15 Dec Tucker: A human corkscrew
Once I became more aware of body and posture a while back, I started noticing I constantly felt a little bit twisted and cock-eyed in my body. My right shoulder and elbow were the injured side, and the muscles around it were loose and allowed the shoulder to slump down and forward. My left shoulder hiked itself up and back in response, and that went down the chain to my hip where my lift hip was tight and rotated backwards, and it was giving me left knee pain. It was as if you grabbed me from the top and twisted me ever to slightly – AKA a human corkscrew.
I was talking with my PT about it, Bradley Evsich, and he suggested we test my thoracic mobility/strength side to side. I sat on the table in order to keep my lumbar out of the equation, and rotated and leaned from side to side. We found out that my right side (the weak/injured side) didn’t have the strength or mobility to rotate as far to the right as my left side could rotate to the left. We tried a couple exercises and he gave me resistance as I rotated to the right, and bingo, my shoulder and all the trap and upper back muscles around it on that side fell much closer into place where they should have been.
We worked on it for a while, and it’s an interesting sense of rotation, I’m not just turning my head and shoulders, but trying to think of rotating the spinal column and the muscles surrounding it on the right backwards, and the muscles on the left pushing forwards. My left trap that was constantly tight and cinched up felt like it relaxed and could fall down a little bit as well. It started to make a lot more sense why, even though my rotator cuffs and such were getting stronger, my shoulder still felt really weak on that side – because I was constantly slightly rotated, the muscles were always having to fight to keep the shoulder blade and shoulder joint in the right place, and it never really happened. Imagine if you turn your head and shoulders to one side, the side your turning towards will squeeze in tighter to your back, and the shoulder blade on the outside will drift out a little bit as it’s pulled that way. That’s basically how I was functioning for years.
The neat thing about this is that it keeps my OCD side of myself very occupied! When I’m sitting at my desk, driving my car, walking around, even lying in bed, I can always have a little piece of my mind doing a micro squeeze to rotate and unravel the inner twist that I’ve had going on, and my shoulder feels significantly better because of it!