This spans an entire treatment over a year’s time.
Here’s part 1
The Saga Continues
I’ve been through vision, I’ve had dental integration, I’ve put in the PRI activity homework, maximized my PRI testing, and feel a new man.
Yet neutrality eludes me. It is a state of mind I could once feel by the power of glasses and splints, but the nervous system learns and accommodates. I topped out.
But of course, I knew that would be the case from my very first session with Ron.
“You gotta get those wisdom teeth pulled.” ~Ron Hruska
By virtue of the dentist I integrate with, the time came. And here are the results.
Zac B.E. (Before Extraction)
So at this point in my life the large HRV gains I initially had were dropping and I was still having some neck tension. Training was feeling so-so.
Test-wise, the videos below show what I look like.
Here’s my squat
And my toe touch.
Upper quadrant tests
And lower quadrant tests
And some cervical movements
My pelvis is consistently neutral and I can shift and squat with the best of ‘em. But I still present with restrictions in my thorax, neck, and mandible (BBC/RTMCC).
These limitations are likely present because of a bony block called wisdom teeth.
As you can see, the maxillary (top side) wisdom teeth limit the excurision of my lateral pterygoids for lateral trusive movements. My hope is by removing these guys I will get access to more frontal plane, which should clean, up my remaining tests.
Operation Extraction: 1/30/15
I enter the room to get prepped for surgery, and the worst possible thing occurs.
Country music is playing.
And I can’t have that!
So I politely ask one of the workers there if we can play something a bit more soothing prior to my surgery.
2pac “I ain’t Mad at Cha” begins playing.
That’s more like it.
I get the IV put in, hear some Juicy by Biggy, and pass out from the Mind Eraser anesthesia. Yes, it was actually called “Mind Eraser”, and yes, I remember nothing.
Like this happening
And definitely not this
But I do remember looking like Marlon Brando for a period of time
What was really cool about the whole experience is how little pain I felt. I probably took 2-3 pain pills at most. I think this is because I was actually excited about having this surgery done, and the reward I was hoping to get far exceeded the nociceptive information I would inevitably receive.
Just goes to show it’s all about threat perception.
Zac A.E. (After Extraction)
I waited to re-measure and assess until 6 weeks later. This way I had to some time to heal and adjust to this new sensory experience. My exercise program basically consisted of squatting, alteranting activity, and mandibular lateral trusion to feel my pterygoids.
The cons are I no longer looking like Marlon Brando, but the pro’s are the mobility gains. Check it out in the vids below.
Here are the standing tests
My upper quadrant tests
Lower quadrant tests
Here are my mandibular movements
And lastly, cervical
Since surgery I’ve been hovering between a right BC and superior T4. I consider myself no longer a TMCC patient because mandibular movement is now fully restored. The thorax position can limit cervical axial rotation.
In terms of how I feel, neck tension has been significantly reduced, especially with jaw movement. The only time I get the tension is when I am training hard or if I am reading/sitting for a real long time.
I also produce a crap-ton more saliva, which comes back to the very first question Ron asked me when I started this process. You don’t know what this stuff will affect.
Consequently, I have noticeably much more phlegm in my saliva and feel way more congested than ever. Sleep quality does not seem as good, as I have generally felt a bit more tired throughout the day.
So what gives? My thought was the wisdom teeth would be the final piece of my PRI quest, but I did not get all the changes I was hoping to get. Was Ron wrong? Did I get less wise for nothing?
The one consistent thing that I am still limited in is the cervical rotation and shoulder horizontal abduction. I am hesitant to perform any pec inhibitory activities because I have been neutral in the past. I don’t want to “stretch” something that doesn’t need stretching.
I look over my 3D CT scan that I got at the dentist office, and one thing stands out. I find my limiting factor:
The journey continues.
Awesome! These improvements do seem very compelling! For years I had this wisdom tooth problem and only now (thanks to your blog post) do I realize I might as well be too wise to become neutral and a properly reciprocating being. Also I often bite my tongue and after this tooth started to come out it first created a huge tissue damage on the mucous membrane next to it : Then it started to vanish I guess it’s because my jaw moved out of the way to evade friction. Did it happen to you too? By the way I love reading your blog, you’ve got a cute sense of humour :))
Appreciate your comments and kind words. My wisdom teeth never actually gave me any issues; they just limited my jaw’s ability to move. Gotta be able to move 🙂
Recommend getting it done sooner than later; your teeth are a big deal!
Yeah they seem to be :)) Again I don’t have the proper English words to express my gratitude for the valuable information you are sharing! I would not study to become a PT if I hadn’t seen people in the field with so much passion and love for this field like you and folks at PRI. I would love to learn from such people in the future!
What HRV device do you use to measure HRV? Do you use bioforce? have you tried any other devices? Have you tried using HRV clinically?
I use bioforce, and have not tried any other devices. Also haven’t tried it clinically but would most definitely like to.