Thursday, July 24, 2008

1/4 pound gym

I had my second visit to the physical therapist this morning. In the middle of the room there's a table holding several different small exercise machines made of wood and ropes and weights and pulleys. After I began my visit with 10 minutes of ultrasound followed by 10 minutes of laser treatment I was able to start on the machines.

For the first exercise I stood beside the table. Attached to the corner of the table is a rectangular wood frame standing on end. There are holes on either side of the frame to accommodate a short length of pole that pushes through one side of the frame and out the other. On one end of the pole the therapist attached a length of rope that hangs to the floor and on the bottom of the rope she added a quarter-pound weight. My task was to hold the other end of the pole in my right hand (the injured one) and by turning my hand back toward me and forcing my wrist down, turn the pole to slowly lift the weight off the floor. With each turn the rope would wrap a little around the pole until after about 40 turns the weight was all the way up. Then I'd let the weight back down and do it again. 10 times.

I did the same set of 10 a second time with a different end piece attached to the pole so my had had to mimic the motion of opening a jar. Then a third time with yet a third end piece. Each time with a quarter-pound weight. Then I did three other exercises at various machines around the table: two pulling my hand back toward me, and a third curling my fingers. Then there was a final exercise of using a clip like a large clothespin to pull pegs out of a peg board. With every exercise the therapist would follow me around from machine to machine, instruct me on proper form, and then make a record of what weight resistance I had used and how many sets I accomplished, just like a personal trainer at the gym.

1 comment:

moreover said...

Having gone through half a year of physical therapy after surgery for a splintered upper arm I remember this: It helped a great deal to have a little crush on your therapist because the movements were quite painful - and we're more used to being hurt by people we love :)

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