University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Student Ambassador Blog


I love being active, why don’t I do it more!?!?!

, by Ryan · email · Leave a comment

So, I hurt my neck a couple weeks ago. One weekend I dove into a swimming pool, like a fancy diver, and came out of the water with sharp pains shooting down my neck. By the end of the day, I could barely turn my head side to side. I slept flat on my back, waking up every hour in pain if I turned my head while I was sleeping. So, of course, I took advantage of my student health insurance and went to the doctor who gave me a diagnosis of a cervical muscle spasm and prescribed muscle relaxers and physical therapy visits. Well, I tried to make an appointment for PT but couldn’t get in for two weeks!

I had to do something in the meantime, so I put on my occupational therapy hat and thought, ‘What would be best for my body right now?’  Why did I get a muscle spasm in the first place? Is it because I have hunched my shoulders for years whenever I’m stressed? Yes, this definitely could be a contributing factor. Huh, what about exercise?! I am not as active as I used to be. I get so caught up in school and staying on top of my coursework that I quickly take out physical activity. I should know better. Just last year, I was working out three times a week at the gym on campus in the mornings before class, and would share with all of my classmates how much better I felt throughout the day (which includes a lot of sitting in lecture) because of this routine. Also, we have had lectures relating to occupational balance and lifestyle balance, the importance of having a balance between work and play, activities of leisure and activities of importance.

This experience with my neck has reminded me of this importance. I quickly went to the gym the Monday after my neck starting hurting (and after I received my muscle relaxers), and as soon as I did the elliptical (just for 30 minutes, don’t want to go crazy) with some stretching afterwards I felt so much better. And have been continually feeling better! I love working out and being active! I feel so much happier, healthier, and ready to face all the stress that continues to be in my life…because I’m in grad school folks! Thank you, occupational therapy, for giving me the tools to look at my life in a better and healthier way!

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