POINT labs started up again last Monday at the University of St. Augustine. Along with the Mock OT clinic, they are programs for physical and occupational therapy in which students study a volunteer and recommend ways to alleviate what ails him or her, usually exercise and stretches. They turn out quality professionals who will help patients rehab in the not to distant future.
Professors Barbara Estes and Kristin Barta arrange to have stroke survivors, and those in need of therapy, participate in clinics one day a week for 4 weeks. One hour for PT and 2 hours for OT. Volunteer participants are advised by 5th semester students. They are as intelligent a group of students as I have been around, all college graduates and seem to be earnest about helping people.
I was talking to Kristin (one of the student therapists) as she was walking me out to my truck after the session, about the kind of therapy I needed. She noticed that my right foot was everted, pushing outward, and I told her about the conversation I had had with the orthotics specialist at Hill Country Orthotics about the cause of my everted right foot. He said it was caused by my weak hip flexor. That hip flexor is the bane of my existence. And the whole time I am thinking," I can fix that!" (along with everything else). But I will settle for a rehabbed hip-flexor to get me back in the game.
I am just realizing that after 4 years, that's what's been a big barrier keeping me from walking. My weak hip is causing the vulnerability in my ankle and probably to a large extent the hyperextension of my knee.
When I have had glimpses of the hip flexor working, my foot goes back to neutral and my knee bends, somewhat. I imagine my hip as a bowl that is tilted and has spilt its soup. Every muscle, nerve, and bone need to cooperate in supporting the muscle to resist the urge to keep it steady while walking, and avoid collapse. So I must call on the Psoas Major and Iliacus to tighten up and not spill anymore soup. Try getting that into my brain and keeping it there! The thing with mind over matter is that it can take all of your time.
We will see how it goes. Instead of me trying to explain the exercises, I will just show examples of very flexible people stretching.
More stretches for the hip flexor are available at sparkpeople.com.