Thursday, January 22, 2015

Prickly Situation

For a couple of weeks, I have been receiving physiotherapy for my lower-back pain. With this treatment, I am gradually returning to normal—I think.

I love the TENS unit: the electric current numbs the pain and relaxes the muscles.

The ultrasound further eases the tension, and apart from the smooth device moving over my skin and the cool gel, I feel nothing during the treatment.

There are doughnut-sized suction cups that are filled with damp sponges, connected to a machine that, like the TENS, sends an electric current over my back. I can control the intensity, and I turn it up until it is almost painful, but when it's done, I feel great.

My physiotherapist has provided exercises to move the slipped disk back into place and to strengthen my core muscles. He massages the muscles and gently manipulates my vertebrae, ensuring that everything is where it's supposed to be.

But yesterday, he tried something that, in a nutshell, I just didn't like: acupuncture.

DD11 made me remove my moles and smooth my skin. I drew the line at removing the hair. The red is from a heat pad.

I have friends that swear by this ancient form of pain treatment, and I'm truly happy for them. But here's why it's not for me.

I don't like needles: I can get a shot and I can give blood, but I don't like the prick and I cannot, under any circumstances, watch somebody stick one in me. But I had 12 needles placed into my back, at the same time, and they were left there for more than 15 minutes. I could feel them the entire time, and I did not like the sensation.

I tensed up with the first needle, and by the time the twelfth one was in me, my back was one firm piece of meat, and it never settled down. I felt as though I had flexed my back and it had become stuck: even after my physiotherapist had removed the needles, my back remained tense.

When the TENS unit and other devices are used, my muscles may spasm through the treatment, but I experience no pain and when the device is removed, my back feels good. With the acupuncture needles out, my back was sore. It remained sore through the rest of my visit. It remained sore on the drive home. It remained sore through dinner, Dragon's Den, and The Book of Negroes.

Writing this post, my back hurts.

My next visit to the physiotherapist is tomorrow (Friday). I look forward to the TENS unit, the ultrasound, the suction cups. I happily anticipate the massage and spinal manipulation.

Acupuncture, not so much.

1 comment:

  1. I received a nice comment from Joan Stevens:

    "I agree – needles could be pretty excruciating at times! But if it helps you get better, then maybe it’s worth it. Anyway, it’s nice to know that the treatments you’ve been receiving from your physiotherapy is helping you recover gradually. I hope you can recover as soon as possible. Thanks for sharing this with us, Ross. Take care!"

    There are really nice words. However, she signed off with a link to her business, which made her message seem disingenuous.

    Please: if you wish to leave a comment, leave one without a link to a company. I will delete any such message. If you want my readers to go to a site that is related to my post but is not taking the reader to your business, I'm fine with that.