Friday, January 31, 2014

Post Prolo: First Day of Exercise

So it’s been two weeks since I saw Dr. Fullerton and I’m now able to do really low-impact stuff. For example, I can now walk on a treadmill for 10 minutes!!!!!! Sad as that is, I’m happy to be out doing something. …I’m also a little surprised how winded I get walking on a 3% grade incline.  As I understand it, if I feel good from today’s work then I can do 15 minutes 

We will see how it goes.  In another two weeks I will be able to do some type of resistance training. I’m already trying to plan out some stuff and when I have it all figured out I’ll post the protocol here for all to enjoy.  I’ve reached out to my friend/trainer/pt guy in IL who programmed my rehab for my hip in the hopes that he’ll do it again. If he does this will be amazing because his understanding of the body is amazing.  Here's the latest entry for the Vlog:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Seems to be a Connection between my Right and Left Hip

Interestingly enough, even though Dr. Fullerton addressed my left not-that-painful hip, the pain in my right pectineus has gone away.  I don’t understand the reason why, I mean how could a pit in my left hip capsule affect the front of my right hip?  But my right hip pain really isn’t there anymore. On a scale of 1 to 10 it was down to like .5, but now it’s where I forget that I’m pain free. It’s the kind of pain free where I haven’t thought about it, which is the ultimate goal.

I have to admit, I wonder how much of my struggles have stemmed from the injuries/weaknesses in my back.  I know the back muscles (especially the rhomboids) play a large part in stabilizing the torso with the front squat, and that was definitely where I would fail.  My legs could handle the weight, but I would still dump the bar on the way up because I’d lose my balance.  I’ve been doing dumb bell rows, and I’ve noticed it’s way easier to pull the weight with my right arm than it is with my left. The weakness has never felt like a strength issue, it’s always felt like a “muscle just stops responding” issue. Having a frayed trap/rhomboid/lavator will do that I guess.

…The fraying of the muscles in my lower back could also be a reason why I struggle so mightily with deadlifts. A common reason why people fail a deadlift is a weak upper back. If my lavatory, etc. are frayed and weak this could be the reason why I have so much trouble with the heavy pulls. Also, if my left spinal erectors are the ones doing all of the work, then that could explain why my lower back just kills me after deadlifts.  It’s never been a matter of leg strength. Never has been. I was doing leg presses (don’t judge) of 450# for 10 reps pretty easily right before seeing Dr. Fullerton, yet I’m struggling pulling 300# off the ground and doing anything above 230# with the front squat is killer.

All these things give me hope that once I’m healed I’ll have a much higher ceiling with the front squat, deadlift, pull ups, and rows.

And the Vlog continues:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

First Prolo Treatment with Dr. Fullerton

Fist off I have to say that I really like Dr. Fullerton. He's very professional and very thorough.  Heck even my wife likes him and now thinks that prolotherapy is a valid form of treatment.  The plan was to meet him on Thursday afternoon for an examination, and then friday morning for the treatment.  The first meeting went much longer than I expected. First, it took a long time to go over my medical history. It was fairly confusing for both the PA doing my intake and myself since I've seen four different doctors in VA and IL for the hip that I wasn't seeking treatment for, while having seen a PA in NC for the shoulder pain who gave the diagnosis of a torn labrum.  There's a lot of information there that can get jumbled up over the six years I've been seeking treatment.

So after my intake was complete Dr. Fullerton came in.  Like I said, he was very thorough.  He had me do a bunch of different functional tests to see what was wrong.  It was very similar to getting an assessment from a PT.  He then used the ultrasound machine to see what was going on.  He also did palpitations to see if any spot hurt.  Using these methods he pretty much pinpointed the exact areas of pain in my back.  The lavator, the rhomboid, the trap, and the supraspinatus.  He said these muscles all looked "frayed". That's not exactly what one likes to hear, but he said he's seen worse.  This fraying is all in addition to the torn labrum.  He also found some weakness in the spinal errectors on the right said of my back.  If they couldn't do anything, perhaps my left side has to overcompensate, which is why I've always had a tight QL and pain on the left side.  He also examined my left him, the one that now doesn't seem to move as well as my right, and said there was a pit in the capsule.  That doesn't sound good.  He also found out that when doing internal rotation with that him it caused pain on the inside of the hip joint, the part right next to my junk.  I'm not sure what all of the diagnosis were or meant, all I know is that he found a boatload of problems and he had his work cut out for him.


Then I saw him the next day for treatment.  He had me do all those tests that I failed again. Then he injected me with lidocaine to numb the relevant body part.  He waited for the numbing agent to take effect, and then injected the body part with dextrose under ultrasound guidance.  After that he then had me do the test again, and I passed!  It was very strange how immediate the effect was.  For example, he twisted my hip into internal rotation and it hurt on the inner part of the joint. He then injected some solution into the outer part of the capsule, did the motion again, and it no longer hurt!  After he went over everything with Dextrose, he then did the injections of the blood.  He had 180ml drawn to be spun out, so I imagine he had a lot of PRP to work with, so I think he injected everything with the PRP as well.

There was almost no pain during the treatment. None.  The lidocaine really worked at making the real injections painless.  The pain that I did experience came from the pressure of having so much solution
Lots of band-aids after the treatment.
injected into my body.  The pain immediately after the treatment got a little intense.  It's not that the pain is really that severe, is that you know you can't get away from it, nothing you can do will alleviate the pain, and that's hard to accept.  They put an ice-pack on my back for 10 minutes (That's the max you want to do, and only the day of since you don't want to reduce any of the acute inflammation it's suppose to cause.) and gave me some Tylenol and I was good to go.

The injection sites feel like hot water balloons underneath the skin.  My hip didn't feel anything for the first two hours, but my back felt it immediately.  I was able to sit in the car while we drove back home from Austin, and then I went out and ran some errands and then went to the museum with some friends. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would've just stayed at home and slept, but I was able to do everything and anything I wanted to.

I really like that Dr. Fullerton was able to find so many things wrong.  Well, I don't mean to say that I'm happy I have so many things wrong with me, just that I feel that he was so complete that after these treatments I won't have anything unaddressed.  I won't have anything lingering.

I now definitely want him to examine my right hip once he has finished fixing the left hip, if the left hip proves not to be the source of the lingering pain in my right hip.

Given a choice between the two, I would rather go to Dr. Fullerton than Dr. Hauser. Dr. Fullerton's examination is much more complete. Dr. Hauser isn't really for diagnosing, just fixing.  So if there's something missed in the diagnosis, Dr. Hauser isn't going to find and address the problem.

Here's the part of my recordings the day of the treatment:

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Beginning of the Vlog

Alright well here we go with the shoulder labrum tear.  I've decided to start a Vlog in an attempt to try to spread the prolo word through a different medium.  I'm still going to write about it, but the writings are going to be more of a supplementation to the videos.

Here's the prologue, where I lay down some of background for why I'm seeing Dr. Fullerton. If you want the absolute full history of my shoulder/neck problems they can be found here.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Modifications to make to your Trailblazer

I know, I know. Typically this blog is about crossfit/fitness, but it's been a slow couple of months so I'm broadening the scope of the posts to keep things entertaining.

I own a 2003 Trailblazer, and have done or am doing all of these modifications/fixes. Here are the things you need to do should you come across a trailblazer, especially a 02-03 TB.

Get it re-tuned from PCMforless.  This isn't a tune up in the sense of making sure the spark plugs work correctly. This is reprogramming the car's computer to enhance performance and improve MPG.  When I had this done it completely changed my car. It no longer clunked when shifting from 2nd to 3rd, and the MPG went up from 13 to 16, not to mention I got about 20 more horsepower.  Bang for your buck, this is THE upgrade to get. Also, it’s very, very easy to do on your own. You just need a wrench that will fit and about 30 minutes.

Replace the sway bar endlinks with Maxx Endlinks. The TB just destroys OEM endlinks, but these are so beefy
Left OEM endlinks, Right Maxx endlinks
they will change the way your TB handles all by themselves. When I had mine replaced it really changed the feel of the car. It seems on the 02 and 03 models they made the bushings of super soft rubber. Upgrading them to these polyurethane will really change how the truck feels.

While you’re at it, change your rear sway bar as well with the Hotchis sway bar. This will really help with body roll, plus it comes with a set of bushings for all four wheels that will also help out with the ride.

If you experience a groan/crunch/squeak when going over bumps or when braking, the most likely culprit is the lower arm control bracket. Especially with the 02’s and 03’s, the bushings in these brackets are soft rubber and get destroyed rather easily. Replace them with a bracket that has polyurethane bushings, and it will last much longer than replacing them with rubber.

You might also want to check out the upper control arm as well, they suffer the same problem of being made with soft rubber bushings.

Replacing the shocks is also a great idea. GM designed the TB to have 5 degrees of lean, with is pretty loose. Lots of people use the Bilsteins HD and like them. I’m going for something softer so I will be getting the Ranchos SRX shocks.

Concerning brakes, my research has led me to hear good things about the brakemotive set for the TB, when my current set of brakes wear out I’ll be replacing them with these.

That’s all I have. Do these and you’ll have a TB that handles much better than stock, and will accelerate and brake much better as well. Of course, if you have any comment/criticism, please let me know in the comment section.

Monday, January 6, 2014

First WOD in over 2 years???

Recently one of my friends here in Dallas started doing Crossfit.  He’s fixing to go to Vietnam to explore the largest known cave.  He’s a fairly skinny guy, one would call him a hard gainer.  Anyways, he’s getting caught up in the Crossfit world, and I think it’s pretty cool. I envy the excitement in his eyes when he starts talking about what they did in the WOD the other day.  That high of getting your first clean, etc. I can see his passion, and I am happy he’s getting hooked.  

Well I decided to join my friends (a mutual friend also joins in on the free class) in Crossfit 214’s free intro class that’s on every Saturday.  Usually it’s just bodyweight work, something noobs can’t really mess up and it’s easy for big classes. I really wasn’t looking forward to running or whatever, but I wanted to be social and relive the ol’ Crossfit glory days.  So I decide to go and this is the WOD:

Partner WOD
AMRAP 8 minutes
3 DB Clean
6 Push Press
9 Front Squat
3 burpees (done while partner goes)

I really couldn’t have asked for a better WOD. The movements were in my wheelhouse, short AMRAP and you have built in rest because it’s a partner WOD! I had even brought my Risto’s just in case!

I went with one of my friends and we hulked out with the 30# DBs. We managed to get in 11 rounds and 1 rep, and honestly I’m not sure how it would have been possible to get 12 rounds in since there was minimal resting while performing the lifts. It was fun, I’ll admit. And something that light probably didn’t hurt any of my gainz. Surprisingly I wasn’t really sore the day of or today. I was kind of winded at the end, but my conditioning definitely held out for 8 minutes. Oh and I am still ridiculously slow with burpees. I still try to throw myself down and up but during the warm up I was behind everyone by a good 1.5 burpee.

Speaking of gains, I’m currently sitting pretty at 224, pretty much the heaviest I’ve ever been.  My 11 year old niece has commented on my belly, but I really don’t mind because while my belly has grown some, so has all of my muscles.  I’m really hoping I can hold on to this muscle while getting my shoulder treated, I’m really hoping I can sprint and perhaps some other stuff (Maybe even bicep curls!?!?!?!???) to at least maintain. I am tired of getting stronger, only to have to reset everything because of an injury. In the fall semester last year I got up to 275 for five reps on Starting Strength (SS) with the low bar back squat, but then I had to stop squatting at all for about three months and then had to start all over, with front squatting 65 pounds and that being not too easy.  Now I’ve front squatted 225 five times with SS and have gone on to the 531 program. With 531 I’ve reached all kinds or PRs on the overhead press and bench, but I fear that I might have to give that up for a while, maybe as long as six months. I hope not, but even if I do I am content with that because the pain in my shoulder is driving me crazy. Absolute bonkers. I am ready to get better, and if that means a little hiccup with my training, so be it. 

Also got a chance to meet the instructor, who happens to have FAI in one of his hips joints.  We got to talk a bit, but I could tell the was thinking  going into the convo that he was going to be the one to give me advice, and I think he was a little dismissive of the advice I had to offer him.  I know it sounds crazy that FAI, the calcification of the bone, can go away on its own but at least with me that seems to be the case.  When the PT tested me for FAI of the right hip (the one that’s gotten all of the treatment) I tested negative for FAI, and with the left hip there was some minimal pinching with internal rotation. Hopefully that is either gone or will go away with some prolo. I am really interested to see what the ultrasounds will show.