Derek’s Insights Into Paramedical Therapy: Chiropractic, Physiotherapy and Massage Therapy
Did you set some goals for 2019? How are you tracking with those? Are you still remembering to review and monitor them regularly? I remain determined to stay focussed on my 2019 Revolutions that I shared at the start of the year. So far, I’m tracking reasonably well.
Admittedly I’ve made limited progress with things on the fitness-front, though. The main reason is I continue to be in rehab for some lower back muscle and joint trauma that I’ve been managing for the past 2 years. My chiropractor has been exceptional at attending to the periodic, seemingly unprovoked, seizing up of my lower back. However, deep tissue massage therapy, chiropractic adjustments and medical electrical stimulation (electrically stimulated acupuncture) that has been administered just doesn’t seem to be healing the condition completely. It seems I am able to achieve a certain degree of recovery but then either muscle memory, long duration sitting, poor posture or some small but wrong movement is enough to trigger a sudden downward spiral. The reaction is that the QL ligament, SI joint, and the glutes (limited to my right side) seize up and leave me feeling and looking like an invalid.
My Chiropractor recently referred me to a Physiotherapist for shock wave therapy. After only 3 treatments, this accelerated rehabilitation has afforded me near-instant and sustained pain relief. The non-invasive air-induced acoustic shock waves transmit high energy that penetrates the muscle fibres and joints. The effect promotes regeneration and repair of soft tissues, ligaments, tendons and even bones.
What does shockwave treatment involve?
Once the Therapist has identified which specific muscles, tissues or bones are affected, a small amount of gel is applied to the area. This facilitates efficient transmission of the shockwaves into the tissue. The shockwaves are applied using a hand-held device. This allows treatment to be administered easily and in a very targeted manner. Depending on the type and location of the injury, the intensity and duration of the administered shockwaves may vary from patient to patient. During the treatment of my lower back I experience a prickling sensation. I also experience the odd muscle twinge when a nerve or aggravated area is stimulated. Since the Therapist moves the device continuously, the discomfort is never prolonged and seems to dissipate almost immediately. The pain sensation from the affected area seems to lessen or even disappear completely by the time the device moves over the affected area again. I’m not sure if this is an indication of how speedily the treatment can repair the area. It certainly is nice, though, not to feel continuous angst at the anticipation that I’m going to experience a painful sensation every time the area is passed over.
I’ve now been for three treatments over a 14-day period. I’m confident and continue to trust that my road to recovery will be complete.
But, there is more to this.
The reality is that none of these treatments is a quick fix solution. This is a shared responsibility. I suspect that the complete picture has to involve at least all three of the following.
- Suitable treatment: I am deeply grateful that my Chiropractor had the wisdom and maturity to recognize that he could only take me so far in my rehabilitation journey, and that a multidisciplinary approach to my treatment was required. Visiting a Physiotherapist to facilitate the muscular rehabilitation seems wise and prudent. I suspect ongoing appropriate massage therapy may also provide the long-term care required for complete and sustained recovery.
- Stretching: We all-too-often expect the paramedical treatment we receive to cure our problem instantly and forever. The reality is that most of the onus still rests on me to diligently implement the stretching regime that my Therapists give me in order to support and rehabilitate the area ongoing. Sadly, this is where I always seem to drop the proverbial ball. I realize I need to build these practices into my lifestyle as a choice and not as a suggestion.
- Strengthening: We all know that muscle strengthening and toning in the rehabilitated area requires attention. I know that in the past I have tended to want to jump to this aspect of my rehab without giving adequate time to recovery and stretching. I guess it’s all about timing: listening to your body; being disciplined at stretching; and then ramping up the strengthening when the timing is right.
For 2019 I’m being intentional about building all of this into my health and wellness regime as I continue to focus on and address my fitness goals.
My ongoing health and wellness credits go to Chinook Chiropractic, Massage and Physiotherapy Clinic.
Do you have any recommendations, learnings or stories that you would want to share? Leave your comments in the Reply section below. I’d love to hear from you.