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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

shock therapy

when i told the people at the office that i needed shock therapy, they laughed and said: it's about time!

they're lucky i knew they were kidding... or were they?

i shared that news with them yesterday morning after my visit to the doctor; he was following up on my low back pain and pulled hamstring.

the back pain, though still a problem, seems to be more tolerable, thanks to my new regimen that includes a new physical therapist, new acupuncturist, some chinese herb supplements, and improved posture (i'm trying to sit and stand straighter). something i've been doing is working, and since i don't know exactly what that something is, we both agreed that i should stay the course and hope for the best.

as for the hamstring, it's status quo. it's been five months since the original injury and it isn't getting any better; in fact, there've been times when i could have sworn i was getting worse. maybe there's something i haven't tried that might speed up the healing process?

along with more invasive options, he mentioned a new treatment called extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT). it was originally designed to treat chronic heel pain, but there have been studies that show that it's been just as effective in treating other muscle injuries, including hamstring tears like mine.

it just so happened that he had an ESWT machine in his office for a trial run. would i be interested in joining his test group of patients? the recommended course of treatment is for three sessions, each scheduled about a week apart. and since he only had the machine until the end of the month, i needed to start ASAP...

i wondered if my insurance would cover it.

... oh, and there will be no charge for the treatment...

i immediately pulled out my calendar and made those three appointments, with my first encounter with the swiss dolorclast machine scheduled for the next day.

which happened to be this morning.

i spent a short three minutes getting the source of my pain pummeled by a jackhammer-like device. yes, it hurt, but it was tolerable. when it was over, the familiar pain was still there; thankfully, though, it wasn't any worse. one visit down, two more to go. i'm keeping my fingers crossed.

the only instruction i received was to avoid taking anti-inflammatories while the hamstring was re-healing itself. other than that, i could resume my usual activities, including yoga, as long as it didn't cause any pain.

choosing instead to take the more conservative path and just take it easy, at least for the rest of the day, i went straight home after work and tackled my to-do list:

1. i've updated the december events post. click here to see what's coming up this month, including new year's eve celebrations of music, meditation, and in one case, movement (all 108 of them!).

2. i've updated the westside weekday yoga class compilation (the corresponding class schedule link on the sidebar now points to the revised version). i still have to finish updating the south bay version; so far, though, not much has changed since the version i published four months ago.

3. i've tentatively planned a yoga trip to san francisco during the holidays. while my reservations have yet to be finalized, i have a pretty good idea of what i want to do.

all this sitting at the computer is starting to bother my back. gotta go rest now...