Thursday, February 6, 2014

my fascination with fascia continues...

I while back I wrote about my Fascination with Fascia. So when I came across Brooke Thomas's article Why Fascia Matters and her more extensive ebook by the same title, the little fitness geek in me was so excited! Brooke does such an amazing job explaining all things fascia I just wanted to share it with you. You should read up on it. Go ahead, click a link. I'll wait for you.

OK, you're back. That fascia stuff is pretty cool, eh? Now you may wonder "So, why the obsession with fascia, the psoas and all these continuing education courses on restorative/corrective exercise methods, Kristin?" Well, in a nutshell it all started with my bike accident 2+ years ago. That's when I truly started focusing my studies on how the body and brain heal from trauma and soft tissue injuries.

Now, I figure I have to tell you where I'm coming from so I can explain why and how I'm working with clients as well as shifting my business in a new direction. So here goes...

While riding my bike on a sunny August morning in 2011 I was I was hit by a car. Prior to the accident I was fit, functional, had excellent range of motion (ROM) throughout my body, and could do any exercise I threw my students' way. I never got headaches, had no chronic aches and pains in my joints or muscles. Even right after the accident, I thought I was OK. But quickly things began to fall apart. The following day I could barely move my arms and my neck ROM went from Gumby to zombie. I was tired, confused and my speech and thoughts were garbled. But never being significantly injured in the past I figured this too shall pass. I had a doozie case of side-impact whiplash and the fact that I could barely move my neck side to side or move my chin towards my chest, that was my main source of pain and where I focused my attention. To play it safe, I pretty much stopped doing any exercising beyond walking. I had to give up private clients. My small groups were awesome because I could direct one of my established students to demo exercises for newbies.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me back up. Here's what happened at the scene of the accident: A driver had stopped and yielded right-of-way at an intersection on SE Division, but before I made it across the street, he accelerated and hit the rear side my bike. Initially I thought I had just been been turned 45 degrees and knocked over, but realized later that I had actually been shoved down the road several feet. I didn't think I had hit my head, but I probably did, because I had a serious case of post concussion syndrome for months after the accident. My head whipped to the left, my thoracic spine was shoved to the right, and my whole spine down into my lumbar/sacral area was torqued by the impact and my legs caught in the handle bars of my bike. The hematomas on my legs didn't completely fade for 5 months (I seldom bruise at all), the hematoma on my left elbow actually started to bleed the next day and left a permanent scar and caused nerve damage in my left hand. My jaw was even out of whack, so that my bite no longer lined up, which triggered TMJD (temporomandibular joint disorder). Knowing that I was about to be hit didn't help either. Pretty much every muscle on my body tensed up which caused strains and sprains in my back, neck, even where the muscles attached to my skull. I had brachial plexus lesions which explains the loss of use in my right arm. I had PTSD. For months afterwards when I would lay down and rest I would have convulsions, like hypnagogic jerks, that sensation of falling off a curb as you fall asleep, but I was awake. I had headaches all the time and frequent migraines. Good times, eh!?

There were other freaky things that happened during the months of recovery, but this kind of gives you a taste of what I was dealing with. I still deal with some things now, but I'm so much better. And it could have been so much worse.

When someone is injured but without broken bones it can be hard to pinpoint what the exact problem is, because soft tissue injuries don't show up x-rays, or even MRIs a lot of the time. The driver who hit me was beside himself and gave me a ride home. He told me he had been hit by a car once too. I asked him how long did it take for him to recover and he said, "Forever." Yep, soft tissue injuries, all tied up in fascia which runs all over your body, can take a very long time to unwind and heal...

...OK I think I'll wrap it up for now. This is not a "woe is me" post. Not at all! Sure, I wish the accident never happened, but the silver lining is that I've learned so much since then. That's why I'm here. To share my thoughts on what I've learned about recovery, the brain, rehabbing, corrective/restorative/somatic exercise techniques, I might even share some thoughts on insurance companies and lawyers. And of course fascia. :-) Thanks for reading!


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