Tag Archives: physical therapy

Updates!

Standard
Updates!

Alright, time for some updates ^^

Went back to my sports medicine doctor and back to PT this week. My physical therapist gave me a few more exercises to add into my routine (which, this time, I will make routine), specifically to work on stretching my psoas. My iliopsoas on my left side were super, super tight and tender. He tried to do some releases on them, and it was horrible. About the worst pain I’ve been through in sports med or PT so far (well, maybe tied with the trochanter/hip pain…), and now I have bruises and terrible tenderness, even a few days later. But hopefully the new exercises will help some.

I got to talk with my sports med doctor about my x-ray results. She said she’s not really that concerned about the degeneration of the symphysis pubis, since I’m not experiencing pain symptoms with that. But it is arthritis, and probably caused by the abnormal pelvic mechanics I’ve had for, well, my whole life, I guess. I’m just not sure what the implications of it are since I already have degeneration so young. But, I guess we’ll see.

With the hips, she basically told me what I’ve already figured out from research. Retroversion is where the acetabulum is rotated back, so the femur sits and moves in the socket abnormally. It also puts me at much higher risk for impingement and wearing down of the labrum. She doesn’t know how far back it’s rotated, nor how bad it really is, but both she and my physical therapist recommended me seeing a hip specialist. So I have an appointment with a really good one near home, but I can’t get in until September. Boo. But he’s a great doctor, and my symptoms aren’t terrible, so that’s not too bad. And, if something changes and they do get bad before then, I have the name and number of another doctor who I could probably get in to see much earlier. So I have a lot of options.

Basically, what I’ve been told will happen when I see this doctor, is that I might have to get 3D CT scans (which look freaking awesome) so that he can get the most accurate picture of what’s going on inside my hips. Then I have a few options, probably. Injections, which I already know make me flare up worse for a while and then don’t do terribly much, or an arthroscopic surgery to see what’s going on and what can be done.

I really don’t like the idea of surgery, but if helps or can fix something, that would be great. I suppose it would be better to do something now, when I’m younger and heal better, than to wait until I’m older and something more serious happens. I’ll have the time before I start grad school, but I don’t know if I would be able to fit both hips in in that time. I don’t know, we’ll just have to see what the hip specialist says in September.

Other news: I’m totally done with my roommates. I moved all of my stuff into my room (which was literally everything in the apartment), and the younger roommate is paying for the couch, as well as for some other stuff her cat destroyed during her time there. I took the electric bill out of my name, forcing them to pick it up and pay for it all themselves. I’m just glad that this roommate nightmare is over. Here’s to hoping that I’m done with roommates forever (minus possibly my BFF for grad school) XP

I also took my bookmaking class last week. Holy crap. My new favorite thing. I got all of my tools (bone folders, awls, micro spatula, waxed linen, knives!) and awesome paper and binder’s board and such, and am now making my own books! Currently working on a bound book of all of the cards that I got from my high school graduation! And I’ve been making really tiny books to put musings and such in, as well as mini books for fortune cookie fortunes! :’D I’m thinking about opening an Etsy shop or something — I’d love to start selling them and doing custom books, but I just don’t even know where to start! No matter what, though, I love making them, and will keep it up!

Well that’s…unexpected

Standard

I finally got the hip x-ray results from the radiologist the other day, and it was kind of a shock. My doctor initially thought hip impingement, which ended up not quite being the case. I’m at risk for FAI, but that’s not the underlying cause of my hip problems.

I turns out that I have acetabular retroversion in both hips, and that this puts me at risk for FAI. This is a really difficult disorder to describe, as it’s pretty abstract. Basically the socket in the hip is supposed to be rotated towards the front, so that you would be looking into the opening were the head of the femur not there. With acetabular retroversion, the socket opening is turned so that it’s not in that forward-facing position; rather, it’s turned towards the back. Here are some x-ray images that depict normal hips versus those with acetabular retroversion:

Normal hips. The green line and arrow represent the lip of the front of the acetabulum. The yellow arrow and line represent the back lip.

Hips with acetabular retroversion. Again, the yellow represents the front and the green represents the back. In “A” you can see the characteristic figure eight pattern that identifies it. You can also see the rotation in figure “B,” where you can’t really see into the socket.

My x-rays also showed degeneration of the symphysis pubis. Not quite sure what that means, but it definitely doesn’t sound good. Looking it up, it looks like it’s usually associated with aging or postpartum women. Since I’m neither, it’s a bit more confusing. Another source said that abnormal pelvic mechanics can contribute degeneration, which I guess the AR would constitute as that…But I still don’t know what the implications of that are, or how it could be halted.

I’m honestly kind of worried at this point. My hip pain has only gotten worse over the past few weeks, to the point where it’s almost constant when I walk. And I’ve been getting groin pain, which I never did before. I was reading that when a person with AR starts to get hip pain, it’s a sign that the body can no longer deal with the abnormal pelvic mechanics. Again, I don’t know what the implications of this are, but I’m definitely worried. I don’t get to see my sports medicine doctor until the 18th, so I have some time to worry, but I’m hoping to start up PT again this week, so maybe he’ll be able to give me some answers.

I’ve also had other nonsense to deal with. Particularly: roommates. Good. Lord. Can I tell you just how excited I am to live by myself next semester? I never, ever, ever want to live with another roommate ever again, unless it’s my BFF in Chicago. First, I’ve got one roommate throwing an absolute fit because she doesn’t want to pay a third of the electriv bill, she wants to pay a quarter. One roommate moved out and isn’t coming back, so it makes sense to only split it three ways instead of four (since she’s literally using no energy), but this girl is all mad because she claims that she paid for her quarter when she barely lived there the first half of the year, and that she used like no energy (not true — she does laundry like every three to four days, so her portion of the bill is by FAR the largest). We finally settled it so that I would be paying the last two week bill by myself, and she would pay a third. Which really makes no sense and isn’t fair, but whatever. I don’t want o fight about it.

Cliffnotes on the other issue, as it’s kind of a long story. My other roommate also brought back her demon cat, behind my and my other roommate’s back, after telling us she wasn’t bringing her back over the summer, and has been lying about it to us. I caught her red-handed with the cat the other day when I went down to pay my rent. The cat has already torn up the apartment and torn up my own personal leather couch. I tried to gently confront her about it all but she was really combative, so I walked away, as I did not want to fight. I then got a text from a friend with screenshots from her Twitter account, which she had made private and afterwards had an absolute freak out about me, calling me a “lunatic” and “psycho” and saying I was “stalking” her and that that was “disturbing” and “scary.” …What?! The girl is just really immature and childish. I wrote her a message addressing all this and explaining why I (and my other roommate) were upset, but I haven’t heard back from her yet. I actually had to e-mail it rather than send it over Facebook as I had planned, as she BLOCKED me over Facebook. Again…what?! Does she think this is going to make the situation better or solve anything? So anyway, I’m giving her a few days to respond, and if she refuses, I’m going to management and I am going to suggest they move her out. I have too much medical stuff to worry about right now to also have to be dealing with this. But maybe she will respond and we’ll get it all sorted out. Fingers crossed.

Oh hai thar

Standard

Oh hey guys, it’s been a while. The last few weeks have been insane — finishing classes and doing finals, finalizing my schedule for next year (finally done!) graduating, moving home…I’m pretty much exhausted. Thank goodness I’m done, though! Now to just find a job and work on some art projects this summer! It’s going to be so chill!

Oh wait, that’s not really true. Yes, I’m looking for a job, and yes I have a lot of projects to work on, but, as always, my poor health is rearing its ugly head, this time in a new way.

I went back to my sports med doctor for a follow up on the snapping hip. The good news is that the physical therapy (which I did rather sparingly, shame on me) really cut down on the snapping, clicking, and instability. It barely happens at all now. The bad news is that, even though the popping has stopped, my hip pain has gone up. Which is weird, because I didn’t really have much hip pain before all this, and now I do. Or maybe I just never really paid attention to it, since I’m dealing with pain in various places on a daily basis for year. But whatever the reason, whether it’s worse or I’m noticing it more, I decided I should probably bring it up with my doctor. She was concerned by that, and ordered x-rays. She also poked around my hips and they were SUPER sensitive around the trochanters. I was pretty much jumping and flinching with even the slightest pressure. And so that’s how it was decided that I would get cortisone shots in each hips. Yay me. I’m just glad she wasn’t in on the day my appointment was originally scheduled for, and that we had to move it back two days, because all of this would have made my birthday pretty crappy.

So we did the hip x-rays and she administered the shots (not fun). Afterwards, she went to look at the scans before the radiologist examined them. She told me that it looks like I have hip impingement, which I had never heard of. Basically it means that there’s too much friction in the hip, due to growths on the femoral head or the edge of the socket. It really increases the risk of arthritis and the need for hip replacement later in life (but earlier than average). It’s usually treated with PT, injections, and rest (all of which actually don’t really do anything except pain relief), but surgery (arthroscopy) is often needed. The surgery is minimally invasive, but still requires like six weeks on crutches and about four months to heal fully.

Hip impingement — the two types of growth.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Seriously, though. I’m only (barely) 22. I should not be having hip problems at my age. And I really don’t want to have surgery again — my lap wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t fun. And hip surgery would be far, far worse. I mean, I guess I actually would have time, because I’m taking one semester and then I would have January — August for whatever. I was hoping to travel and work before graduate school, but if I absolutely had to have surgery, that would be a good time to do it. It would just be really not fun.

Ugh. Here I was thinking, “Hey, things haven’t been too bad health-wise lately. Fibro’s decently under control, my hip’s not popping anymore, I’m going to work on getting fitter this summer…what could go wrong?” and then bam, the universe was like “No.” How rude.

Still waiting for the radiologist report, though. That should hopefully come in the mail today. I guess I’ll wait and see what it says and then try to figure out what to do. Fingers crossed that my doctor read it wrong and that my hips or normal, or that the impingement is mild and surgery wouldn’t be needed now. Bright side, though: I’m pretty much covered for furniture for my apartment. I’ve got a table, five chairs, and a couch. I just need to touch up the stain on the chairs and redo the seats with new fabric and they should be looking pretty good! I’ll post a DIY post and pictures at some point!

Ever feel like you want to cut your arms off?

Standard

Ho. Lee. Crap. So today I decided to sand my six apple crates. I got them at an antique mall cheap, and I’m going to make this:

Coffee table! :’D

The other two crates will be used to make an end table. None of them will be permanently fastened, that way I can rearrange them if I want, as well as use them for storage and transport during moving. My crates will be stained darker, and the insides are going to be painted in greens, yellows, and turquoise. Let me tell you, I’m excited about this project. There will be a whole post about it once I finish!

But, so, the sanding. I decided to get working on them so that I can at least stain before going back to school, even if I don’t get to painting. I dragged them outside (in the 40ish degree, but sunny, weather) and got to work. It took me about two hours, but I get them done! They look great, and I decided to hold off on staining since it was getting late. I went in, sat around for a bit, ate dinner, and then realized…my arms hurt.

Holy. Crap. Do they hurt. Not, like, nomal post-exercise hurt, but like I-want-to-rip-my-arms-off-to-stop-the-agony hurt. This has only happened to me once before, my sophomore year after I had worked out on the bike. That time it was my legs, and I spent several hours in my dorm room crying (I almost never cry from pain) and alternating between laying down and limping around, unable to keep my legs still. My roommates were out studying, and I ended up calling my doctor at like one in the morning, trying to figure out what to do. This time it’s just as bad.

I realized, though, that this is the first time that I’ve done any sort of strenuous exercise since my doctor cut my Lyrica back. I’m already seeing the impossible dilemma — memory or pain? Do I decrease my meds and get my memory back, but have increased pain levels, or to I go back up and have more memory problems, but less pain? Or do I try a different medication entirely?  This is what I was afraid of what she first reduced it, and now I’m seeing my fears come to life.

An extremely hot bath didn’t do anything for the pain, really (although it was nice — especially once I realized that if I just put my Nook in a bag, I could still read in the tub, even with my arms pretty much submerged. Score!), and I know I’m not going to be able to sleep tonight with it like this. I’m strongly considering taking some Lortab that my sister got from when she had tonsillitis (which, okay, can we talk about this for a minute? I’m in pain pretty much 24/7, and I get almost unbearable flare-ups, and I can’t get anything stronger than ibuprofen, and she has a bit of tonsillitis, goes to the ER, and they give her narcotics. Wut.). I did that once before, after a pelvic floor PT session when all of my muscles were spasming and I could barely move. It sure zaps the pain, but it makes me feel a bit loopy, and then ill a few hours later. But even that seems like a good trade-off right now. Ugh.

Oh, and quick update on my sports medicine/PT visit. Went today for PT. It was kind of odd. He did some stuff with me, had me do a few things to assess range of motion, and then gave me some exercises and was like “Make another appointment if you think you’ll need it!” What? I mean, I guess I’ve never had limb-related physical therapy before, but aren’t you supposed to meet more than…once? I’m going to do all the exercises, but I’m not sure how much good they’ll do, especially when I’m not getting at least some feedback about if I’m doing them right, etc. I guess we’ll see, though.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll be able to get this pain under control so that I can get to sleep tonight!

PT again (yay :| )

Standard

Well, I went to my sports medicine appointment today. The verdict: more physical therapy. Not sure how I’m going to swing it this time — last time I had appointments on Fridays, so I was able to come back home (a two hour drive) without missing any class. This time, however, it’ll probably be twice a week. That’ll be interesting to figure out…

My doctor found that I have snapping hip syndrome and patellofemoral pain syndrome (also called Runner’s Knee, which I find funny since I avoid running at pretty much all costs). So basically that means that the tendons/ligaments of my hip are snapping over the femoral head of my hip, making the snapping sound and feeling. With the knee, there’s probably inflammation behind the patella, causing pain and popping. So I get to go to PT and work on strengthening my leg muscles and core. It’ll be nice to get my hips under control and stop feeling like a little old lady whenever I have to walk an sort of a distance, but getting this all scheduled without missing an absurd amount of class is going to be difficult.

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

The appointment highlighted again, though, the problems with my right hip. When I was having my pelvic floor physical therapy, that side was really sore and spasmy. And now it’s like that again. The doctor had me lay on my left side as she pressed around the joint. It hurt like CRAP — really sharp and piercing. Normally I can take most pain and be able to hold still and get through it. Not this time. I was actually flinching away. And she kept pressing. Now, I know she needs to check around to see what’s sore, but that was ridiculous. It hurt so bad. I would probably put it around a 7 or an 8 — really high for me for something like that. Now, hours later, I’m still all sore. Pondering a hot bath later (which we just got a new water heater, so it will be a hot bath!)

Also super tired today. Last night was a bit long, as my cat (who has digestive issues and is on special food) was throwing up after being shut it in the room with all of the other cats’ food while the water heater was being delivered and installed. Of course, he stuffed himself. So then he was getting sick, which wasn’t too bad until he started vomiting blood. We ended up at an animal emergency 24-hour care clinic to get it checked out. It turns out it was probably just a blood vessel burst in his stomach from the force of the vomiting, and nothing serious. And once he was there, he was much more perky and apparently being a lovable ham with all of the vet techs. So he got some nausea meds and we were able to go home. But at this point it was already two in the morning. And I can’t sleep unless I read a bit, so I probably didn’t get to sleep until three or so. And then my cat was up at seven because he wanted food/out of my room. So I was up every hour or two taking care of him and such.

My handome guy :D

My handome guy :’D

I ended up not getting up until almost noon, and then I had to get ready for my appointment. Came back from that, ate a bit of a late lunch, and promptly passed out on the couch for two hours. That was kind of nice, but we’ll see how that impacts tonight’s attempts to sleep. Also super sore from all of this.

Not a horrible day, all in all. We’ll try to get these hips under control and go from there. Hopefully I’ll be walking a bit better soon!

Time to get that memory back!

Standard

 

So I went to the doctor today for a follow-up on my meds. I feel like I just kind of dumped a whole bunch of problems on her, but that’s her job, I guess. One of my issues was my hips popping and clicking when I walk, and feeling loose and unstable. I get to go visit the Sports Medicine department for an evaluation. Yay. I feel like, I just finished PT, and now it’s time for more musculoskeletal-related evaluations? Oh well, I guess you have to do what you have to do. Hopefully they’ll be able to fix whatever’s going on with just some more PT.

But the bigger problem I brought up with her was my memory issues. She was definitely concerned, especially when I told her the incident where I basically forgot for a few seconds how to roll down my car window. That definitely shouldn’t be happening to a 21-year old. So I got a bunch of blood tests ordered (took a few tries to find a vein. I really hate my tiny veins, since I have to get blood drawn so often. And I hate needles, so it was even worse. And, on top of that, the tech kept telling me what she was doing and how she needed to keep wiggling the needle, and I was just like “STOP! I don’t want to know this, just draw my blood and let me go hyperventilate somewhere by myself!”), and she’s reduced my Lyrica from 225mg 2xday to 150mg 2xday, thinking that the meds are probably causing my memory problems.

While I really want to get this memory stuff resolved, I’m also worried about reducing my medications. I feel like my pain is pretty well under control, with bearable break-through pain. What’s going to happen when we almost cut that in half? I’m worried that my pain level is going to go way, way up, and that I’ll have a harder time managing. That’s not something that I want to deal with during the end of my final(ish) undergrad semester, while I’m working on grad school stuff and completing my final major classes. But I guess we’ll just have to see — we can always increase it again if we have to.

Not a very bad appointment, over all. The blood draw was uncomfortable, and I had to get a tetanus shot, but hopefully I’ll be able to get the hip problems and the memory issues resolved with minimal problems!

Slowly but surely getting healthier!

Standard

Yay! I graduated physical therapy today! I even have a t-shirt to prove it! I’ve spent the past eight weeks going every Friday to try and fix my pelvic pain. Before any of this started, I had never heard of a pelvic floor physical therapist. When I finally did hear of them, I was like “Ew, that sounds awful and painful.” Guys. It’s not. If you have any sort of pelvic pain, find out if seeing one would help you. I went as a last resort (after CT scans, multiple internal and external ultrasounds, x-rays, blood tests, allergy tests, a colonoscopy, an upper GI endoscopy, a laparoscopy, and about seven different doctors) and found out that all my pelvic pain probably stemmed from one little thing — a rotated pelvis.

So, fun story. Some friends and I went on a trip for school to St. Louis in my senior year. While there, we decided (like the very mature almost-adults we were) to roll down the massive hill at the art museum. I rolled down and thought nothing of it afterwards except to fondly remember how one of the guys somersaulted the entire way down (it was legitimately awesome). The pelvic pain started a day or two later. Fast-forward to my first PT visit. The left side of my pelvis was rotated posteriorly, probably from that roll. So all of my muscles had to work to adjust to this unnatural position. This probably caused all of the spasms in my pelvic floor, and thus my pelvic pain. It’s taken eight weeks, but we’ve finally got my pelvis back to its natural position, through internal muscle releases, ultrasounds on my glutes, and corrections to force my pelvis back into its natural position. It’ll probably always be loose, and might rotate a bit if I step off a curb funny or jar it a lot in any way, but I now have a bunch of exercises and corrections I can do if it starts to rotate back again.

It amazes me that I went through four years of invasive tests and procedures before anyone even suggested that, hey, it might just be something with my muscles and not some horrible disease or internal deformity. Shouldn’t musculoskeletal issues be the first thing physicians rule out, since it’s the easiest to do and the least dire of diagnoses? I’m annoyed at all of my previous doctors for not thinking of this earlier, but at least someone did  suggest it (my chiropractor, actually, and then all of the others followed suit) and I was able to get help. I was terrified of going to a pelvic floor PT, and of what the visits might entail, but it really was actually nothing. My PT was understanding, knowledgeable, very conscious of my worries and fears, and just amazing overall. She made an uncomfortable situation something that was completely fine and not awkward at all. Girls (and guys, I guess — you can have pelvic floor problems, too!), don’t be afraid to find out about a pelvic floor PT if you have pelvic pain issues. It might help you more than you could imagine! It’s uncomfortable, and sometimes hard, but it’s worth it. I’m beyond happy that I finally went and pushed myself through it.

Hopefully pelvic pain will bother me no more! :’D