Physical Therapy: Now, not Later
I have been going to physical therapy sessions for a few weeks because of an irritated rotator cuff. It's not torn, which is the good news, but irritated, by what I don't know but I think it has something to do with a recent birthday.
The professionals I have been seeing are working to strengthen my shoulder while also loosening it up at the same time. The pain is still there when I do certain movements, most of which I don't anticipate until I twist my arm slightly and then I am reminded.
At one session, we were laughing about how people (me) think it would be nice to have a way to get into shape without doing all of the stretching and pulling and twisting and lifting and hurting that we have to do to even approach getting fit. As advertisements would tell us, all we have to do is buy the newest gadget and we too will look like the very buff man or woman in the photographs. Promises, promises. Or we can buy a Thigh Master (still available!) from Suzanne Somers and we are on our way to walking down the Red Carpet.
Not gonna happen. Instead we get to do exercises over and over that in time hopefully result in our muscles and joints doing the jobs they were made to do, with less pain and discomfort.
Many Boomers work hard to stay in shape -- we never say quit -- but it's not easy. I had to laugh when I was telling my son how I went for a long walk with a friend along a Pittsburgh river one day, wearing my pink and white super-supportive athletic shoes. I felt great during and after the walk. Then I came home, sat down to eat lunch, stood up and had a severe pain that hadn't been there before on the top of my foot. It lasted the rest of the day but was gone the next.
That's what being in your sixties is all about, I told him. Every day is a new ache or pain somewhere that goes away eventually only to be replaced by another and another. . .
Remember back in the day when we used to think an ailment or physical problem would "just work itself out?" It's been a long time since that was true, although I still remember those days fondly.
So I will continue doing my physical therapy since I am sure an achy rotator cuff has no chance of righting itself, and I won't be any younger than I am today to work on it.
By Teresa K. Flatley