Omni Therapy on Post Mardi Gras Injuries
Bead Neck and Shoulder, King Cake Elbow, Crawfish Peelin’ Wrist
You have survived Mardi Gras! But what about your Bead Neck, Shoulders and Back, King Cake Elbows and Crawfish Peelin’ Wrists?!
Maybe this is your first Mardi Gras or maybe you are a seasoned veteran. Either way, Mardi Gras has a way of captivating you. Enveloping you with its essence. The music, the dancing, the intricately decorated floats and humans with happiness all around you. You catch a bead and string it around your neck. Then another and another. Until suddenly you are in a beaded overload with tension building in the muscles trying to protect your delicate spine or the strain in your shoulder caused by lifting that heavy ice chest incorrectly or the way your shoulders have crept up into your ears.
That is, until you wake up the next morning and wonder what on earth happened to your body??!? You now feel like you have just pulled a house down a sandy beach with your now broken body. A body that had not trained for this. There’s no wonder your body is feeling the pain today.
Let’s talk specifics:
What the heck is bead neck?
Bead neck is the weight of dozens of plastic beads pulling your head forward creating tension on the muscles in the back of your neck and abnormal pressure on your discs and joints supporting your 10-pound head. You have relatively small muscles that are the MVP’s of head stability and when your head is pulled forward by the beads or a child on your shoulders without correct stabilization, it causes stress on your discs, joints, and nerves (particularly the suboccipital nerve that runs between your neck and head), fatigue of the traps and levator scapulae and deep neck and shoulder stabilizers. When the shoulder blades are pulled forward there is also compression of the blood supply and nerves to the arms and hands.
What about my king cake elbow?
Repetitive motion of the elbow, particularly if it is not a common motion for you, when throwing or catching beads, carrying a heavy bag or slicing too many pieces of King Cake can cause a tendonitis of your elbow: outside of elbow-tennis elbow, inside of elbow- golfers elbow.
Don’t forget about my crawfish peelin’ wrist
When your shoulder and elbow fatigue you may start compensating with your wrist or if you already had a wrist problem, you have probably worsened your tendonitis in your wrist or your symptoms of carpal tunnel due to compression of your nerves in your hand causing numbness and pain in your fingers. This can result in numbness or tingling in your fingers making it very hard to show off your crawfish eating skills.
Since we can’t turn back time, let’s do the next best thing:
Book with a Physical Therapist at Omni Therapy or your local PT Clinic to:
Locate the Cause,
Treat the Problem,
Relieve the Pain,
And prevent it from EVER happening again!
Did you know that Physical Therapists are specialists in bone AND muscle mobilization and manipulation AND exercise prescription for rehabilitation, injury prevention, strengthening, joint dysfunctions, and tendonitis. And since Physical Therapist are experts on the skeletal system, neuromuscular system, and musculoskeletal system you can be SURE you are trained in the CORRECT way to exercise and prevent. They can treat your strained muscles, make sure your bones are all lined up and give you exercises to prevent future injury.
**Side note: Forward head posture is also common with students and workers who slouch over a computer. Wrist pain is common with gamers and the elbow, well you already know it’s common in golf and tennis players. **
But the good news is that you already know who can help and where to find them! So try out these exercises and call Omni Therapy or your local Physical Therapist to get a full body tune up!
Suboccipital flexion with hand on neck posture correction:
Place your fingers under your nose and gently push your head backwards, doing a gentle neck flexion (gently nod chin towards chest) as you push your head backwards. Gently nod yes (up and down on a straight plane NOT a maybe sort of up and down/side to side) This nod should be from a neutral position down towards your chest and back up to neutral. Do this often throughout the day.
Draw a virtual infinity sign with your nose from the neutral nodding position described above. If you hold a plate at arm’s length that is the length you want your infinity symbol to be (you don’t need to hold a plate while doing this- this is just for reference) You can draw the infinity symbol up and down and side to side and even sideways(think a flower made up of infinity symbols)
Lying on your side with your knees bent up to 90 degrees. Place your top hand behind your head with elbow pointing to ceiling and the bottom hand over your knees. Pull your shoulder blade back trying to connect it to your other shoulder blade. Your elbow will come back too but you want your shoulder blade to be the leader and your arm to follow. Be sure you are keeping your chest up and chin down.