TOC is a very complex disorder and although the symptoms take different forms, the cure and treatment is different for everyone. When my symptoms began I had problems even picking up ordinary objects. My physical therapist encouraged me to continue the exercises and stretching that he wanted me to have and that would be safe for me. Many do not realize that with this disorder if you reinjure yourself, it puts you back to square one of your healing or make your symptoms completely worse, or cause even stranger symptoms. Therefore, you may have to start all over again, and be careful how you correct old longstanding habits. For me, I had to realize the point of healing was sufficient before I could start exercises.
This is what I discovered during my healing process.
My injury occurred after a long period of traveling and carrying heavy luggage, a strained chest muscle, and secondary to moving heavy furniture. This combined with my bad posture, a history of a broken collarbone, and posture irregularities related to being a violin player, I had much healing to do.
Because of the symptoms my body was fighting to stay in a hunched over position to avoid reinjuring the area, and thus I had to gradually improve my posture. I was told because my posture had developed the way it had and because of my elongated neck and broken collar bone (sustained as a child), I was the ideal candidate for such a syndrome. Therefore, every day I had to continue to correct my spine and back and re-develop the muscles in my back.
2.) ELONGATED STRETCHING
The stretching exercises given to me by the physical therapist involved a systematic way to slowly over time, elongate my arms bringing a stretch to my chest and arms. It was very important for me to follow these to an exact stretch in order to avoid a deep stretch too early. Although deep stretching is encouraged before and after the gym or exercises, slowly elongating the muscles is the best way to avoid injury and further damage.
3.) DEEP DIAPHRAGM BREATHING
Shallow upper chest breathing can actually tighten the muscles and make the upper back and neck tight. When I engaged in deep breathing, from the stomach and gut area, my muscles were allowed to remain relaxed, and I was able to feel the pressure of breathing taken off my upper chest. Deep “gut” breathing allows for more oxygenated breaths. I practiced a light modified yoga in order to help understand this and how it actually can relax your muscles.
These are just quick tips that worked for me. Of course, I must always fall back to these tips in moderation especially with my tendency to bad posture and an inability sometimes to know when I am falling into an upper chest breathing. Overall a combination of all of these tips helps in healing and overall sense of getting better. Just as the injury and ongoing symptoms will not happen overnight, the healing and overall correcting of these symptoms will take a lifetime.
By: Roglesby, read more about me here.