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19 year-old really wants to do handstands again.


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Hello everyone,

After a year long of trying to fix the problem by myself and going to a manual therapist, I gave up and now I am going to a chiropractor who is apparently not totally useless as I had been led to believe. I, however, know that is not a good idea to just "wait for someone else to fix your problems", specially when it comes to muscular/spine problems. And specially when the treatment is financially unsustainable in the long term. Then I discovered Stretch Therapy and this time I think that my problem will be finally solved.

I wrote a short background about my self and the issues I've been dealing with. It's here with x rays. The short version is this.

1. I've had scoliosis and hipermobility since I was a child but that didn't stop me from training or being healthy (deadlifts, handstands, running, squating, etc.)

2. One year ago, I had a head (left side) contusion that did "something" to my left shoulder that I completely ignored and didn't really care about it until now (you know, no pain, no gain).

3. The issue is that I can't move it freely. The scapula, I think, doesn't upwardly rotate in a correct way so the arm only gets to 170° (the deltoid doesn't touch the ear). What's more, I have some sort of huge knot between the upper trapezius and the clavicle (I think levator scapuale might the culprit). The range of motion is "fine" for the average population. But not for me because my movement practice is/was based mostly on handstands. This issue does not cause pain whatsoever. However, the humerus "pops" and "snaps" when I move it, but I surmise that is caused by the faulty scapular movement. Also, the left scapula is sitting lower than the right, as you will see in the pictures.

4. When the chiro showed my X rays, I saw that the scoliosis is there and he pointed out that that MUST be the case of the problem, which is not really true because I was doing 1 minute free handstands BEFORE the head contusion. Anyway, it also showed that my hips are uneven (one is higher than the other), which would be causing the very recent lumbar pain I've had. However, I think that the lumbar pain and the uneven hips are the direct result of me walking with my backpack on the right side to avoid "stressing" my left shoulder.

That's basically it. Here are the pictures of my back now. And

of my back 2 years ago with full range of motion overhead, and the scoliosis as well.

Things I've tried for my shoulder include mobilizing the first rib (Kelly Starret style), stretching, band traction, Yuri's mobility routine, serratus activation and a myriad more, but they just seem to make it worse. Things I learn include what is correct scapular-humeral movement, how to think positively, how to minimize ego-driven behavior and how to get over frustration and learn to accept that sometimes I can't control everything (like having scoliosis or having an almost-deadly accident).

I will answer any questions and take more pictures if needed. I just want some feedback. Kit said that my spine looks awful because the muscles put it in that position and he also told me to recognize my restrictions. But I am afraid I don't know of any more restriction than my left shoulder and I don't really want to keep hurting myself. I am really thankful for your help.

Kinshiro.

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how to think positively, how to minimize ego-driven behavior and how to get over frustration and learn to accept that sometimes I can't control everything (like having scoliosis or having an almost-deadly accident).

Hey Kinshiro, have you tried the lying relaxation mp3s? Try mine, if you want. Kit's got heaps there. I am doing this (or without guidance) a couple of times a day when possible, to very nice effect - really chilling me out.

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MM, I did not say your "spine looks awful"; if you are going to quote me, please do it accurately. Here is what I wrote:

MM, I will post recent X-rays I had taken of my spine: radical, actually, with all sorts of curves and pathology (my back and hip were in a lot of pain)—yet there's quite a bit I can still do with this old corpus! And today, no problems in the body at all (and this is two days after the end oa a workshops with all sorts of strength and movement training). Take your time, and start again: start with the basics. Actually, even complex skills are just groups of basic movements. Basics are anything but basic, actually.

Find out where you are tight, or where a pattern is restricted, and find out what this is a response to. These are protective mechanisms, at root. Dig deep, but gently. In time, you will become the expert in you. The reason I always start with removing restrictions is that it's the restrictions (or tension that you can't voluntarily let go of) that produce the curves and distortions that one sees in an X-ray. When those are gone, the X-ray will show a different body. It will be a different body—where did the pathology go? partly, at least, pathology is a function of the system designed to diagnose it. Unless there is pathology that can be repaired, ignore it.

My suggestion (while we wait for the first program, Master the squat and hip mobility, is to try the How to sit for meditation program, an inexpensive follow-along one-hour program. Forget the name 'meditation' in the title; it's an extended, gentle mobility/limbering sequence. It might just start the process you need.

If I was not clear in what I wrote above, let me expand. Muscles pull vertebrae out of position. My point was (and I will post my X-rays one of these days) when the body/mind is traumatised, various muscles contract (trauma never produces relaxation, only contraction) and when you look at an X-ray, that is what you are seeing: the results of the contractions. I have a scoliosis, but it is an induced one: it is a necessary adaptation to the fact that my R leg is 18mm shorter than my left. These is no downside to this kind of adaptation. Genuine (that is, developmental) scoliosis creates wedge-shaped vertebrae; mine are symmetrical; the scoliosis I have is because of the LLD. What kind of scoliosis is yours?

So, I ask you to re-read what I wrote and try to understand it, and Andrew's advice is very sound too, so add that. You wrote above:

I have some sort of huge knot between the upper trapezius and the clavicle (I think levator scapuale might the culprit).

Did one end of levator scapulae get detached in the accident? It's really not possible to diagnose this kind of problem long-distance, but if (for example) the scapula end of this muscle detached, that could explain this.

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Hello Kit,

Thanks for taking the time. I shouldn't have write that, I was paraphrasing, but I went a little to far. It won't happen again, I'm sorry for the inconvenience. Now, the chiropractor never really told me exactly what kind of scoliosis I have. I can, however, surmise that (1) it may be "congenital", because my father also has it, (2) it may not the result of adaptation to uneven limbs, because long time ago, I also recieved orthopedic treatment for flat fleet and nobody mentioned any leg assymetry. I will ask the chiropractor about it a post the reply here.

I did understand what you wrote, but for whatever reason I replied something totally divorced from what I intended to.

From what I've read a detacched muscles hurts. And I've never had any pain. It feels really tight in the supraclavicular area and sometimes I get spasm in the area, including the ear and the left side of the head as well. But no pain whatsoever.

Thank you, again, for the patience and time. I will read about the relaxation scripts and audios and apply them as soon as I can.

Thanks to you as well, Andrew.

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