I’ve told people for years that metal detecting has all kinds of surprising benefits. You really will start to see your life improve in all kinds of ways. One of the great things that the hobby does is help those going through physical therapy. It acts as another way to get your body back the way it was so it can heal. I am not a medical doctor, however I do have a lot of experience working with the medical industry and have seen, as well as learned, a lot about the topic of physical therapy. Studying the ins and outs of the body’s muscles are incredible.
Swinging a metal detector helps to aid with the shoulder muscles during physical therapy. The main shoulder muscles at the top are known as the Supraspinatus and Subscapularis. In the center of the shoulder, near the chest, you have the Infraspinas and lower than that is the Teres Minor & Teres Major (see diagram). You also have the Deltoid muscle near the top. Most of these muscles aid with movement in terms of external and internal rotation.
When you injure these areas, you know how difficult movement is. The most common injuries I’ve heard include: rotator cuff tear, adhesive capsulitis (frozen
shoulder) and shoulder replacements. A rotator cuff tear occurs when there is a tear connecting the muscle to bone (tendons) around the shoulder’s joint. You
will feel both pain and weakness if you have this. Some of the things that cause a rotator cuff injury are accidents, a fall, throwing or lifting or chronic overuse and gradual degeneration of the muscle.
You might feel a combination of sharp pains or dull pains. One of the most popular treatments for this is physical exercise and stretching. A moderate amount of restoring function and strength through exercising is required for this also. Adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder is characterized by pain or stiffness in the
shoulder joint. I remember reading that this is most common in people who have been immobilized for a long period and people struggling with diabetes. Physical therapy and massage are some listed treatments for this.
Shoulder replacements occur when the person has the ends of the damaged upper arm bone or humerus and the (scapula) or shoulder bone replaced with artificial surfaces. Those surfaces could either be lined with plastic or metal and plastic. I know most people that have this done have some sort of advanced
arthritis or labrum tear in the shoulder that requires surgery. A statistic on shoulder replacements from Ortho Info states that, “About 53,000 people in the USA have shoulder replacement surgery each year.” That’s a big number!
It is very important that you consult with your physician for Range of Motion (ROM) exercise. The use of a metal detector may possibly be a primary source of rehabilitation. The swing of a metal detector can be used as an adjunct to therapy. Similarly, Therabands are used in physical therapy to stimulate internal and external rotation. You can take them with you anywhere and they come in 8 color-coded levels of resistance.
For those using a metal detector I think it’s wise to swing slowly from left to right with the elbow at a range of motion positioned 45 to 90 degrees.After surgery or injury, your body develops scar tissue called collagen fiber. So you need to remodel the tissue through passive slow motion. Again, you shouldn’t force the area to produce pain. Also, icing the area afterwards is recommended. A lot of people also try applying heat to the shoulder before exercising to increase blood flow to the tissue. Again, getting clearance from your physician, occupational therapist or athletic trainer are a must before doing anything.
Rehabilitation treatment of your muscles will help you get back to your old self. Should you choose to do this by swinging a detector you’ll find that the exercise to your muscles will help you feel refreshed. Plus, you might stumble across some great finds too. It’s a win-win!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical
doctor. Always consult with your physician and see what he/she suggests before
going out and doing any type of activity.
Resources: thera-band.com, emedicinehealth.com and orthoinfo.aaos.org
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