Monday, August 22, 2016

So I feel like I'm near the end of my pain/prp journey. I know I've felt this way for, like, years now, but I really do feel that I'm nearing the end.  ...In the beginning, after a treatment it felt like I had a new body, it was behaving so differently that I had to spend a lot of time figuring out how to use it.  Now, it's starting to feel like I'm just no longer in pain in that particular area. 

For example, after Dr. Fullerton addressed my glute med, I now squat with a symmetrical stance. It used to be my feet were always staggered a little, now my feet are both underneath me. But that's it. It doesn't feel like things are working completely differently, when I resumed squatting it didn't feel like all kinds of muscles were being used differently. I didn't get random DOMS in odd muscles. Now things just work better and I'm in less pain. 

Pretty much the same story with my shoulder. I can now keep my scapula retracted while pressing, and I'm in less pain, but it's not like my tricep or pec minor is suddenly working differently.

If Dr. Fullerton were to retire and I couldn't see him again, I would be disappointed but I wouldn't feel doomed. The pain that I have in my shoulder is very manageable, though the pain in my hip does flare up from time to time.

For my hip, the location seems to point to the psoas. When I read the symptoms of an injured psoas, my symptoms check off pretty much the entire list. I have some nebulous groin pain, I have pain in my lower back, it takes some effort to stand upright, and the knee on the opposite side doesn't feel like it's working right.

For my shoulder, things are less clear. My upper trap and posterior scalene are tight a lot of the times, as well as my infraspinatus. But if I were a betting man I would say they are responding to issues lower down my back.  Like the intercostals or my lat or both.  Whenever the chiro works those muscles I feel like it's addressing the cause of everything. We will see when I see Dr. Fullerton again.

Now that I have normal testosterone levels, I'm really seeing gains in the gym. I've lost about 20 pounds over the past two months, and all my track times are going down (as you would expect with being lighter) and my strength seems to still be going up. So things are really awesome right now. I don't want to mess with this by taking a month off again, but this nagging hip/psoas pain is starting to get to the point where I think it will be worth it.  I think once pool/track season is at an end I'll get my (hopefully) last treatment from Dr. Fullerton. Feel like a broken record saying that.

So that's where I stand: I'm in a good place, but I feel like I'm *this* close to being 100%, and that excites and scares me a bit.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Seventh PRP treatment for the neck/shoulder

Alright well went had had my trap treated.  Like every other time I've had a treatment, I hope this is the last one.  ...I imagine it really could be because a 40% trap tear HAS to be the main source of my pain/discomfort.  I should also say that Dr. Fullerton treated my first and second rib, and that has helped with the discomfort I have in my neck.  Here's the vid of me actually getting the treatment, very nice of Dr. Fullerton to let me record it.

Friday, September 11, 2015

It's a Traps!!!!

So I just got back from seeing Dr. Fullerton. I saw him simply for diagnostic purposes, because I felt like he was a bit rushed in diagnosing and treating whatever he found, all in one session.  So I thought to see him to just figure out what is wrong, and come up with a game plan from there.  He checked out my shoulder, especially my upper back, and he found that I have torn my trap muscle, in the mid-back area.  This is probably the main source of the pain I’m currently experiencing.  He also checked out the shoulder capsule and the infraspinatus (a muscle that gets needled regularly). If he found anything he didn’t comment on it, but he was mostly excited about finding the tear in the trap. I think he was excited because he found it using techniques with the ultrasound that he had learned about earlier this year.  Secondly, I think he was impressed at the extent of the damage. The tear wasn’t just in the tendon/ligament, it was in the actual muscle belly as well.

He also checked out my hip. While it is so much better than prior his treatments, it still bothers me to raise my right leg to my knee.  He found some damage to the tendon that the adductor magnus attaches to, as well as some damage to where that particular tendon continues on up to the abdominal rectus.  Hopefully the next treatment I get will be my last for that.  …Story of my life right?

I’m not as hopeful that the next treatment for my shoulder/trap will be my last, mostly because I fear there is something going on in the front of the AC joint as well.  Dr. Fullerton is only really able to address one thing at a time, so I understand his focus on the back.  I just worry that I will need yet another treatment after this.

Because of the timing of things, I don’t expect to see him again until around January.  I need to get some other things in order before I go see him again.  But I have hope still; I think I can actually beat this.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Possibly the last treatment for my right hip????

Well, hopefully these next few months will be my last series of posts dealing with hip pain.  I think I’ve finally resolved the last piece of the puzzle, at least concerning my right hip.  I saw Dr. Fullerton this past Friday, and having been tired of him addressing my shoulder and then running out of time to address my hip, I decided to make this appointment all about the hip.  He went through the notes from past visits, and asked to see my side lunge.  

The side lunge is a stretch that I can do very easily with my left hip, but not so easily with my right side.  I can’t do it on the right side because my groin is too tight, nor is it easy to balance. So after seeing the imbalance with the stretching, he then did some injections around my inguinal crease (some of the damage was underneath my femoral artery/nerve) and then had me try it again.  This time I could do it a lot better because my groin wasn’t tight, but I still couldn’t balance like I could on my left side.  He then performed some injections on the more outer part of my hip, and then this time when I tried it I could stretch my right leg just like my left leg. 

It was ridiculous how easy it was to perform that stretch on my right side.  I remember showing the asymetry to a PT and he was like “well maybe over the years your hip has adapted to various pathologies and now, that’s just how it works.” He made it sound like it was permanent and couldn’t be fixed.  Well, it can be fixed, and Dr. Fullerton fixed it.  It’s been a few days since seeing Dr. Fullerton, and my hip has clicked a couple of times with very slight movement, like shifting weight in bed.  Of course I worry that I’m doing something to make the hip out of socket, but perhaps it’s always been out of whack that and now for the first time it’s starting to behave properly.  I am also noticing some muscles surrounding my LEFT knee are spasming.  I’ve noticed that when I get one muscle treated, if it’s been affecting another muscle, that other muscle will start spasming as it releases.  So perhaps my right hip has been affecting my left knee. Pretty cool stuff.

Once I’m allowed back into resistance training, I’m planning on doing some pilates and yoga to work on these muscles.  I imagine with a healed hip the movements will be much easier to perform.  They say to help deal with injuries you need to work on core strength, but what happens when it’s your core that is injured? Anyways, I am looking forward to testing it out and will report back on how it handles.  I’m not posting a video about this because my vlog is more about my shoulder recovery than dealing with my hips.

In a couple of days I will see Dr. Fullerton yet again for him to treat my shoulder, so I'll report back with that.

Six weeks out from fifth prolotherapy treatment

So it’s been about two weeks of resistance training after my fifth prolotherapy treatment.  As I predicted, at the two week mark I started to get all of my old pains back. And, as I predicted, after that I started to get back to feeling better.  As of right now, there are days where I don’t even notice any pain in my back area, and there are some days where I feel the need to try to roll out some knots. 

I also think I’m starting to realize that the discomfort I’m feeling is stemming from the issues in the front of my shoulder.  I realize that most of the discomfort I’m feeling is from tight neck muscles in the front of my shoulder, like the scalene and the sternocleidomastoid. So for the next session I hope for him to check that out and make sure everything is fine.  I remember one session where he poked the front of my shoulder and it hurt a lot, and it made him go “Hmmm” but he didn’t do anything about it because he decided to address the damage to the back first.  Perhaps it is time for him to try that again and see what happens. Wouldn’t surprise me if there was something wrong with the front of my shoulder too. Sigh.

Did a little bit of the phase one stuff, and nothing felt… rusty. Every movement came pretty easily.  I still did real light weight and in slow, controlled movements.  After all of that I then did a little bit of Indian clubs.  I worked with the two pounders and  there was one motion that stretched my shoulder and it felt… significant. It kind of hurt, but it was the pain that I’ve associated with adhesions tearing, and not injury pain.  As soon as I stopped clubbing I felt fine.

It still doesn’t feel quite right in my left side when I try to pull down my shoulder blade, but perhaps that’s because it’s playing tug of war with my shoulder, it’s hard to tell.

I saw my PT that does dry needling, and he found a huge knot in my pec, probably from the trauma of the prp injection. 

I really haven’t been able to push myself with heavy weights yet because I was in an accident and right now my car is in a shop. I can’t get to a gym so I’ve been using the apartment’s fitness center but they don’t even have a barbell so I’m kind of stuck.  I’m hoping to get a temporary gym membership down the street but we will see.

I am able to do thinks like Dumbbell squats, and I have to say my core feels a lot more stable now on the left side.  I used to feel kind of… wobbly.  I also feel like I have more control over my shoulder blade, even if I keep finding myself with a forward-oriented shoulder.

…It’s been over a year now of seeing Dr. Fullerton, and I thought after a year I would just stop and give up.  But because I keep feeling better each time, I keep seeing improvement, I don’t want to stop.  Instead, I’m excited to see how much better I will feel after the next treatment. I’m sure I’m coming off a little strangely with this, but I’ve always been one to take care of things: My car, my chief knives, my butcher’s block, etc.  But the most basic thing to take care of is my body, and it seems that I didn't do a good job of that earlier in life.  Now that I'm a little wiser, I want to be pain free.  I want my body to work the way it was intended to work.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

11 days out from my fifth Prolotherapy treatment

It's not yet two weeks out from the fifth treatment, but I'm really feeling better. I think a lot of the discomfort I was experiencing was stemming from the damage to my rib cage.  It's also pretty amazing how much my shoulder has changed after just one treatment to the shoulder capsule.

I don't know why, but Dr. Fullerton kind of ignored the shoulder capsule this time, even though I was pretty certain I could use another treatment.  He asked of I could hold a plank now, and I said something like, "Maybe??"  I didn't really know how to respond because I haven't tried doing a plank/push up since the last treatment.  ...I now realize that I should've simply said that, but for some reason I felt nervous and just didn't know what to say.

I'm still pretty impressed with how much more I can decompress my left ear now.  It's pretty much identical to the right ear.  Also I haven't felt as near as much need now to try to crack my neck, so that is obviously a good thing.

I still feel the need to try to roll out some areas in my upper back, like where the upper trap attaches to the shoulder blade, I think?   One of the hardest things about this whole process is that because it's my back, I can't easily point to it.  Like I can only approximate the location.  I think next time I will have to roll out and then turn around and show him where my skin is red.

I've really been tempted to go early this January and get a treatment just for my hips, but I think I will probably just wait it out for the next time.  ...if my shoulder/back is still giving my trouble I will book two sessions a week apart, and go from there.  So I guess I'm betting that I will need a sixth treatment on my back.  ...That's kind of sad, but I keep getting so much better after each session.

We will see;  we will see.

Fifth Prolotherapy treatment.

Sorry y'all for not having been more active, my laptop has been down for a month and I really didn't feel comfortable using my work computer to upload blog posts (government security and all).  Anyways, it's back and so am I.  Here's the vid I took right after my fifth treatment.  We had a major breakthrough in that it seems my ribs were "looking pretty rough" under the ultrasound.  When I had the injection at my chest it felt like a huge pressure/weight had been lifted. It was a type of pain I didn't even know was there because I was simply so used to it.

Anyways, here's the vid: