Alright well I'm feeling pretty good about what just got treated over at proloaustin. Dr. Fullerton had me flex my back, noticed some atrophy on the left (painful) side, injected some suspected points of injury with numbing agent, and had me flex again. The difference was pretty substantial, as shown in the pictures. The pain went away and I felt the muscles in my upper back relax. Nerve blocking, as I believe it's called, is quite the diagnostic technique.
So he addressed the serratus and perhaps some of the rhomboid or lower trap. What he treated was very substantial, and it felt like this is what is is causing the remaining discomfort I'm feeling. I don't know if I'll need a second treatment of this area, but this area definitely needed to be treated, so I feel good about that.
With the hip, I showed Dr. Fullerton the exercise that I performed that caused all the damage to my hip. That proved to be really helpful, and so he wanted to check out my hip flexors. The psoas actually seemed to be in good shape, but the iliacus was a different story. He also found some lingering damage with the rectus femoris. I think the iliacus was the last piece of the puzzle as well.
I feel really good, feel really hopeful right now.
Friday, November 25, 2016
So just checking in on how I'm recovering from getting my serratus and iliacus treated with PRP injections
First, I'd like to say that I'm changing up the format of my vlog here. I started out recording this as like the "torn labrum" chronicles, but as I've progressed I've found that the torn labrum in my shoulder was just one, kind of small, piece of the pain puzzle. So now I'm focusing more on just how a PRP treatment affects me in one specific area.
For example, I've come to realize that Dr. Fullerton works best when he knows what action causes pain. If I tell him "It hurts when I do X" it is much, much, more helpful than saying "It hurts here all the time"
Realizing this, I went in to the last treatment saying it hurts when I do overhand lat pull downs, especially wide grip. This led to him having me flex, where he saw some asymmetries. Here's a pic of me flexing. Then he numbed out the serratus in certain areas with injections of lidocaine and had me flex again. Here's a pic of that. There was a pretty big difference in appearance, and the pain went away when he administered the numbing agent. This technique is called nerve blocking, I believe.
So with this info he did the PRP injections in my back in those places. Low and behold, when I went got back into the gym and tried overhand lat pull downs, they no longer hurt. I'm also noticing improvement with my overhead press being more symmetrical. I also just feel better in general. Like I'm in less pain.
My point with all of this is that the treatment was a success in treating the issue that I presented to Dr. Fullerton. However, it seems like there are still some more underlying issues, as I'm still in pain some all the time, just less so. The motion that really sets me off is pulling my scapula down, which is what I'm going to present to Dr. Fullerton for next time.
After getting a PRP treatment my body is usually really tight, the muscles respond to the trauma by forming these big knots/adhesions. These are painful, so I try to get them treated with soft tissue work. I've tried dry needling, which has proven pretty helpful, but I'm still left a bit unsatisfied with my PT. So I try other modalities. Like I have seen a chiropractor, and that was really helpful once because they found a rib out of joint and when they put that back in there was substantial pain relief.
The latest modality I'm trying is rolfing. She came recommended by my sprinting coach, so I figured she was legit. She was definitely legit. She just looked at me and with a glance was like "ok your serratus needs to be worked on". She knew all the problems with my upper body were on my left side. And boy did she find things. Apparently my neck is "special" and she tried very hard to get my sternocleidomastoid to release but wasn't able to get it to release completely. So she recommended that I see an acupuncturist, as the mastoid/neck muscles tend to respond really well to that kind of treatment.
So I went and had that done, and the acupuncturist also did some cupping, and when he placed the cup on my mastoid it provided the most relief I have felt in some time. The day of and the day following I was completely pain free, it was amazing. Sadly some of the pain has come back, but not completely. So progress is being made, and I'm happy with that.
So with regards to the upper back/neck, I feel like there still might be something going on in the front, something that may be causing my sternocleidomastoid muscle to tighten up. Dr. Fullerton has found damage in the first and second rib as well as the sternoclavicular joint, so perhaps something is still lingering there. The rolfer found some issues with my pec minor and with the levator muscles on my front side. Maybe this is all in response to the issue that I have in my back, but perhaps not. This is the frustrating thing, I can't be sure what's the cause and what's the effect. But I will document my symptoms here.
With regards to the hip, I definitely feel better in some regards, my feet now line up symmetrically, and I no longer have that pain in my hip when I go to raise my leg in walking (which was the pain I described to Dr. Fullerton). So I think the iliacus was the culprit with some of the pain in my hip.
However, I tried doing windshield wipers the other day and the rotation sent a huge, HUGE, shock of pain through my side. So whatever muscles are used with that motion, there's something really wrong with that. Perhaps my obliques? I don't know, I'll take it up with Dr. Fullerton when I see him next.
So there we have it. Dr. Fullerton successfully treated all the symptoms that I told him was going on. It just turns out that there are other things/motions that caused pain as well.
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
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.