Hi readers!….just curious if there are any requests that you’d like me to write about from an orthopedic standpoint like any group of muscles I haven’t touched on or any pain anywhere? Just thought I’d ask, I could give a PT’s take on it.

Categories: Health, Recovery, Rehab

19 replies

  1. Hi Amy, I’m glad you asked! I’m currently in physical therapy for ataxia because of a cerebellar stroke caused by a vertebral artery dissection of unknown origin.

    My problem is that I tend to, and as far as I can recall have for most of my life, tense my shoulders (superior trapezius) and neck when walking and at times sitting.

    I have to constantly remind myself to relax my shoulders but usually revert to a stiffened state. I’m at times so rigid my family tells me to stop walking like a robot, LOL. Thanks family, but that’s not helping.

    Can you recommend any exercises to help? I’m particularly paranoid about the back left side of my head because of the artery dissection.

    My physical therapist has been working with me and given me exercises to improve the middle and inferius trapezius, but thus far those are not helping my neck stiffness. In fact, I think the excercises possibly make it worse because my neck and shoulders unconsciously stiffen anyway.


  2. I’m sure it would have been helpful for me to describe my current exercises, LOL. I’m not certain what they are called but one involves putting a yellow stretchy band over the top of a door, and closing the door, and then pulling down in a manner such that my fists are facing forward, and pulling downward while keeping my elbows bent. I do the same with the stretchy band tied around a doorknob.

    The second exercise seems to pull on my neck even more as it somewhat reminds me of a traditional sit up. I lie down and bend my knees, and while keeping my knees bent and feet on the floor, I’m supposed to lift my hips upward and push my lower back downward on the mat. My natural instinct is to tense my neck as in a sit up, even though I do not have my hands behind my neck.

    I realize the above was quite long-winded, but thought that would help. Thanks again!

  3. I actually have the same problem! Only mine’s on the right…right sided neck pain and tightness and trap etc and it goes into tension headaches that go into migraines…and I’m scared to do anything to cause another VAD. I do lots of upper body stretching with PT and am working on my posture as much as I can muster. I can’t even list all the stretches I do. Short summary is looking up, up to right and left, squeezing shoulder blades together, pulling elbows back and together, reaching up and over my head, sitting on the edge of my chair and leaning back without touching the back of my chair and then punching the air in front/above/side and circling in the same directions, reaching above and behind me, below and behind me, reaching across midline (I think this is supposed to be more for my coordination but it helps with the tightness too). Etc, etc. So lots and lots of upper body stretches but not all the way to my poor neck, which continues to be really stiff and I’m afraid to do much with it. I suspect everyone else is too. 🙂 But I get bad headaches WAY too often.

  4. Inversion/Eversion ankle muscles. Whichever one is the rollover to the outside edge of the foot. I suppose I could look it up in my Anatomy of Movement book but that is 2 days away.

  5. I’m not sure which muscle or muscle group is responsible for my affected side shoe falling off. If I wear any type of shoe without straps ot ties, I walk right out of the left one. I asked my pt, when I was going, and she said “foot pumps” to which I have done a zillion times with no improvement. Most of all of my other physical deficits are gone except this one. I think I could fix this if I knew what to do. Is it my foot or calf causing the problem? I know how lucky I am, so I hate to be picky, but its annoying and I think fixable. Thanks for any input.

  6. Hello I am 2 year post stroke survivor. I had N injury in my
    Basil ganglia part of my brain and I found this
    forum from another stroke survivor named
    Mike Dean.
    My question is anyone out there has an injury
    In basil ganglia? My left side is affected and my left leg is heavy most of the time. Do you All stroke survivors has similar problem and what can we do about it? Also falling my left knee reminds me to always keep it inside while sitting, getting up etc. what shall we do to keep straight inline with foot. Because I believe this causes my foot to rollout.

    • Well Zpatzer….one thing I’ve learned is that it doesn’t really matter where in the brain we had a stroke, I used to think it did but it doesn’t. No, we don’t all have similar problems but it’s all brain damage, Now, not all brain damage is the same or going to cause the same issues but other parts of the brain can take over for the parts that are damaged or dead. I’ll think about the issues you talked about and try to suggest what to do about it.

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