Monday, April 5, 2010

5 Things I've Tried To Deal With An Injury

Why do I keep talking about my injured discs? I hope that maybe my experiences can help someone else. I also hope that I can maybe inspire someone else to take care a nagging injury before age and activity makes it worse or to just get off their seat and take care of themselves.

The video above is a pretty good explanation of what happens to discs when they degenerate and what else they can affect. My unruly discs are in the cervical area and not the lower back as the animation describes. Most of my issue is in my neck and down my right shoulder and arm. The things that I've tried to do to heal my issues so that I can golf and surf without pain and/or limitations are:

1. Cortisone Injections: I've had a total of seven so far and there could be an eighth in my future. These have been incredibly effective in relieving pain, removing tight knots in muscles that have been there forever, and restoring flexibility. Getting these shots in the neck and shoulder area hasn't bothered me one bit but, I really didn't feel it so much.

2. Physical Therapy:
I have the most awesome physical therapist ever. She's very hands-on and doesn't waste my time by having me come in and do exercises while she watches. Yes, some people don't have equipment at home and won't do movements at home without supervision of a professional. Also, many won't go 3 times a week for a couple of months. I truly believe that going diligently and doing the movements that she has suggested at home has been instrumental in healing my injury.

3. Cervical Epidural Injection:
I'm not sure this procedure has done much of anything. The first two days afterward the pain that shoots down into my elbow and right hand seemed to have gone away but it has since come back with a vengeance. In addition, laying on my back has been a bit uncomfortable since the procedure since the injection site is sore.

4. Drugs:
Apparently, the treatment for the spasms that happen in my muscles is drugs - Skelaxin, Valium, and Soma. These don't work. When I take them I just catch a buzz and still have the spasms. In addition, it is impossible to get work done during the day so I can only take them at night or on weekends. This pretty much makes drugs worthless to me.

5. Acupunture: As I wrote about last week I have tried acupuncture once. I go back on Wednesday and probably a few times after that. I haven't formed an opinion about this yet but will let you know what I think after a few more visits.

Have you had any treatments for an injury? What did you do and how did it go?


Lindsay said...

I'm lucky and haven't had any injuries that were too serious. I've had some pretty bad cases of runners knee, torn hamstrings and lingering ankle pain, and really the only thing that helps me is taking some time off (so hard!). For the rest of my aches and pains, I've found that for the most part if I press on, my body will eventually heal on its own. Of course, I've been lucky and have never had a serious injury.

I'm with you on the Valium. I can't stand feeling dazed and confused. There's other drugs for that, right? :)

Apryl DeLancey said...

Yeah, if I want to catch a buzz I'll just have a good Belgian beer. The doc told me that they'll all get me high. I asked him for one that would at least take the spasm away if it made me loopy instead of just loopy and feeling the spasm still. Tonight I'm trying a new one so we'll see if it works!