First Run at Physio

And when the dust settles on the surgery, it seems as if there is always some sort of impact on the spinal accessory nerve. Which is not to say that there aren’t other areas that will require some sort of physical remediation. For instance, in my case, there is a fairly large (4 cm x 5cm) area on my left forearm that was used to create the ‘flap’ that replaced the tissue removed from the back of my throat. This area was then replaced by a graft from my thigh. The ‘therapy’ necessary is to ensure that full articulation of the wrist and fingers is maintained. But today’s visit to physio was focused on the spinal accessory nerve.

As you may or may not know, the spinal accessory nerve controls the muscles in the shoulder. For me, the pain is quite extreme at times. I am self medicating with Tylenol 3s, but have begun toying with ibuprofen as an alternative. It seems to be almost adequate for the type of pain that I am experiencing.

All that really happened today was that the therapist (Brad) did an assessment… sort of like poking his fingers into the Pillsbury dough boy on both sides of the shoulders to assess reactions. I remained on my back throughout the main portion of this exam, with only a small time on my front so he could really feel what was going on. Through this rather passive approach, he managed to identify those areas of my shoulder that remain numb, and which areas are already starting to bounce back. He also managed to discover how much my left side is compensating for the damage to the right side.

He did suggest that I not sit too much, as it promotes ‘rolling’ of the damaged shoulder forward. He suggests walking, being very conscious of my posture and being in an almost constant state of movement; get up and move about every 10 minutes.

Brad is evaluating the surgical reports and will build the proper treatment for me based on that.

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