )
redbird: me with purple hair (purple)
( Sep. 23rd, 2010 09:54 pm)
I had another session with Emilie this evening. We'd changed it from 6:00 to 6:30 so she could take the Zumba class, and then she decided not to do that, so was ready earlier. So the only exercise I did before working with her was 12.5 minutes on the cardio bike.

The session included a lot of stretching, rolling out the IT band, and such, along with a chunk of knee massage. At the beginning, she told me I was a lot better balanced (and closer to vertical) than I had been on Monday. The knee massage may have helped with the remainder of that, and made sense because I woke up with my left knee hurting this morning. It's been mostly okay today, with ibuprofen and a bit of care.

I'm still not sure how I wound up out of alignment. Nor entirely sure how I fixed it, though I've been paying more attention to how I was standing, including going back to stuff from the beginning of my work with Emilie, namely standing more on the outer edges of my feet, and making sure they're parallel.

Other than that, we worked on shoulder movement, and did some ab work. My right shoulder was tensing up on a number of things: that's probably some mix of general tension (and that shoulder's tendency to jump in on things that should be done by other muscles, especially abs) and whatever's had it feeling sore the last couple of days. (I abandoned one of the usual rotator cuff exercises, the one where I pull the elastic straight toward me, last night because it hurt. Not in the rotator cuff, but high in the upper arm. Oddly, the other exercises in that collection were okay.)
redbird: me with purple hair (purple)
( Mar. 5th, 2009 08:58 pm)
My shoulders were sore last night, so I took it a bit easy this evening, and focused more on lower-body exercises. details, with numbers )
redbird: me with purple hair (purple)
( Mar. 5th, 2009 08:58 pm)
My shoulders were sore last night, so I took it a bit easy this evening, and focused more on lower-body exercises. details, with numbers )
It was one of those days at work: felt like I was dragging through difficult things slowly, but at the end I turned out to have accomplished a reasonable amount. I might even finish this edit by the original deadline. Or not: it's huge, we have sent a second lesson back for a rewrite, and I'm doing significant rewrites on some others (where we weren't precise enough in what we asked for in the first place).

I went to the gym after work, figuring I could do things that weren't shoulder-intensive (the shoulder was feeling a bit sore all weekend and was not entirely right earlier today either). Did two exercises, skipped one, and went to do my mat work (including crunches). Lying down on my back on the mat hurt my left shoulder, in a "don't put pressure there" way. I gave up on those, did one more exercise, showered, and came home. It's better than nothing, I think.

numbers, very brief )

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