Having had nagging problems since May with a bulging herniated neck disc, a condition confirmed by an MRI, I took up SSPT on its offer today. A brief report:
The PT, as luck would have it, had had the same injury as mine, in his case touched off by biking, not swimming. He spent much time on non-sports activities: on proper sitting posture, on placement of a computer screen at work, on using firm chairs instead of cushy sofas. Like others I've talked to, he's no fan of laptops, but recommends a normal PC setup or in placing the laptop in a harness to mimic the same. As for sleeping, do it on your back or side, not stomach, lest you move your neck around a bunch.
Like my sports doctor, he recommended anti-inflammatory steroids, which I’ve taken, and which have reduced the ache and swelling. Also recommended icing the area, not heating it as I thought, as inflammation is involved.
An advocate of traction, he applied traction with his hands, then had me redo some strength tests on the affected arm. My strength was greater after the traction. (I had been using a NeckPro hung from one’s door, with so-far indifferent results.) This was heartening, as the decrease of strength on my left side has been disconcerting. The PT also advocated wearing a collar to prevent swinging the neck unnecessarily.
He also urged refraining for the time being from strenuous activities, which is very, very difficult for some of us Ritalin-deprived types, but no doubt necessary.
As for sports, for the bike the PT recommended lifting up the aerobar and the handlebar so the rider doesn’t have to lift and hold up one’s neck as much. Also the use of mirrors on the bike or helmet to cut down on looking back down the trail. For the swim, he recommended no kick board due to the tension on the neck, and no breast sroke, urging freestyle instead.
I learned enough to sign up for a second session. Hope this helps those who are thinking of checking out the free offer.
I also had a really good experience with SSPT over the winter. I'd hurt my back - which resulted from the fact that I had an incredibly week lower core which I'd counter-balanced by having extra strong upper abs and upper back. The PT helped with teaching me the proper technique for exercises to target the right area of my core as well as helping to loosen up my upper back. Continuing to apply those exercises, I've managed to stay uninjured so far this season.
If you are having any pain or nagging problems, go to SSPT for a free screening. This morning my ortho ruled out a stress fracture and wrote me a script for PT. I called SSPT and 1.5 hours later I was on a table talking to Steve, a seasoned triathlete and multiple half-iron distance finisher. He tested my strength before and after applying traction. I immediately noticed an increase in my strength after the traction. Steve taught me ways to apply traction while at home, before or even while running. I learned a lot and have already booked a second appointment.