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When Therapies Conflict

Doctors aren’t supposed to all have the same consensus when it comes to treatments and what’s best and what not, hell, that’s why we shop around looking for the perfect doctor…

You know, the doctor who listens to the concerns you have, presents solutions that are flexible, spends time analyzing test results and information processed from printouts of apps we use at home. We want the doctor who doesn’t just want to treat us but wants us to improve. We want the doctor that shares an end goal of reducing the amount of needed medication. We want the doctor that is open to exploring “alternative” treatment methods.

But what happens when we start seeing therapists?

Take my massage therapist. She’s great. We always debrief prior to the appointment and go over how the week has been, how general life is going, and what areas to focus on during the session.

She listens really well. If I’m in for my appointment but I’m in so much pain that a standard cranial-sacral massage is a no go, she’ll focus on my shoulders and feet, while doing some Reiki around my face. If the pain is minimal, she’ll spend more time around my scalp. She always is able to adjust. We recently started increasing the amount of pure CBD oil to prompt more relaxation of the muscle tissue. The first session was a nightmare and I got so sick from the longer exposure to the fumes, but after talking with her we were able to adjust the amount and implement the oil in at the end of the massage paired with peppermint oil.

Now insert my new physical therapist. He’s really nice, but his approach is very different.

My doctor intends for these two therapies to compliment each other.

PT isn’t something new to me… I literally have a whole section of my closet dedicated to PT, purchased solely for PT, and worn only for PT.

I’ve also had physical therapists who were treating other issues attempt to treat my migraines. Insert some overly bulk dude pushing his thumbs right at the base of my skull thinking this would be an effective treatment.

That wasn’t. That triggered a migraine that lasted for a week and a bruise that lasted longer.

So, now I’m in PT specifically for neck tension. After some evaluations, its clear that the left side of my neck and shoulder is much tighter than normal. Not that my right side is doing any better, but my left top rib doesn’t have any movement to it.

Our goal is to get it moved back into it’s proper location and work to release the tension in my neck, while strengthening my shoulder muscles. (Makes me wish I didn’t stop working out after you know destroying my other shoulder)

So, this therapy starts with a much stronger massage on the tops of my shoulders, neck, and… where my skull meets my neck.

It fucking hurts.

We tried using a combo tens/ultrasound machine to stimulate the muscles on my left top shoulder area. I’ve had this before, and it honestly just feels weird. But, it’s intended to force the muscles to tense up so much that they are forced to naturally relax. After the second go around of this “therapy” I noticed a little bit of improvement with flexibility of my neck, but it was gone by morning.

So, here I am today…

Massage Therapy at 10:00am. Pain level probably around a 4 (good day am I right? Even used a color photo today wasn’t so horrible)

Felt like a million bucks after my massage, pain level probably still around a 4.

Got home, noticed my pupils nice and dilated… maybe it was the cbd or the natural result of a massage.

Physical Therapy at 3:00pm. Pain level still hanging out around a 4.

I made a point to mention to the therapist that pushing on the base of my skull was making it feel really bruised and painful. He avoided the base of my skull thank god.

But then he wanted to try and continue to work out the knots in my shoulders. Ouch. Then as he gently worked on the side of the base of my skull, avoiding the center, I could feel the pain rushing to my eyes. It’s like he found an on switch and was having fun pressing it.

And then he wanted to see if he could get some movement or flex in my left top rib. I’m almost positive he pushed on it for a solid 5 minutes. I thought the bone might just snap in half. He of course alternated and would push on the right top rib, which wasn’t as painful, but if you continue to push on something… its going to hurt. As he continued to try and get the rib to move, he wanted me to take deep breaths… Like okay let me try and breath while I’m trying not to scream out in pain.

He walked me through some new at home exercises to assist in getting this rib moving and I was off.

Pain level: 8

So I don’t know what the verdict is.

I know I currently feel like shit. I know pushing on my already tender neck is why I 100% feel like shit. But do I have to feel like shit intentionally in order to see results?

I mean it makes sense if my neck is tense because bones are stuck in the wrong places, causing extra strain on an already exhausted neck.

Also, apparently I’m literally getting out of bed wrong. I’m now supposed to pretend I’m 80 and use my core to lift my body and head, rather than lifting with my head…

So here’s to sunflowers, getting out of bed differently, and well lets just start with actually getting out of bed.

A.

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