Een andere behandeling, de aanpak van de oorzaak
Test jezelf maar eens: Meet je scheefstand in de slechte en in de goede houding. Bij mij draait mijn hoofd direct een graad of 20 bij..
Alleen stug volhouden zal tot resultaat kunnen lijden, dan bestaat de grootste kans op herstel. Ergens in de therapie komt er een omslagpunt dat je lichaam het normaal gaat vinden. Dat omslagpunt kan na een paar maanden merkbaar zijn, maar ook na anderhalf jaar. Ik begin het soms te merken, er zijn momenten dat ik uit bed stap en soms enkele minuten recht door het huis kan lopen zonder spasmes. Dat kon ik de afgelopen maanden wel vergeten.
Hieronder staan verder nog de gratis tips van de ST Clinic (in het Engels), in het onderdeel Het resultaat geef ik mijn eigen interpretatie daarvan:
"ST’rs have complex physical problems with varying degrees of involvement, so we customize the program to each individual person, according to their own situation and the way their ST manifests. For example, some clients can do almost all the exercises, some only a few; some can do the standing ones standing, others have to do those lying down to have the exercise be helpful and not be counterproductive. Re. the exercises, almost always the side to which your head turns is the "short side" (your muscles are more contracted on that side which pulls the head over and usually pulls that shoulder up.) You need to exercise to stretch both sides of the back (as ST almost always manifests also in the back) and neck with more emphasis on your short side. If you lean one direction and turn the other, you probably have a bilateral shortness and need to work both sides evenly.
One of the keys is trying to stand erect, back of the neck flat, chin down, shoulders squared, and your head and neck stacked ontop of the trunk of your body, (i.e. a "military brace" position) not jutting out in front, which is so typical with ST'rs. You can see how this feels if you will lie down on the floor on your back, knees up. Now try to touch the floor with the back of your neck. You won't be able to, but try. You'll see that will force your chin way down. Now try to imitate that position standing up or sitting - that's the Military Brace position, and most exercises are done in that position. The chin should never be up with the head reared back. So if you are lifting a weight over your head, you can stand very straight in a military brace position (back of neck flat and chin down, shoulders squared), knees slightly bent and raise the weight over your head and down several times, maintaining the military brace. Think the exercise into the back of your head and neck - i.e. try to feel it there. You can begin with a 5 or 10 lb. bell or whatever is challenging for you. Then apply the same principal to other stretching exercises.
The trick is to daily stretch those muscles and get them flexible and of equal length. Work in slow motion and hold the extension, breathing into it. Then you should be getting some daily massage - maybe from a family member. Sit in a chair sideways so your back is exposed, forearms on your knees, head hanging down, and have the person doing the back rub stand in back of you and use the heel of his hand (with some massage oil or hand cream) and begin at where the bra line would be for a woman and move up the muscles on either side of the spine and up into the neck, using as much pressure as is tolerable - to penetrate and stretch. Stay off the spine!! Never pinch the muscles. He can use his thumbs as well to work on the muscles in the back, across the shoulders and neck. The central area of irritation with ST appears to be in the muscles in the mid back, the upper shoulders and at the bony ridge at the back of the head, and you'll find you are probably very tender there. Because many people don't have someone at home who can massage them daily, we also recommend you buy a Kneading Fingers Machine. Currently priced at $211.96. Call 1-800-748-7172 and use STRC as a reference for this discount price, or order online at http://www.clarkenterprises2000.com/2079 for the same discount price. A 220/240 volt adapter is available. Sit in a firm recliner or wing back type chair. Put the machine behind your neck at the bony ridge, scoot your bottom forward, and lean hard into the machine, chin down. After a few minutes, lean slightly forward - the machine will slide a bit down your back; then massage that area for a few minutes, let it move a bit further down and so on until you have done the entire upper back. Don't use it lying down, because your head will want to roll back. This should be done DAILY!
As you begin the exercises, it's almost a given that things will get worse for awhile-more spasms and more discomfort - as your body fights back -unfortunately that's predictable - just hang in there, but baby step your way into an exercise program. Be conservative, so that your body can get used to the changes gradually. You eventually adjust. It's a process and takes time - sometimes months for the body to adapt and begin to straighten out. You may have to begin very gently. Don't shock your body. What you are doing over time in this recovery program at S.T.R.C. is creating a new reality for your body - new muscle memory, new brain pathways, restructuring musculature and postural realignment, so that, eventually, that new reality, or new you, will begin to dominate, forcing the symptoms of S.T. into dormancy, and you can come into what we call a state of ongoing recovery. I personally have not seen a medical professional regarding my S.T. since 1983 and walk in recovery via this program.
Don't sleep on a contour pillow!!! That will make the ST immediately worse. Feather is best as you can mold it, bunch it up. Sleeping on your back is best with the pillow under your head (more than under your neck), so that your chin is down and you're getting a nice passive stretch all night. DON'T sleep on your short side!!! It will make your ST immediately worse. It's OK to use a heating pad, but not for more than 30 minutes or so, as it will weaken the muscles, but for short periods of time it's fine. Because the way we sleep is so important and can effect our necks and our recovery progress, it’s important to, not only sleep on your back, chin tucked, but to sleep on a bed that is helping, not hurting. Personally I recovered on a full motion heated waterbed and still use one, but we are all different so choose a bed that's best for you. If you get chilly during sleep your body will curl up and it will be next to impossible to stay on your back. You can solve that problem by using a heated mattress pad or heated blanket. This is a different kind of heat than a heating pad and so is not only acceptable but needed if you are having trouble staying on your back.
And it's not advisable to use a cervical collar (unless you are using it as a holder for an iced gel pack or temporarily to be comfortable while driving, eating out, etc.), as collars will eventually weaken the neck. You can buy gel collars that you can use either hot or cold. Both are helpful - alternate hot and cold and end with cold. The ice packs will actually do more to relieve the pain and calm down the spasms, and I recommend keeping the sore areas iced for long periods of time. The best ice pack I’ve found is the Elasto-Gel Cervical Wrap (product #CC102) - I love this product and strongly recommend it! It’s a flexible cold pack that covers the neck, top of shoulders and dips down the back. Put it in the freezer for 2 hours and then enjoy relief from both spasms and pain. To order go to http://www.therapyhc.com. Scroll down the page to the product, or call 1-877-867-3692 (MST) to order. I also recommend the Hang-ups Inversion Table. This table is safe and easily allows you to hang upside down for a full body traction. Do not leave small children unattended near the table. You should not use this table if you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, osteoporosis or are on Artane. Do a web search for this item and the best price, but this is the brand I recommend; it's sometimes called the Teeter's Hang-Up Inversion Table.
I also recommend long hot baths - it's important to let your body rest and relax. You should avoid like the plague doing anything that causes your head to jut forward or to have your chin up and head rolled back.
Contact ST/Dystonia, Inc. 1-888-445-4588 if you want to order an Obusforme. They are wonderful portable chairbacks (get the highback one!) that you can put anywhere. VERY helpful in keeping you erect. Avoid recliners where you lay way back. They will make you worse. However, it took me a year or so to wean myself away from the recliner. These things have to be done in stages. Much better to be down on the floor with your head on a pillow, chin down if you want to rest, and be sure to program many short rest breaks into each day. That is also a good position for reading. (If you wear bifocals, put them on upside down!) Ditto for watching TV - lie on the floor, so you are not tempted to slouch or twist. Try not to cross your legs or twist your body when you sit. You can't possibly do it all right overnight since you have ST - but this is the idea, and you can begin to work toward this. Take it one baby step at a time.
We like Shaklee vitamins because they are food based, not chemically based. I'm not a distributor, but you can find one in your area. We give the Shaklee Basics (including the Vita Lea, B, C, E with Selenium) and Calcium/Magnesium. Shaklee is by far the best product out there in my opinion. You may order the Basics and Calcium/Magnesium on your own at the Member's pice by calling Shaklee at 1-800-742-5533; choose order from the menu and then tell the sales person that you'd like to place and order and have a Contact Number 292578. This will automatically give you the Member's discount without having to be a member.
Also, it's very important to avoid sugar, much alcohol (especially red wine, as it tends to be a muscle inflammatory), caffeine and white flour products, junk food and preservatives, and NO sugar substitutes!!! Some clients are using granulated fructose, but NO aspartame! The very BEST sweetener is Xylitol (granulated form) - available in some health food stores or search online for the best price. Xylitol tastes like sugar but is actually is good for you - it helps prevent tooth decay and reduces plaque, fights osteoporosis as it builds bone density and fights ear infections in children. It has 40% fewer calories than sugar, is safe for diabetics and has 70% fewer carbs. - a natural product made from vegetable fiber and the bark of various trees. GREAT choice for all sweet needs. The next best choice would be granulated fructose, available in bulk in almost all health food stores.
Try to keep your diet as healthy as you can with plenty of raw fruits and veggies and lots of water.
As a chiropractic neurologist once noted, if you smoke you cannot recover - period. there is something in smoke that mimics Acetylcholine, the chemical that travels from the brain into the muscles causing the spasms, so when you smoke, it's like inhaling Torticollis!!!
About all I could do when I began my own program was to hold a 10 lb. dumb bell and reach over as if to touch my toes and just hang with the head loose and released. And then slowly stand into a military and hang again. I'd do that for awhile and then lie down. 10 lbs. might be too much - so begin with maybe just 2 lbs. Begin very slowly and with little to no weight. Avoid doing things that really increase the pull WHILE you are doing them. The vitamins gave me increased strength and over the months I was able to move into more vigorous workout and eventually into weight work at the gym. Actually getting into recovery takes incredible commitment and hard work as you are totally reprogramming the body. The daily massage work is essential, and be positive. If you are saying things like "Oh, I know I'll never improve" - that easily can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Then pray! I hope this will help. Let me know how you're getting along. We also offer the entire clinic program as an At-Home, Long-Distance course. Call us for details and an order form. 1-800-805-9976 or go to http://www.RecoveryClinic.org (site for long distance course only)
God bless you, Abigail Brown, Director S.T.R.C."
De methode is er op gericht je spieren weer langer te maken, soepel te maken en ontgiften; je houding te verbeteren (zeg maar gerust perfectioneren) en je lichaam daaraan te laten wennen zodat het op een gegeven moment normaal wordt.
Sleutelwoorden daarbij: Military Brace Position, oftewel een strakke militaire, trotse houding aanleren. Elke dag weer moet je je ervan bewust zijn deze houding aan te nemen: rechtop, schouders naar achteren, kin ingetrokken. In tegenstelling tot wat veel ST'ers doen: een beetje ingezakt met je gezicht als een zak zout naar voren.. Zie de foto's links, en let ook op de denkbeeldige rechte lijn die je in de rechter foto kunt trekken vanaf het kruin van mijn ongekamde haar, recht naar beneden door nek en ruggegraat. Zo hoort het!
Die houding ga je jezelf aanleren door elkde dag, dag in dag uit, een aantal oefeningen te doen, met name gericht op het langer maken van je spieren tussen hoofd en rug. Deze oefeningen gaan vergezeld door elke dag, dus ook dag in dag uit, een diepe, diepe massage van je bovenrug, schouders, hals en de onder / achterkant van je schedel, daar waar de spieren aanhechten dus.
Zooooo belangrijk: elkde dag weer! Wel heel erg rustig opbouwen, in het begin zal je ook zeker meer last krijgen van spasmen, omdat je lichaam gaat terug vechten. Gebeurt bij mij nu ook. Veel stapjes terug doen en meer massages helpen dan.
Ze noemen het niet voor niets een "ongoing" recovery: een doorlopend herstel. Dus al hou je vol en kom je er goed uit, dan nog zul je dit elke dag moeten blijven doen om je goed te blijven voelen. Ach, wat is er verkeerd aan elke dag rekoefeningen en massage? Niets toch?
Over de oefeningen en de massage kan ik verder niet uitwijden. Maar ik kan nog wel vertellen dat een derde, belangrijk element een rol speelt: voeding. In de Free Tips die hieronder staan lees je het e.e.a. al terug, maar je zult zonder meer zo min mogelijk suiker moeten gebruiken. En dat zit in zoooo veel dingen.. Ik ben er zelf volledig mee gestopt (de natuurlijke suikers daargelaten), je moet er even aan wennen. Ook geen suikervervangers, en al helemaal geen aspartaam! Aspartaam vind je in alles wat "light" is. Verder een gezond dieet van veel verse groenten, elke dag wat rauwkorst, en voornamelijk volkoren producten, geen witbrood en dergelijke meer. Allemaal om je spieren schoon te houden.