Monday, May 24, 2010

Joint Compression (Warning)

Zavier has received "joint compressions" from his OT and PT for years, but I never had them done to me, until today. I chatted with his OT about how the brushing was going at home, and she told me I should do joint compressions too like they've been doing in clinic. She then showed me on my arm (elbow) what it looks like. I allowed her to show my typical girls too, who wanted to be included.

It initially felt fine, but about 10 mins later, my elbow area started throbbing, and it did for my girls too. I was stunned and horrified, because the action that made it feel remotely better - extending the arm out and back - is something that Zavier does often after therapy. I thought it was a stim!!

We're not allowing joint compressions for him anymore. He doesn't have the speech to say, "you know, my arm was feeling great and now it hurts because that lady pushed it together." It's been 6 hours since the incident, and our arms are still all in a dull, aching pain. I've pushed out 3 kids, had a stroke, ran two marathons, and I never take meds for headaches, etc, this is bad pain.

I agree that joint compressions may work for some kids. I can see why sensory-seekers would seek pain. After all, some sensory seekers bash their heads into walls.

If your therapist is doing joint compressions on your child, please ask them to do it to you, so you can make sure that it doesn't hurt. Be sure to include all of the joints they would do to your child. It feels fine by the shoulder. I would use your own gut instinct on it. If your child is bothered by it, there's a good chance that it hurts.