Friday, 11 May 2012

Alternative fix

I've had two niggles for some time; right knee and right shoulder.

The knee... not sure when it started and it isn't an everyday thing and it gives me absolutely no trouble when I run. But sometimes I feel it if I take an odd angle getting out of the car. It's been on my mind for ages that there's something not right and that although it is no trouble now, it could be two or five years.

The shoulder... the only time I have injured my shoulder was two years ago when Karel the Cat died and I dug his grave. It was early morning when I found his body and I was in an absolute state, tears streaming. The ground was hard and somehow I really tweaked my shoulder. When it wasn't resolving I went to a physio who declared no major damage other than really, really tight muscles that she worked out. No problem. And then it came back a few months ago. Not bad and not movement or activity limiting - but something.

Pole is seriously intensive on the shoulders especially with hand springs and the acrobatic balance moves where it's just two hands on the pole and most of my weight on my right hand, arm and shoulder. Other moves - like swings - are all hanging on the shoulder etc. Yoga too, with all the upward dogs, yoga push-ups... all shoulder intensive too.

Actually, pole could also be hammering my right knee. There are a lot of moves where I 'hang' from my knee or use just one foot (right) to pull myself up from an invert...

When I was in Thailand my massage teacher sorted out this one guy's toe. He'd kicked a rock on the beach, had limited movement, lots of swelling and lots of pain and hadn't been able to move it for two weeks. She worked on tendons and ligaments and muscles upstream of the toe to alleviate the pain, loosen it up etc. It worked. I got to thinking about my friends toe. She's been back and forth to physios and specialists who were now talking surgery. She wisely was not keen. I thought of this alternative therapy guy I know messaged her from Thailand. I set them up when I got back. She's been to see him recently and is having more success.

This guy, Vic Boston, I've known for years from running. Met him more than 12 years ago when we went to the same gym. He's quite a Comrades legend and this year will line up for his 36th CONSECUTIVE Comrades Marathon. He checked me out in about 2000 / 2001 when I had a low-grade stress fracture (from shoes that should have been replaced earlier). He's a natural health practitioner, blending kinesiology, acupuncture, other Chinese therapies, massage and a bunch of other stuff. Bottom line is that he's good, he's a runner, he's thorough and he knows his stuff. I've sent people to him over the years; and now it was time for me to go and see him.

Great news is that knee is 100% perfect in terms of joint, bone, ligaments, meniscus etc. What we did find was a lymph build up on the inside top of the knee - really sensitive to massage. Interesting, this is an area of my leg that takes a lot of push-pull pressure from pole, which could account for it. Those pressure points didn't lie and we worked it out. Have't had a twinge since I saw Vic on Tuesday. I'll keep up with massage of the area to stimulate circulation and lymph drainage.

I went back yesterday for the shoulder. Again, no serious problems. It's all muscle related and seems to be scar tissue, which I can only think is from the grave-digging injury. Vic used a burning stick thing to stimulate circulation around the pressure points. This was a funny one because I had to say when it got hot; felt like a laser on a point when it got hot event though the 'stick' is about 15mm wide. On the second round, I couldn't feel it. He also did some frictioning and pressure point work. Should feeling good today. Pole class on Monday will tell.

I'm rarely troubled by niggles and most will go away overnight (maybe I ran wonky or the inner in my shoe was squiff) and others, like these, that haven't. I've had no serious injuries other than the stress fracture and a very bad foot injury (possible fracture in bone on top of foot) in the early 2000s. Otherwise, for the 20-odd years that I've been running, playing and seriously into sports (oh, the hand fracture in underwater hockey in the mid-90s) I've been 99.9% injury and niggle free.

I find it really scary to have something not right. But, the goodness is that there are people out there - like bios, physios and other therapists - to help fix these problems and make us stronger. The big step, especially me where I think I'm in tune with my body and used to sorting out issues on my own with massage, Arnica oil and attention, is to stand up and say, "Hi, I'm Lisa and there's something wrong with my shoulder and knee". The relief that I feel now is fabulous knowing that there's nothing serious and that both complaints are really easy to fix, with Vic's help.

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