I AM SCREWED (HELP, PLEASE)
Just exactly what I don't need (not that anybody needs this).
I woke up on Saturday morning three weeks ago and thought I had "slept wrong" on my left arm. It was sore and my fingers --index and the next one over-- were tingling and a bit insensitve. When I went to do my morning workout, I could only do half-pushups; my shoulder hurt a great deal and I couldn't get down past about 45-50 degrees, because my arm lost all its power and I collapsed on that side.
I couldn't get to my doctor, so I went to the chiropractor I use sometimes. He crunched my upper back and neck and re-set my shoulder, saying that should take care of it. It didn't: it stayed the same.
I got to my doctor, who is a GP and an osteopath. He listened to my symptoms and said I had herniated a disc in my neck, which was pressing on the nerve root. He did some stretching on my neck and gave me some stretching to do at home, as well as some drug to ease the pains in the arm and let me sleep. Neither the drug nor the stretching has done anything. It didn't get better or worse, just stayed the same.
A friend of a friend is a neurologist and he agreed to see me. He says that this has two causes. First, he said that my back and neck need several sessions of deep tissue massage and "active release" to get rid of misaligmnent caused by some long term stress and that those "knots" are causing an old shoulder injury to flare up and the swelling is pinching off the nerve. I have had a couple of sessions (which hurt WAY worse than sparring).
They initially seemed to help but the symptoms have all returned, worse than before. I can barely manage "girl" pushups and I am only getting about two hours of sleep.
ANY ideas, ANY thoughts, please.
Deep tissue massage: Thai or Tuina.
Also, learn to relax all the time all of your muscles. Get to know all the groups and individual muscles, and practice great posture.
For a quick fix - start getting some deep tissue massage. Your neurologist is very clever, in my opinion. But take my advice - when they are digging deep into your bones, DON'T TENSE UP!! You have to relax that muscle no matter what s/he is doing to you. It will not take as long in that position if the therapist feels you are relaxed.
The massage terrorist only described it as "swedish" techniques.
Originally Posted by genghispie
Past that, I'd say you're very perceptive. I've been carrying a lot of personal stuff for a couple of years now and "relax" isn't exactly a household word.
At one point, he let out a kind of pained grunt and I asked him what he was doing. He said "well, you've got a lot of stuff here to break down and I'm using my elbow to get in deeper. Try to relax". His ELBOW? Christ on a cracker. To sum up, I had to work at relaxing, if that isn't an oxymoron.
Originally Posted by Arctos1964
My friends who do Tuina are pretty muscley as they are fighting-fit. They put their whole weight into their elbows and dig deep, or press with their thumbs into the neck and other areas. If it wasn't so devastatingly painful, it would be soooo goooood.
As for my friend who does Thai massage, he tends to focus on the tenseness when people can't relax what is being massaged. I should say, "massaged", heh. He holds the position until the patient relaxes. His clients sometimes laugh from the depth of the experience, until they yell. A little bit disheartening for the person in the waiting room.
I'm not going to suggest meditation, because that is something you do/will do when you want to, and it cannot really be pushed - now THAT is an oxymoron (but not literarily. You get my drift...). My point is to find a way to relax and to start to be mindful of your body. When you do this, and you train, you can create a body always in good posture, and always knows what to do and how to do it.
I don't know much about these practices but at this point, I think I would try about anything.
Originally Posted by genghispie
One pertinent bit of information that I neglected earlier is that the neurologist said that while he didn't completely discount that it could involve my neck, he said the fact that I have no pain or mobility problems in my neck made it much less likely. So, a big part of the problem is that I have two viewpoints that are, for any practical purposes, diametrically opposed.
Muscle relaxers and Advil.
What Yrkoon9 said. Seriously.
Dude, c'mon. If someone else tells you to invoke Obi-wan Kenobi, you'd do it? THINK!
Originally Posted by Arctos1964
The different points of view are not diametrically opposed. These problems can be as simple as a cramped muscle or as complex as a herniated disk on your neck or a trap muscle contracted on one side and an IT band contracted on the opposite (pulling you into an S shape.)
Anyways, you are supposed to get myofascial (active) release sessions continuously. Just like chiropractor alignments or rehab sessions with a PT, it's not a one-time or two-time deal.
Soooo, regarding your questions:
Yep. Sadly, you need to keep going, and be ready to be at it for a month or two. More importantly, ask your massage therapist for instructions on what you can do at home.
ANY ideas, ANY thoughts, please
I'm including a thread I just made for this specific purpose (at the bottom of this post), but read the following very careful.
This is very important. If you are looking for a one-time fix, you are not going to find it, specially if there is some severity on it.
You have to learn how to stretch and align yourself as well as apply myofascial release methods on you (via foam rolls, pins or tennis balls, specially on your neck and traps.)
Information and knowledge are powah! ****, that was deep. Anyways, don't just be a victim waiting hopelessly for a physician, chiro or massage therapist to fix you. Learn how to take care of yourself. A chiro or massage therapist will tell you what to do when it comes to do stretching, realignment and myofascial release by yourself.
On another note, unless you have a medical condition that stops you from using otc nsaids like ibuprofen, use them. Take two ibuprofen with a FULL glass of water every 4 hours down the clock WITHOUT SKIPPING ANY for 2-4 days, starting right when you wake up. If the pain is really a bitch, put an alarm to wake yourself at night to take it. Seriously.
Stop at the fourth day even if the pain continues (since it's bad for your livers, not that you are going to die and ****, but that's how it's supposed to be used.)
Anyways, that's what you need to do to help reduce the inflamation in the affected area.
In the meantime, get a tennis ball and do the steps I outlined here (I'm not a doctor or **** like that, so do it at your own risk):
Neck/Thoraccic Myofascial Release Using a Tennis Ball - No BS Martial Arts
Last edited by Teh El Macho; 6/08/2008 9:59pm at .
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Get an MRI done as soon as possible...
I had similar symptoms, shoulder pain, numbness tingling, and loss of strength in left arm, after a major car accident about 8 years ago. After the accident I went to the emergency room where the x-rays and basic exams showed no signs of spinal trauma. I went through months of chiropractic and neurological treatments including massage, manipulations, hot and cold therapy, electro nerve stimulation, injections, medications, etc, etc, etc…
I finally decided to see a neurosurgeon after none of this stuff helped with the pain for more than a day at a time. The first thing he did was order a cervical MRI which disclosed a severely herniated disc at level C4-5 along with spondalosis, forminal senosis, and spinal mylopathy (not sure of spelling on these). All of that basically means compression of one of nerve roots supplying my arm and shoulder and compression and narrowing of the spinal cord between the two vertebrae in my neck where the disc was blown out. The doctor decided that surgery would be best for my problem.
Surgery was through the front of my neck. They removed the herniated disc and used two bone pieces from a donor (cadaver) to fuse the vertebrae together. They could have harvested bone from my hip but that would have kept me off my feet for a few additional weeks instead of being able to walk out after surgery. They then screwed in a titanium plate over the bone grafts. A neck brace was required for a short time after surgery and after about 3 weeks recovery I was as good as new.
Excuse the deleting of most of your reply post. The ball exercises are an excellent idea and your thread shows them clearly. I'll be starting them tonight. I appreciate you taking the time to post in detail. I'd like to stress here that I'm not sitting about waiting to get better; I've been working diligently with the knowledge I have and I have been doing deep tissue stuff. I'd take a picture of my back but I don't want to get banned for being obscene. :)
Originally Posted by Teh El Macho
I'm still exercising and stretching with all the stretches I know as well as the ones shown me in the last couple of weeks.
I've tried Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Robaxisal, one of my girlfriend's Midol and I've been taking my doc's prescription as instructed.
The trouble is, none of it seems to be working. I'm not a doctor; in the ancient past, I was a trained combat medic but it doesn't add up to shite in a situation like this.
I will beat this. I'm just kinda lost at the moment; I've relied on my strength my whole life.
Thank you for giving me something to try. Don't be hard on the first responder; I asked for anything and everything and it was meant in a helpful way.
Listen to this man.
Originally Posted by Jon H
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