These are my pain points I assessed on Day 1 with their current status:
- Neck: Mild - only on left side now (when I've been feeling it mostly on the right for the past 2 years)
- Right shoulder: None (seems to have been relieved from a neck stretching incident)
- Right lower back: Faint, less than mild
- Left hip flexor: Faint, less than mild
- Top of foot pain (new, made me take a break from yoga and running from day 7): Dull ache after walking 5 miles intermittently on Sunday. Otherwise fine but not walking that much.
But, I didn't really work on my pain the way I envisioned with daily meditation and daily resistance band exercises. Some people are more draconian than others in sticking to a strict schedule, so if reading about this laxity disgusts you, then please, switch to another thread.
Given my rest state, I'm investing the time and money to get motivated from professional guidance since trying my own self-care is not enough. I kept thinking to myself that yoga was enough to relieve the pain so much, and with that gone, I feel a bit lost. I made these appointments so I can stop obsessing about what is wrong with me and make it someone else's problem. Yes, the whole body is connected, but, apparently there isn't enough time to address all my pain in one visit. I am parsing out each issue separately for now since I have the time, and it's a new year for me try to maximize my healthcare benefits.
Visit with new physical therapist visit was useful for my neck pain
- He confirmed that my posture is good (when most people slump shoulders and head while working at a computer), but, my thoracic spine is so stiff / straight that it's so hard to round, and that may be why there is so pressure on my neck.
- Cat and cow are the best stretches for me - I didn't realize how good it feels when I do cat, but I stopped because this position put the top of my foot down on the mat. My PT showed me how to just hook my right foot over my left ankle to protect my right foot.
Tomorrow: try out a meditation and stress reduction class co-taught by a Tibetan monk and clinical psychologist
- It's also covered by insurance as group therapy, so, I'll see where it lies on the spectrum between traditional group therapy or free meditation classes I've been to before.
Next week: see an orthopedic foot specialist my foot pain
- My PT told me they need separate referrals for each body part focus, and I only got one for neck/shoulder pain. Pretty inefficient when I can see specialty doctors without referrals, and, the orthopedic will probably at the end give me a referral back to PT, but, at least I'll have another opinion from a different perspective.
Pending next week / next month: an orthopedic spine / back specialist to rule out joints misalignment (and minor scoliosis in my upper back as suspected by my massage therapist - it actually makes sense why I can't bend it forward or back easily if this were true)
- Maybe there is some truth to vertebrae and joint alignment. 2 years ago, my previous physical therapist said she was popping my neck joints back in, but I didn't really believe her. But, yesterday while stretching my neck back and trying to massage out some parts, I felt a nub off-center to the right of my neck that retracted when I was gently touching it to figure out if it were just a knot. Then the craziest thing is all that right shoulder pain just disappeared after that, and, I've never felt so lightweight and free in more than 2 years.
- My massage therapist recommended a chiropractor to me, but I got scared about extreme adjustment stories. Yet, I also got scared to see an orthopedic because most of them are also surgeons, so I assumed it would be invasive. But, I realized I can just go to an orthopedic first for a diagnosis and then figure out my options. Again, I may just end up getting referred back to PT, but, with a new perspective.
I suppose all of the above is justification to myself that I am not scheduling random appointments to make myself feel better.