23 Sep 2013
I’ve had four injuries this year.
While in Brazil I got a cramp on my left calf, which took a few days to go back to normal. Back in England a similar thing happened to the right calf. Cue lots of massaging. I have a good book on trigger points which has many pages marked for ease of access!
Then in the last few months my right hip started giving me grief again, old injury. I had to stop running for nearly 18 months before. This time, instead of being on the side, it’s right deep on my buttock. Hurts when I sit down, or stretch. I haven’t been able to fully stretch on that side for some months now. I don’t know if that’s been overstretched, or if the muscle is contracted. It hurts when I do capoeira, but not when I run or cycle.
Then, on Friday the 6th of September, while I was running, my left knee started to hurt, as the day progressed it got worse. I put ice on it most of the day on Saturday (20 mins every hour), and took Naproxen for a week, and rested, apart from cycling to/from work on Tuesday/Thursday. By the next Friday there was no pain, so I went running again. It felt fine on Saturday, so I went to capoeira. Then running again on Sunday, except I got carried away an run 6.2km, should have stopped at 5km, as I had said to myself I’d never go over 5km again!
Anyway, the knee wasn’t so good after that – and another week off capoeira started. I also got the trigger point therapy book out again and started massaging the area, turns out to be the easiest muscles to massage (Vastus Lateralis/Medialis). I’m assuming this is muscular for now, rather than anything more serious. I also ordered some collagen online (from the US) and started taking glucosamine on 15/09. Still waiting for the collagen!
I’ve been walking around with a knee support bandage, and at work last week a friend noticed and told me she saw an acupuncturist who fixed her sore knee in two visits, each session costing £30. This lady used to be a doctor and then trained as an acupuncturist, a pretty common route these days. I’ve been wanting to try it for a long time, and it seemed the time had come…
So today I made my way there – the knee is slowly getting better, as I have been massaging it a lot, and I went for a run yesterday, but it’s still not right, and then my buttock is constantly aching – especially when I sit, and I sit most of the day for work. I also have a bit of right shoulder pain, due to my job. I had to cycle, getting to Lillie Road from Tooting by tube/bus is just awkward, and it’s not possible to park anywhere. So I was there in 30 minutes, but aggravated my knee pain somewhat.
Dr Yu took my pulse while I explained my complicated pain history, but I know that in acupuncture it’s all seen as connected, so I tried to give her the full picture. She said my pulse quite strong, with a lot of fire, i.e. anger. And that I need to eat less protein. Well, I have been trying to do that for a while, but lately I started eating more, as I thought my diet could causing all these injuries. She said women need more carbohydrates, men more protein. She seemed to be trying to get me to eat more rice and less raw food (I like lots of fruit) in Winter, but I don’t see myself eating less nuts and fruit than I do now. She was saying all this and writing these notes and numbers, I guess these were the places she felt she should stick the needles in… She asked me to stick my tongue out and asked if I suffered from indigestion, which I don’t, but I do get bloated if I eat pizza, so I avoid that.
I think my diet is pretty healthy, but who knows. I have energy and I sleep very well, so… We talked about stress, how I use exercise as a coping strategy, but she hinted that I need to know my limits (yup, I’m getting old, I get it). Oh, I said I used to smoke, she asked if I smoked weed. She said tobacco ain’t bad for mental health, but weed scrambles things up, emotionally. I hear you sister, seen it happen to a lot of people close to me, hence never partaking in it regularly. I don’t know, I think nicotine messes up the nervous system, but maybe I’m just generally nervous. She used the word ‘hyper’ – yep, that also fits in. I need to be always doing something, the more physical the better. How crazy my job is me sitting at a desk all day – but I do need to think a lot, that keeps me still, sometimes a couple of hours go by and I don’t notice. I would still like my job if it wasn’t for all the bullshit and politics that comes with it.
I also mentioned my lower back aches when I walk, not when I run, and that I have very flat feet. So she had her plan of action and suggested it might take 3 visits.
So we went into the treatment room, a couple of the needles were painful, others I didn’t even feel. I was there for, erm, not sure, 20 minutes? Unfortunately I have a bit of a cold, so I coughed a couple of times, and that felt quite dangerous! Moving just felt like the wrong thing to do anyway, the needles must have been touching nerve endings, well, I don’t think anyone knows for sure how it all works. I hope it works for me. Right now my knee hurts more than it was hurting before, but I had to cycle back home. I feel really sleepy too. The hip and arm feel the same as before, no change… Will report back next week.
Dr Yu was very nice though, kinda like how doctors used to be, you know, caring and interested and interesting. And very chatty, full of advice. I may not agree with all she said, but I just listened and took it all in.