My story in five paragraphs:
I have chronic posture issues due to a fall out of a hayloft when I was 16 (resulting in a tilted pelvis). I started seeking chiropractic care when I was 26, and that was helpful over the years, but I never got the retraining of muscles right. I had some success with muscle strengthening with light dumbells, but never much success with stretching.
In the past 14 years, I did much driving and heavy delivery work, bicycled commuted for 3 and a half years, and was writing in front of a computer in much of my free time—and my difficulties with posture and muscle tightness got worse. Then, with being unemployed the last 2 and a half years, I haven’t had access to chiropractic care.
Recently, I got access to chiropractic care, and a physical therapist, but my problems now seem to be even more chronic than before (I’m not holding adjustments for longer than one day). The issues are not so much pain, though sometimes my left calf is very tight, and my left knee and my left ankle seem to take a lot of stress (and I’m worried about possible injury from having those conditions progress any further). The issues are fundamental though: I have difficulties walking, sitting, and lying down. I also have memory problems and get agitated sometimes from experiments with stretching which don’t work (both seem to be neck and upper back tightness). I have learned some new stretches which are helpful from the chiropractor and the physical therapist; however, progress seems difficult—I seem to have difficulties with even “backed off” versions of basic stretches.
All this seems to come from having a lot of difficulty (over many years) finding ways to do stretches, and muscle strengthening, which would help my muscles be able to hold chiropractic adjustments. And from not even knowing what are the right questions to ask, and to whom I should ask those questions.
Eventually, I will no longer have access to chiropractic care and physical therapy, and the State Health Insurance where I am does not cover chiropractic, and rarely makes exceptions for physical therapy. I am 59 years old (not yet qualifying for early retirement Social Security); not disabled enough for Social Security Supplemental Insurance (I applied and was denied); and currently on hold with State Vocational Rehabilitation (because I have such issues walking and sitting).
What I am trying now:
I have identified 5 or so stretches which I can do—in a “backed off” form. I’m hoping to discover stretches which can work areas which help rather than set me back (one indicator of a “setback” is reversion to a 45 degree feet pointing out posture, which may have come about from a lying down, knees up, lower back stretch on a uneven surface—a bed with a little dip in it). I’m hoping that even from such difficult circumstances, I can build up to getting at the more difficult areas, and then build up strength to hold the muscles where they need to be.
I am not seeking specific physical therapy suggestions.
What I’m looking for are:
1) books on therapeutic stretching, and other general resource references which might be helpful
2) suggestions for patient rehabilitation support forums (others besides here?)(and other physical therapy forums, chiropractor forums, etc), where I might find other people working on similar problems, and where there might be some mutual support, and exchange of resources
3) and , if possible, some suggestions about how I can access physical therapy in my circumstances, and what kind of physical therapy to ask for (I’m on the waiting list, via my primary care doctor’s referral, for physical therapy at a nearby state college with a School for Health Professionals, which provides free physical therapy as practice for students doing physical therapy coursework).
I welcome any questions, thoughts, comments, and suggestions.