Tuesday, October 25, 2016

One step forward, two steps back

(via Pinterest)

Before we left for the trip, my chiro visit went pretty good.  He was very happy with the tissue and said it was completely healed and was happy to hear the addition of walking workouts didn't seem to entail any more soreness that one would expect.  The only thing we still needed to address was the occasional yank my ankle would give but he assured me that would likely be the last thing to heal but it would heal.

Enter our vacation.  A hike on the Stony Man trail would not have had me blink a year ago.  While I was aware of my legs as I ascended, I didn't notice anything too out of the ordinary.  As the trail gets steeper toward the top, I did notice my legs getting tighter and I couldn't wait to get back to the car to roll out with our little stick.  (I swear we have one of those things on every floor of the house and in the car...kind of sad, I know.)  I was gingerly as I maneuvered the peak and rocks to find our spot to hang out 20 minutes or so.  It was worth it and more than I could've asked for when planning the trip as far as his reaction so I didn't think of anything else...

...until we were about halfway down.

The front of my legs were working overtime along with my stabilizer muscles and the back of the calf.  I had to stop a few times and it was even getting to the Mr as well.  We did enough of a roll out at the car to make the legs not seize up on us but that was about it.  I was sore and yanky for the next 2 days and by the 3rd day, when I was finally feeling some relief, we went to Monticello.  It's a shuttle bus up but no biggie.  They told us about a leisurely walk from the home to Jefferson's grave and then downhill trail back to the visitors center which is about .65 miles total.  Sure, I could totally do that.  Well, apparently the term "leisurely downhill trail" is subjective because holy hell that thing was steep.  It was so steep in fact that I had to basically run down parts of it because I knew if the front of my legs were going to attempt to stop my body from this angle, I would blow something out for sure.  It was fun though holding hands with the Mr running and laughing down the path so that's a good memory.  Unfortunately, that is when my legs flew into a condition that plagues me still.

I was desperate to see the chiro upon our return but being sick, I couldn't move up my appointment even if I wanted to.  What I did know is that both legs were very sore and the doc asked how the surprise went and to describe what went on to ratchet my leg pain number up from 5 pre-trip to 7 post-trip.  I told him about the downhill issues and he visibly cringed both times.  He said "wow, that's a LOT of intrinsic work for your legs to handle."  I told him I needed to know what to do between visits because I'm getting irritated and tired of taking one step forward and two steps back.  He told me the duck walk he'd instructed before should help and shouldn't yank.  (Well, it does yank so yeah.)  Sensing my frustration, he said he was going to use an extremity drop board on my left foot because my ankle was basically totally locked.  No mobility hardly at all.  Yay?  This is what it looks like:


He put my foot on there and adjusted it 10 ways to Sunday.  Some of it pulled a bit but it was worse when he yanked on my foot to try to give some pressure release.  He said basically what happened is thankfully there is no damage to the tissue but my muscle memory has kicked in as a result of the hikes back to what it was after being crammed in the airplane and aren't releasing on their own.  He said that he doesn't like to but thinks we may need to go "systemic" meaning having my doc prescribe some muscle relaxers so that when he does further treatments they're with the muscles in a relaxed state.  I'm not crazy about that idea but I wanted to do some stuff on my own to see if I could make any headway on my own first before going that route.

He mentioned the Graston technique but said he doesn't like to do it if he doesn't have to because it's not comfortable and is honestly kind of painful.  You know what's painful?  Standing at a grocery cart and having your ankle pull for no reason.  Or one better, when you're suffering from the black death flu and getting out of the bathtub and your ankle pulls so damn hard it nearly sends you through the wall in pain and then you cry for 10 minutes.  I think I can nut up for a couple Graston sessions.  For those who don't know what that is, this video would be similar to what I'd need done and the instruments or blunt blades, not sharp.  For the first time, he mentioned someone else who had a similar issue and had surgery and she's running marathons again.  I think by the look on my face he knew he'd better follow up with the next statement..."I do NOT think that is what we've got here or that you'll need it!  I just want you to know that there are many other options than what we're doing."

So this week I have been doing trigger point release and rolling my legs like hell.  The second I feel a tensing, I grab that stick and roll it like dough.  I've been using a new baseball for rolling my feet, which got SO tight on me last week that my arches seized up on me the day of my chiro appointment.  I can feel a SUPER tender spot on my ankle where things aren't flossing on that side so I lay the most tender part there and when it lessens, I take my foot off of it.  You've got memory muscle?  Well I'm here to give you amnesia mother effer!

The Mr has ordered a vibration board and the chiro mentioned in passing it could help me too so that'll be here today.  I'll ask him for specific things to do on there that could aid healing.  The Mr also said I might want to bite the bullet on acupuncture.  I won't lie, after seeing a video or two on it my eyes about bulged out of my head but the chiro did mention it about a month ago that it could speed healing.  I'm getting desperate so it might be time to call me the human pin cushion and scrape me like he's zesting an orange.  I will be crushed if I am still dealing with this at Christmas and I will do whatever it takes to push through this setback.

Anyone ever had Graston or acupuncture done?

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5 comments:

  1. My own opinion here but I'd rather be a pincushion than to get scraped by that blunt blade thing any day. Either way I just hope this works for you and I also hope the vibration platform gives us both some relief. We'll do a post on that I'm sure in case anyone else is interested.

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  2. My mom did accupunture a number of years ago. I was surprised she tried it, but it was proof of how desperate she was. Unfortunately it did not work for her. She ended up taking meds to control the pain in her lower back, and after a few years she was able to stop those and she has been more or less pain free for about 5 years now.

    After looking at the video I do actually have something to contribute. I had no idea what the procedure was called, but I had that technique done on my feet. The chiro used a plastic tool instead of metal, but same kind of deal. It was weird (because hello, feet are ticklish) and uncomfortable, but I wouldn't really class it as truly painful. It did make a big difference for me too.

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  3. I have had acupuncture and a technique called dry needling completed as a part of my physio and osteopathic treatments. The dry needling is an active technique where as with the acupuncture the needles were set and I was left to relax with them in for about 20 minutes after a osteopathic treatment. Not sure if they added anything or not, but I did recover from my issues.

    The dry needling definitely helped. The needles are inserted with the goal to have the muscle twitch and hopefully relax and stimulate healing. I was usually sore the day of and the day after treatment. But after that I was finding that the knots that had formed around my injury were slowly reducing in size and I could go longer and longer between treatments.

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  4. I've had graston, I've also had my achilles lock up. Grastoning hurts less in my option. I've had TPI on my peroneal (it's like dry needling but there's something in the needle, I forget plus my doc mixes it with B12). And I've had her percussion hammer my ankle to loosen it up. The percussion hammer isn't FDA approved apparently but it's like the ultrasound wand but it kinda vibrates but it looks like a 3lb dumbbell. (I'm rambling to give you other ideas)

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  5. I swear by acupuncture, I see my acupuncturist at least twice a month and more if need be. He has solved all kinds of weird issues my body has presented. Graston kind of looks like something that is available at acupuncture called Gua Shua and that is the one thing I won't let my acupunturist use on me lol Did it once, no thank you ever again. Not sure if it is indeed the same thing but it most definitely looks like some sort of scraping.

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