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It hurts... and I hope it's doing some good :( - Stephan [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Stephan

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It hurts... and I hope it's doing some good :( [Mar. 27th, 2009|04:14 pm]
Stephan
A short while ago I was reading the reply to one of my E-mails, part of which describes the ordeals I'm going through at the moment and I remembered that I should be using LiveJournal to let everyone know as well. I'm a bit slow that way.

Yesterday was my first official session at the physiotherapists, and did I ever come away sore. The most unpleasant surprise was a problem that the therapist labelled "hitching" - I'll come to that shortly.

Of the 6 officially exercises, the therapist has recommended 4 and added a squeeze that I need to perform on my shoulder blades. 2 were removed from the cirriculum because my shoulder appears already fully capable. Most of the exercises I can perform without too much effort (I hope that doesn't mean that I'm not doing them correctly) but there are two that I'm having terrible difficulty with.

One involves holding a towel loose behind my back with my good arm in the upper position, and using this to rase the arm with the bad shoulder. The diagram shows the subject reaching almost to the shoulder blades. I can't even reach my lower back - it hurts like *HELL*.

The other involves holding both my hands on a stick (with the paws turned down, cat-like)and raising the stick up to the chin with the elbows out and upward. I just cannot manage to get either of my elbows to aim in that direction.

While I was first performing these exercises with the physiotherapist, she kept telling me to avoid "hitching." I had to interrupt her and ask what she meant by this. She said it's a term they frequently use, when the healthy muscles try to perform the work instead of those that are healing. To perform the exercises correctly I need to stand in front of a mirror (yuk - I hate my reflection) and keep an eye on the shape of my shoulder to ensure that I'm moving the arm correctly.

So not only is the process exhausing, time-consuming and painful but it also involves a heck of a lot of mental discipline. I had yesterday and today off work...
...I don't know how I'm going to cope next week. :(
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: alaskawolf
2009-03-27 06:08 am (UTC)
physical rehab can really be a pain but it does help out a lot in the long run.


i hope all goes well
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-03-27 06:11 am (UTC)
Thanks Alaskawolf.

Yeah, I keep telling myself "no pain, no gain." A day may come soon where I might need that arm to save my life...
...I do after all travel on Cityrail after all ;)
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[User Picture]From: ccdesan
2009-03-27 06:58 am (UTC)
Cope by realizing that it's going to make you better. And stronger. Good luck, and keep after it.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-03-27 11:47 am (UTC)
(Strikes movie clapboard and tries again without the dyslexic mistakes...)

E'yup! That's what I'm doing! ;)

Michael J. Fox and Robert Zemeckis developed a saying during the Back to the Future trilogy "Pain is temporary, film is forever" meaning that you can achieve permanent and lasting success if you endure some brief hardship.

Although I often wonder if Fox's willingness to perform his own stunts brought about an injury which caused his Parkinson's disease. :( On that side of the coin I also need to be careful to push it. The pain in that towel exercise worries me a lot.
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[User Picture]From: deckardcanine
2009-03-27 02:04 pm (UTC)
Incidentally, I recently watched a movie in which the main actor, not a stunt double, broke some ribs: Hellboy. It occurs to me that Ron Perlman was in his 50s doing an action role.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-03-27 10:12 pm (UTC)
Sounds like Buster Keaton; he continued to perform hazardous stunts well into his late years.

I'm a firm believer that stunts should be left to the stuntmen/stuntwomen. They've had the training, they know the technique and they can better assess all the risks.

A grey area is situations like in the cast of The Matrix who had to learn martial arts skills for the role. It would be very difficult to substitute stunt performers for such scenes. I haven't made up my mind how I feel about that.
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[User Picture]From: deckardcanine
2009-03-28 05:39 pm (UTC)
The Matrix is a bit different, because so much is extra-fake. I'm more concerned about Ronin, which had no stunt doubles in the speeding cars because the director wanted realism.

Of course, one might ask whether it's worth anyone risking their lives for the entertainment of others.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-03-28 08:43 pm (UTC)
Haven't seen Ronin, but it sounds interesting. I'd need to see it before I could form an opinion as to whether the realism justifies the risk.

Off hand I would say no, I don't think anyone should risk their lives for the entertainment of others. Certainly not these days when so much can be done with video effects. Having said that though it would be almost impossible to enforce a law to this effect, especially when there are people who enjoy risking their lives for a living. The adrenalin rush, the centre of attention, the sense of achievement, etc. Human beings have never been logical creatures.

They would argue that these people are professionals to the extent that while it looks dangerous, they can perform these feats with minimal or no risk, whereas an unqualified person is in danger from far less hazardous activities. Riding on a government bus for example should not have resulted in an injured tendon in my arm.

Eventually stunt work will be unnecessary because one day there will be robots to perform the work. I just hope they use non-sentient robots and not Ecosystems Unlimited robots or organic AIs. However sports injuries would continue, because nobody would want to watch robots playing footbrawl.... er football.
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[User Picture]From: deckardcanine
2009-03-30 02:28 pm (UTC)
I doubt whether robots would be more cost-effective, or even more convincing, than good CGI.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-03-30 07:55 pm (UTC)
CGI certainly has advantages in terms of cost effectiveness (when compared with a more expensive on-location endeavour) but there are always subtle tell-tale signs that indicate it's not real, especially viewed by someone familiar enough with the technology to know where to look. A good start is watching to see whether the lighting on the CGI object matches the ambient light in the scene.

Overall, the CGI objects/creatures/people usually have a soft-looking surface compared with the genuine objects in the scene.

It would be very interesting to perform a test to show the difference by producing the exact same scene once with CSG and the other with a normal un-altered setting. For example (although this has nothing to do with CSG itself), when the creators of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" were encouraging the producers and financiers that the movie could succeed they fully filmed and animated a 20 second sequence which involved all of the obstacles they expected to encounter working on the film.
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[User Picture]From: deckardcanine
2009-03-30 08:56 pm (UTC)
I can usually see the difference too. It's why many prefer the puppets of the original Return of the Jedi to the CGI aliens added in the redux. But androids look just as obvious in my mind, barring prohibitive costs, time, effort, and risk.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-03-30 11:23 pm (UTC)
deckardcanine said:"It's why many prefer the puppets of the original Return of the Jedi to the CGI aliens added in the redux.",
SO DO I!!! Viva la Jim Henson industries! XD

deckardcanine said:"But androids look just as obvious in my mind, barring prohibitive costs, time, effort, and risk.",
At the present point in time yes, because our technology in robotics has not developed sufficiently yet (IMHO Australia should be working on it pronto!). Some Japanese designers have recently created a robot to perform on a fashion catwalk. It still looks like an animated manequin, but I think it's a good start. If that progresses we'll eventually have androids that can do James Bond type stunts.
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[User Picture]From: ccdesan
2009-03-27 03:57 pm (UTC)
A good therapist won't push you harder than they know is best for you, but your body knows best.

As for Fox, I never heard that he had suffered a severe head trauma, but it's certainly within the realm of possibility! I just re-watched the first one in the Back to the Future series, and it's a great ride. They do some pretty wild stunts in that show.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-03-27 10:42 pm (UTC)
There was an entry in Wikipedia for Back to the Future. I'm not sure if it was in the specific BTF3 article or the main trilogy article which speculated on the matter. I can't find the paragraph now, it's probably been removed (I *hate* the way that happens in Wikipedia) which claimed that in the scene where Buford Tannen was attempting to hang Marty on a rope, Fox attempted to perform this scene without a safety harness or other saftey equipment. If my memory serves correct it said that he tried to keep his hand inside the noose and support his weight that way. The paragraph then went on to say that this failed and he passed out, leading to speculation that this may have been the injury that led to his Parkinsons Disease.

As for me I have no idea. Maybe it was, maybe it was from something else not even occuring in the Back to the Future production. Injuries can be so insidious. The injury I suffered on the bus was way back in 2003, but it didn't hurt that badly and for five full years I had no idea how seriously my shoulder had been damaged.
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[User Picture]From: ccdesan
2009-03-27 11:29 pm (UTC)
The tragedy with Natasha Richardson apparently has already saved at least one life. A young girl was hit with a baseball, and after two days of feeling fine, complained of a headache. They took her to a hospital and removed a hematoma that would have otherwise killed her.

I'm glad you took the steps to have this repaired now. It could only have been more difficult later.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-03-28 12:58 am (UTC)
Thanks. Yes, that's what I impressioned when the surgeon gave me the choice between the operation or a quartisone injection.

(Did I write that BTF3 paragraph up there? Ouch, my concentration is a mess at the moment - I can't even think straight).
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[User Picture]From: deckardcanine
2009-03-27 02:05 pm (UTC)
Oh dear. I don't think I've ever been in enough pain to prevent me from moving a certain way. (I'd knock on wood, but I think I deserve it.) Hope you recover well.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-03-27 10:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)

At present the muscles are too tight. The exercises are designed to stretch them and in time restore movement to the arm. Performing them correctly though is excruciating.
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[User Picture]From: sleepyjohn00
2009-03-27 02:17 pm (UTC)
I've been working with a personal trainer for some time. The most critical part of any exercise is not how much weight you lift, it's which muscle groups you use to do it. A simple bicep curl, where you are lifting a weight up and down? Keep your shoulders flat, keep your abdomen tight, don't jerk back and forth with the motion, don't overextend, don't lift too high... The people on the weight machines flopping all over aren't getting half the good they would get with less weight and better form.

If you use other muscle groups to compensate for the weakened ones, all you do is train your body to use the wrong muscles. It's maddening, and it can hurt like open heart surgery with a soldering iron, but if you want the right results, you need to do the right exercises. Tell the therapist if you feel something's going wrong, but try to do it they way they want. Sorry.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-03-27 10:30 pm (UTC)
sleepyjohn00 said:"If you use other muscle groups to compensate for the weakened ones, all you do is train your body to use the wrong muscles.",
Shall I get some eggs so that you can teach me to suck them?

I'm already aware of this, and everything else you've said.

thefoxaroo said:"when the healthy muscles try to perform the work instead of those that are healing. To perform the exercises correctly I need to stand in front of a mirror and keep an eye on the shape of my shoulder to ensure that I'm moving the arm correctly."
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[User Picture]From: sleepyjohn00
2009-03-28 03:36 am (UTC)
it was meant as reinforcement and encouragement. Doing exercises that hurt and don't seem to be doing anything is very discouraging. But I suppose you know that already, too.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-03-28 07:10 am (UTC)
Answer: Yes, but I try not to look at it that way. Just as an injury can be insidious, the healing is not always imediately evident. I think the range of movement on my arm is increasing little by little, but any results will indeed take a while.

As for reinforcement and encouragement, I had enough "reinforcement and encouragement" from certain CTC related threads. I could give the exact URLs, but I don't want the men in black doing any more damage control.
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[User Picture]From: carlfoxmarten
2009-03-28 09:13 am (UTC)
I'm really not sure what to say about this, but I do know that too much pain means there's a problem...

I don't know if or how much you take already, but taking some vitamins might be a good idea.
(specifically vitamin C and calcium. If your body is low on calcium, it starts to take it from your bones, which might lead to higher-than-normal amounts in the wrong parts of your body)

Other than that, keep your therapist informed of things and I'm sure things will work themselves out.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-03-28 09:19 am (UTC)
That's a very good point. I'd better keep an eye on my diet over the next couple of months.

Ironically, I've just this moment come back from shopping! :roll: I should have stocked up on the high-calcium soy milk. Oh well, at least I have plenty of citrus fruit.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-03-28 10:52 am (UTC)
Sorry, I missed the 1st sentence.

Well... everyone warned me to expect to feel sore. The exercise with the towel worries me a bit, but my arm has gradually been less sore each time, and I've been able to raise it a tiny bit higher each day.

I have another (expensive) session with the physiotherapist Thursday afternoon. Hopefully I'll get a few answers then.

One utterly stupid mistake I made was that I forgot to bring my x-rays and other documentation on my 1st visit. I'll remember to do so on Thursday.
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