Saturday, June 20, 2009

The blogging laziness continues...

I have still been working out regularly, I've just been too preoccupied to blog my workouts.

What have I been preoccupied with? My stinking numb/tingly/aching right hand. It gets better, it gets worse. The official diagnosis: cervical radiculitis. It is effecting the nerves in the thoracic outlet, but it is coming from nerves up by the cervical spine getting pinched.

Why? Too much chest/over head shoulder work. I'm sort of cursing the whole "lift like a man, look like a goddess" thing right now. Weight training like a man means focusing on a lot of shoulder and chest work. I was messing with my own variations on NWLW and Leigh Peele's Opt Remix, but there were so many things involving a million kinds of pushups (I love pushups) and shoulder presses of varying kinds. It seemed like such a good thing - help in defying age and gravity. I don't want the "girls" ending up down by my knees, so tell me 10 pushups will help and I'll give you 50!

I've been going to the chiropractor regularly. First three times a week, then two and now once. I arrive, get put through a work out consisting of a compound set: lat pulldown, seated row, upright row. 3 sets, 15 reps each. After this, I must do the chicken-head band thing. Lay on a table and do 15 reps each with 5 - 7 lb weights of U-T- and I's. After than, I sit on a rowing apparatus and do 4 minutes overhand grip, 4 minutes underhand grip.

Once that is done I have to lay down with my neck in traction, pumped up to a "good" stretch, for 10 minutes. It's medieval torture. After I have survived that, it is off to the masseuse for a half hour of trigger point massage.

When I first heard that massage was part of my treatment I was all "Whoo hoo!" Then I found out what trigger point massage was. Oh, I like it still, but it's not at all what I expected. It definitely is a "hurts so good" treatment. The masseuse finds "trigger points" - sore spots where the muscle has knotted up or is hyperirritable. It is more than a sensitive spot, however, it effects nerves and often causes referred pain. Rub one place on my neck and I'll feel shooting pain above my left eye. Rub another and my right ear will experience sharp pains. The therapist finds these spots and either applies pressure or uses a pincher grip. It is very uncomfortable but an hour or so later, you feel sooooooooo good.

After Carla is done with me, I'm off to see the doc and he adjusts my back and lectures me a bit on what I should and should not do. I try to obey but keep finding that I do things that probably were meant to be on the "should not" list, but I've sought out loop holes. That doesn't work in my favor.

With that in mind -- I've already been sworn off of any over head presses. Now I must give up chest work for a couple of weeks. I will be amazingly better, then have a chest day - even with heavy weights cut down drastically - and end up hurting or in discomfort again for another 2 days. I also discovered which ab exercises put undue stress on my cervical spine. Those will be avoided for a while, too.

This coming week I plan to use for recuperation. Vacation Bible School every morning is going to restrict my activities anyway. I plan to do a lot of cardio, a good amount of yoga and very limited weight training. I may slack off on the weight training for another week after this, as well, and focus on body weight work.

I've been afraid to do plyometrics for the past few weeks. I'll have to ask the doc whether I should continue to avoid them until my condition clears up.

That's the update - so far today I did 40 minutes of yoga. I do plan on some cardio later on, probably an hour. Father's Day is a rest day. Yesterday I did cardio (elliptical, HIIT on the treadmill, & a bit on the stationary bike) and 20 minutes of yoga. The rest of the week before that was the normal leg/glutes/abs one day, back/shoulders/biceps, and chest/triceps/abs with HIIT and all that jazz worked in.


Annette said...

I found your blog from a comment you left on Skwigg, which was suggested from Leigh Peele.

Just so you know.

Have you had an MRI of your neck? I had similar problems, and it turns out I have lots of disk issues, degenerative disks, bulging, etc.

Some of that manipulation you've described sounds awfully extreme if you possibly have issues like that.

Good luck.

Glynis said...

Thanks, Annette. Unfortunately, I have the tests run and it's basically my own over training which led to muscle imbalances and myofascial pain syndrome. I do have a small bit of arthritis around C5, but no disc injuries.

I was at a pain management specialist today and she re-affirmed the diagnosis of my chiropractor & sports medicine specialist -- and found plenty of active trigger points. I received my first trigger point injection in my right trapezius muscle. The thick knot of muscle that developed from over-training & tension is injected with
Lidocaine or a relative drug, a needle then breaks up the long ropey strands and inactivates the trigger point.

I expect some pain for the next couple of days, but within an hour my hand stopped feeling like a "dummy" hand and felt more "real" than it has in a while.

I am allergic to NSAIDs, aspirin, codeine, a couple of spinal anesthetics (found out during C-sections)... I'm so thankful to have found relief with chiropractic and massage - and w/o the worries of going into anaphylactic shock. :)

It looks like this is going to do the trick, but if it's not enough my next stop is acupuncture.