Sunday, May 15, 2016

Trigger Points and More

So it's been a helluva week, a helluva month even. Lots of consistent stressors and more to do than usual. I got knocked out of my biphasic sleep schedule, but I've still got the insomnia part that has been keeping me up til 3 or 4 in the morning. My involuntary jaw-clenching of course helps cause tension headaches, and the extra screen time I've been putting in has caused my vision to start going wonky, culminating in a migraine yesterday. On top of all that, or possibly part of the cause of all that, is that I skipped yoga this week. I've been going once a week pretty steadily, but wanting to go twice a week... and this week I went none. I can really tell a difference in my upper body.

On Friday, my fantastic hunny sent me to a massage--he says it's a pre-apology for how much time he's going to spend playing DOOM [what a keeper!]. He asked them for deep tissue and Trigger Point Therapy, which is something I've always wanted to try. Now, I've had many massages before, and even some that I considered more therapeutic than relaxing. But this--holy crap. This was a beast of a totally different color, and practically a different species. Holy crap. Two days later, I am still sore.

But I'm not complaining. No, not at all. See, that was closer to physical therapy than massage. I've been waiting for the VA to send me for myofascial release, but they have instead scheduled me with a hand therapist--twice! And they were both different therapists! [side note, there's your free healthcare, folks, are you prepared for that?] When the massage gal saw myofascial release on my paperwork, she perked up and asked if I was also a massage therapist. I told her no, I just study a lot of topics.

So way back when, I transferred high schools. Different states, even. And of course they had different standards. Because of the timing, it turned out I was short half a PE class. Top 10% of the graduating class, but they wanted that PE credit out of me. We managed to rig a sort of independent study with the community college. And that summer is where I was introduced to myofascial release. When she stretched my neck, I could hear things breaking up. It was absolutely insane. Anyways, that was a tangent.

So she is apparently the "3rd deepest" therapist they have, and holy crap I can't believe there's more levels. She very most definitely had her elbow in my shoulder blade at some point, and the knots ranged from feeling hot, burning, stabbing, dull, you name it. I came home and took a nice Epsom-CBD bath. Still sore the next day, but at least I could mostly function. I'm still sore today, but I can see how doing that on a regular basis could be very beneficial. Also, she has Fibro and scoliosis, so relatability--she said the reason she became a therapist was because of her Fibro, and she wanted to help people deal with problems like that. I don't know how she manages to keep that job on top of her conditions, she must be a tough cookie.

My face was hurting. That's a little abnormal for me unless I've got the sniffles causing sinus pressure. But all week my cheekbones have just ached. When she was working on my jaw line, she asked, "Are you clenching your jaw?" I assumed she meant in general, as in, establishing patterns... yeah no she meant right that second. And I wasn't. So my muscles are so tense that even when I'm "relaxed" they still feel max contracted. Hooray.

One thing that we talked about, which I had totally forgotten about, was Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Basically it's a nerve impingement caused by your own anatomy [yay!]. I had completely forgotten about it--but the person who introduced me to it was also a massage therapist. She was working on a point in my trap area, and my fingers started going numb. Big sign. She asked if I'd ever had neck x-rays, which is a big negatory. The impingement can be caused by all sorts of things--inflammation, mostly, but also something called a cervical rib, which of course the VA isn't going to give a crap about looking for. It's vestigial :D

But here's what I remembered. As a kid, middle school aged, my mom insisted I try sports. I played a year or so of soccer, but the running absolutely killed me. In addition to your average side-stitch, I would get an absolutely horrendous stabbing and throbbing pain--can you guess where? Under my clavicle. Where the Thoracic Outlet impingement happens. It was the same with basketball, and even in the military. I've always just sucked it up because I figured "oh, I'm just out of shape," but no, it's actually a thing. If I may be somewhat facetious, I had a better understanding of my body at the age of 13 than most doctors do now. Kind of freaking sad.

I tried to see what I could find about kinesiotaping and TOS, but sadly there are almost no resources that combine those two topics. Why the hell not?! Obviously, if the nerve is impinged, soothing the muscles and pulling them away from that area might ease the pain. [but I did find a nifty neck tape that I am going to try today]. It's kind of hard to tape yourself in the ways I need done, so I'm having to wait until the man-thing rolls out of bed, but I will follow up with pictures and details.

No comments:

Post a Comment