Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Plan of Attack

Where to begin?  I'm not even sure but I will try to make enough sense of things that when read, this can be understood.

When I went to the doctor for my evaluation appointments, he was pretty shocked at how far along my various issues were.  I explained to him that I have a pretty good tolerance for annoying pain and because I'm also aging and something always seems to be not quite right, I think I may have lost the ability to distinguish between an ache for a day and something that will become chronic.

Because chronic is where I'm at right now.  Pretty much aching all day long and by the evening I'm fairly exhuasted.

Anyway, here are the various things that are/were wrong.  Dr. Chris is pretty sure I had a chain reaction since it's mostly my left side involved but hasn't yet figured out where it all started.  I don't think that matters as long as we can resolve it.  (Lots of links here so you can click on them and read all about it if you don't already know.)

Left Foot:  Heel Pad Syndrome.  Maybe with a touch of Plantar Fasciitis.  The only reason he's not ruling out plantar fasciitis altogether is that when he did the myofascial release on the tendon, there was soreness there although I am not feeling any tugging along the arch.   Basically the treatment for this each time I go is myofascial release and then Microelectro Acupuncture.  Along with lots of stretching after I work out and icing.  I have actually brought an ice pack to work and try to ice it several times a day.  When I've been going out for any walk over 3 or 4 miles, I've also been taping it as illustrated.


My left knee is aggravated but we can't seem to pinpoint what exactly is going on there.  You'd think Runner's Knee but he is able to track and move the knee cap easily so it's possible there is some tendinitis. Right now, he is having me rub a homeopathic gel called Traumeel into the knee several times a day.  I have to say, while the relief isn't long term I do get immediate relief as soon as I rub that gel in.  I'm also rubbing it in to my foot.

My left hip flexor is bound up and the tugging that I was feeling at the top front of my leg turned out to be micro-tears in my quadricep. He has been working on the quadricep with the myofascial release because though the tugging is already gone (again I was rubbing Traumeel into the sore area) he said the whole quad in that leg is ropy and has adhesions which means it's not happy.  Believe me, neither am I when he's working on it.  Plus he yanks manipulates my hip flexor around to try to increase the range of motion.  When all is said and done, he hooks that up to the Microelectro Accupunture as well.

My left shoulder issue turned out to be an impingement of the bursa, also known as Rotator Cuff Tendinitis.  Probably caused by all the pushups and burpees I do at Muay Thai and aggravated by the teensy bit of weight lifting I was doing.  Again, I let it go too long so it's my fault.  For this he manipulates my arm around while stabilizing the rotator cuff.  Then we rub in down with Traumeel and it also gets hooked up to the Microelectro Accupunture.  I also have an exercise I've been doing on my own.  The whole point being to get the bursa freed up.  This is the one that I actually think is going to take the longest to heal.  I am considering going to an orthopedic doctor and getting a shot of cortisone if it hasn't calmed down in a couple of weeks.

Finally, my lower back is compressed. Maybe there's someone out there who would be familiar with this treatment but I'd never heard of it:  Spinal Intervertebral Decompression.  The first time I had to climb onto the table I was a little freaked out as it's a bit Frankensteinian.  Basically I lay flat on a table for about 10 minutes to relax the muscles and spine.  Then the doctor straps my feet down and with pulleys and levers he literally stretches me lengthwise.  It's almost the opposite of the neck machine I had to use last year when my nerve was pinched in my neck.  Instead of pulling my head up, it pulls on my feet and opens the spine.  I don't feel a huge improvement here yet but I'm not feeling any worse so that's good.

In addition to all that, he had me start taking some natural herbal pills that are supposed to help with inflammation, as he does not want me popping Motrin or Aleve.

Now you know why my appointments take between 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  OY.  Not that I like it but I'm going to do it for a few weeks as I'm tired of feeling hurty all the time.

Having said that, I decided last weekend that 10 days of not running was enough as I wasn't feeling any better by not running.  In fact, I think I was starting to feel worse.  While I did not outright run, I did run/walk my 7 miler last Saturday.  To be honest, not only was I no worse for wear, I think I felt better than I have over the last couple of weeks.  So I have decided I am going to throw in a couple of runs a week and the rest of the time I'll walk.  I did talk with a friend at Muay Thai who is at a doctor all the time because of her lower back and she said her doctor told her she could run but she had to wear an SI brace, so maybe I'll look into getting one of those.

There you have it - the plan of attack.  Let's just hope I win this war!




18 comments:

  1. I am a total wimp when it comes to pain - not sure how you do it Helen!

    That being said, since I've been doing my 30 minutes of stretchng nearly every other day, my plantar fascitis is completely gone - I haven't worn my orthopedic inserts in a month, which is nice because they only fit into one of the four pair of shoes I own!

    Hang in there!

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    1. That's great news about your plantar fasciitis - it really can be a bear!

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  2. Ouch ouch ouch!! Dang, girl! Well, you certainly don't do anything half @ss! LOL
    Hope it's all feeling better very soon. Pain sucks and after a while it can make a person cranky. So sorry you're going through all this. Surely the treatments will help out.

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    1. I definitely waited way too long to go to the doctor. I'm sure I would have avoided some of this if I'd gotten there sooner.

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  3. You are a good example of how trying to work through the pain ends up leading to just more pain...why is it so hard to listen to our bodies when something hurts? It's crazy what a domino effect this has been for you! Now, I'm just hoping that the dominoes will reverse and you'll start feeling better - how can you not, with all of these treatments?

    Thanks for the reminder about the Traumeel - going to order some. Fingers crossed that you get relief from all this mess soon. And be careful with the running!

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    1. Yes, mom, I will be careful. This morning I ran on the treadmill so the surface would be softer. I feel fantastic.

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  4. I'm so sorry that you are having so much physical pain. I hope you are now on the right track to feeling much better. Living with pain is not a good way to live. I have chronic heel pain, knee pain (on and off), and my right arm and shoulder are still not normal after my fall. I have to say I'm getting better, because for months I could not lift my arm. I still can't hook my bra, but I'm getting there. I also appreciate learning about the Traumeel, because my left knee is inflamed after several days of taking care of five grandkids (lol).

    I think I remember my grandmother spending most of her time in her rocking chair when she was my age. Times have changed, and it's a good thing! I'm going to the gym this morning to use the Nustep (easy on the knees). I had dropped the gym (really don't like them), but when the grandkids came I needed to use the large play area they have called the "Neighborhood," so I rejoined. Now I have to use it! Be careful and take good care of yourself!

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  5. Youza, Helen!! You really do have a high pain tolerance. I sure hope some of this works.

    Interesting about NOT RUNNING not making it any better. I've had a couple of relatively sedentary days in a row, and I am feeling like the old lady. I like the workout hurt a lot better than the old lady hurt!

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  6. I can't imagine dealing with all that, I hope you feel better soon! Glad the running helped and now at least maybe it's back in your rotation!

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  7. I agree (based on my own experience) that staying active helps, overall. But there sure is a fine line between therapeutic activity and activity that exacerbates injury. Based on what I know of you, you will win! :-)

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  8. I'm so sorry you're struggling. That Traumeel works great. I use it on the 3-day. Also, have you tried yoga? We have a therapeutic class that's especially for chronic pain and I would imagine it's available elsewhere. Hang in there!!!

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    1. Yoga is my very favorite non-running activity Tina! I don't know of any therapeutic classes in this area but that is a fabulous idea!

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  9. Ugh? Honestly, I would see an orthopod sooner rather than later. Physical therapy is always the first option with the rotator cuff and then the injections. It sounds like you have some imbalance issue and all the aches and pains are radiating out from that, particularly since it seems to be one-sided. Having a really good look at your back by a specialist would be a good idea, too.

    (you know all of this stems from my job working with orthopedics, so take it for what that's worth... )

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    1. My back has been looked at and x-rayed. No disc issues yet and I'm trying to prevent that. I'd really like to avoid the cortisone shot if I can but my Muay Thai cycles start in mid-July so if I'm feeling as if it's not getting improving, I'll be making an appointment! I'd just like to give less invasive treatment a try for a change.

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  10. Hi Helen,

    I am reading your blog from the beginning, so am not caught up on your current stuff. I am sorry to hear about your physical issues. I am dealing with a lot of them myself. I hope you get pain relief soon and are back on the road to recovery. I am dealing with pain issues every day (I am 52), but hopefully am on the road to "recovery." Getting older is a pain, isn't it?

    I ordered a cookbook today you recommended back in 2010 (that's where I am in your blog). Can't wait to try it.

    Just wanted to say hi.

    Sheryl
    http://500daystowhereiwanttobe.blogspot.com

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  11. Hi Sheryl,

    Welcome! We are the same age. I agree - aging sucks but I vow to go down fighting :D

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  12. OH MAN.
    Im so sorry and so awed at your tenacity and toughnessment!

    and Im with you on the going down fighting.
    I
    am
    too.


    Miz.

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  13. You have a very high pain level Helen with all the issues you are having right now. I keep my fingers crossed for a speedy recovery. You know your body best and if running is going well and makes you happy: keep doing it.

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