I had my first Physical Therapy follow-up last Tuesday. I was a bit overwhelmed after the visit, and I couldn’t concentrate well enough to write about it, so I posted something I’d written ahead of time to cover last Tuesday’s post.

I got to see the fantastic Scott Hickenlooper again (I just love his surname LOL). He was surprised I remembered his name, and I told him it was so unusual that it stuck in my head. He took me back to the same exam room and had me perform range-of-motion tests. If I remember correctly, this visit came two days after a day when my arm/shoulder had a particularly bad day, but he was still pleased with what I could do. As part of the exam, Scott gently stretched my shoulder muscle, which gave me slightly greater range of motion. He had me lay down to test the range as well, then assigned me new exercises.

The first is what the Home Exercise Program calls a Sleeper Stretch. Basically, I lay on my left side with my left arm extended before me, bend my elbow, and turn the arm down toward my feet, putting pressure on the back of my hand with my right hand, and pushing up against it, holding it for thirty seconds. I do this w times a set, 2 times a day to strengthen the arm.

Next are Side-Lying External Rotations. For this exercise, I lay on my right side and roll up a towel or something to put under my left arm. I begin the exercise with my arm bent at the elbow, hanging down across my abdomen, and raise my fist, keeping my upper arm on the rolled-up towel and my elbow bent. I bring my forearm and fist back as far as possible without pain, then lower my arm, keeping all movements slow and gentle. I do 2o of these 2 times a day.

The third exercise is Wand Flexion. For this, I need to be standing and to use my old cane, holding it with both my palms face up, hanging before me. Keeping my left arm half-relaxed, I raise my right arm so it draws the left arm up with it, to the point at which I feel pain in my left arm. 20 of these 2 times a day.

For my fourth exercise, I go to my entry hall and stand facing the area where my front, bed, and bath doors all open into with my left hand on the wall. This is Walls Slides Abduction, and as you can tell from the title, I slide my hand up on the wall until it’s stretched all the way, then slide it back down. Like the other exercises I do, I need to keep this slow and gentle. This is the exercise that hurts the most, usually when I’m sliding my hand up, but I still do my 2 sets of 20 each day.

I do my final exercise only three days a week, but I do three sets of ten each of those three days. Scott gave me an elastic band for my Elastic Band Rows, and I loop it around the bedroom-side of my bedroom door and close it with me and the ends in my entryway. Making sure my sternum is up and I pull my shoulder blades back at the same time, I begin with arms extended and pull until my elbows are bent. This is to strengthen both my arm and help with my admittedly poor posture.

I love how thorough Scott is. As I said before, I feel like he really cares and wants to see me all better. I forgot to write down or have printed by him my next appt, but I know it comes later in January.