Pain Still Sucks

So, I went to my 3rd physical therapy appointment today. I have had some slight, temporary improvement since starting physical therapy, but my pain levels and low triggers are causing my therapist concern.

I still haven’t gotten approval from the insurance company for the MRI. After nearly daily calls, it’s still “pending.”

Right before my first PT appointment, I did yin yoga with Kaley at (The Studio at) CrossFit SoCo. And my back felt awesome.

My first physical therapy appointment was an assessment. Through that, it seems that I have no reflex response on my right Achilles tendon. Francisco kept tapping on it with that little rubber hammer, and I didn’t feel a thing. That was disconcerting. Also, there was some weakness in my right big toe, compared with my left. This got the diagnosis to the L5/S1 vertebra. Additionally, I have nerve pain in both legs (bilateral is the medical term) meant it was more than sciatica, which usually occurs on one side.

So, he had me do different movements, to see which ones caused pain and which didn’t. Also, a gentle manual compression that was uncomfortable, and mostly bearable.

Many of the exercises he gave me were yoga poses I already knew, and helpfully supplied the “proper” names to him for them: child’s pose, cobra, cat/cow, reclining figure 4. All of which I had already been doing because they do provide temporary relief.

And the goal has been “centralization.” Essentially, move the pain from the nerves down the legs into the back. The first PT session did that. And my back was hurting. For a few hours at least. But it went right back down my legs again.

Luckily, I ice at night and am able to sleep well. I have had to change from sleeping on my side to sleeping on my back or stomach. When I wake up, and start to stretch my legs out at all, that’s when my pain is most severe, shooting down both legs with any movement. It eventually subsides, thankfully.

My problem right now is walking. And standing in one place for more than a few minutes. Those two activities cause me the most nerve pain. And I might be doing some pain blocking when I do have to walk. A long walk with the family and dogs nearly did me in.

And for the latest trip to Elitch Gardens with the boys, I spent more time on my lounge chair and on benches than I did on rides.

My second session was with a different therapist. We did a lot of similar movements and added some new ones.

I haven’t done any CrossFit in over a week. It’s so frustrating to be so limited. I hide my pain well. Except for my mom, apparently. Last time I was at her house, I got up to throw something in the trash.
“What’s wrong with you?!” she demanded.
“You’re not standing up straight.”
Oh. Busted.

Yoga has been good, except for some forward folds – butterfly/dragonfly – which I prefer to take up the wall anyway. And crescent lunge and backbends are particularly difficult, so I need to avoid those next time I do power/flow.

My 3rd PT appointment was with Francisco again. He saw that I had some improvement, but was concerned that some movements, as well as standing for a few minutes, would immediately cause nerve pain. He’s so funny – I can see the disappointment in his face right away when the thing he was hoping would work did not help alleviate the pain.

I told him I did try inversion after yoga on Monday and felt pretty good that day and the next. So, I’ll try that again tomorrow. I’ve got another PT appt on Friday.

So, I can get some temporary relief, but it’s still painful and easily triggered. I’ll continue with yoga and PT while I wait on approval of the MRI. Stay tuned!

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