Friday, April 2, 2010

Road To Injury Recovery: Acupuncture

If you've been reading this blog for at least a few months then you know that I have been dealing with a chronic neck and shoulder issue. Basically, I have bulging and degenerative discs in my neck that cause a plethora of issues that transmit down my right shoulder and arm.

You also may realize that I am really, really committed to healing these issues and obtaining my optimal performance when I golf, surf, or perform any other physical activity.

I've had a total of 7 cortisone shots, 31 physical therapy visits, and one cervial epidural injection to treat this. In addition to this I stay hydrated, eat right, and do my prescribed exercises.

The epidural was last week and was the piece that should have brought a lot of relief for the nerve pain that shoots into my right elbow and hand. Unfortunately, the last 2 days have been back to the excruciating pain and discomfort in my right arm. Ugh.

Don't get me wrong - everything that I have done so far has increased my flexibility and stamina. The discomfort, ache, burning, and "pins & needles" feeling won't go away though. Every time one spot loosens up and feels sort of normal, another takes it's place. As I write this I'm having a massive spasm in my back just under the right shoulder blade.

Today I decided to try something new - acupuncture. People swear by it and I found a practitioner that not only has a beautiful and relaxing facility but is a marathoner. He's got rave reviews on the web too. I purposely chose an competitive athlete so that I wouldn't have to hear the "don't surf or golf" bit.

I must say, it was a bit odd at first but quite fabulous. The only time any of the needles hurt going in was in sensitive places on my hands and feet. The combination of the needles, heat, and vigorous massage were quite relaxing. I've got to go back on Wednesday and then determine how many treatments I should have.

Yeah, quite a week scheduled - back to the sports med doc on Monday for a follow-up, PT on Tuesday, and acupuncture on Wednesday. I really hope the latter works. Keep your fingers crossed and I'll let you know how it goes.


Mike said...

I know Chinese medical practices (like acupuncture) get a bad rap sometimes because of the "less than technological" explanations given to explain how they work, but there has been enough study done to show that the stuff is sound. If you didn't know, the "pressure points" really are actual nerve clusters, and stimulating them does help improve circulation in those areas, which should speed up healing. As long as you've got someone who knows what they're doing, you'll probably see some serious improvement.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Angelinos are exposed to quite a bit of Eastern medicine (e.g. many local teaching facilities) so we are probably less averse than many. I'm really excited about my next visit and can't wait to see results!

Heather said...

OMG! I was in Florida while you were in pain. This just sucks! I'm glad you are with someone you feel comfortable with. I hope you get quick results and I'm very interested to hear about your experience.

Rock Chick Golfers need to be on the course, not in hospitals!

Apryl DeLancey said...

I'm glad you were off in Florida escaping the grips of Old Man Winter!

Thanks for the well wishes! I was only in the hospital for about 4-5 hours so it wasn't so bad. I'm getting there!

Lindsay said...

I hope you are feeling better! I'm glad to hear that the acupuncture seems to be working. I've never had it done, but it sounds so relaxing.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Thanks Lindsay! I go for my second session tomorrow morning so I hope it starts building up!