urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Awesome discovery of the week: some iliopsoas stretching has already improved my quality of life remarkably.

I had no idea how much they'd been contributing to keeping other muscles unhappy, until I gave them a good stretch a couple of days ago, trying to get some cramp relief. The difference was absolutely amazing. (Heck, I didn't realize how much the range of motion in my right hip was restricted until that loosened up.) The nagging groin and thigh pain, temporarily horrible with the cramps, totally stopped. The nagging burning pain and weakness--mostly covered by the iliopsoas referral pattern--in my right thigh also went away; that's the main reason I've been needing the cane lately, since that thigh has been prone to suddenly giving out/seizing up and dumping me on the ground if I'm not careful. That knee will give out too, and I know that's from the spasmy inner thigh muscles.

The iliopsoas are exactly what has been throwing my back completely out one week a month; apparently, it's often responsible for "back labor" too. I think the iliacus and psoas have been keeping the piriformis (psoas can directly cause sciatica, too), sartorius, and other inner thigh muscles going.

I felt kind of silly not having figured this out until now, but getting the piriformis and quadriceps happier helped unmask this pattern. Also, apparently I'm hardly the only one who's neglected the psoas: "Out of sight because it is deep in the body, and does not show up on a chart of the surface muscles. Out of mind because every function the psoas performs can be duplicated by one or more of these surface muscles. It is also difficult to feel inside yourself unless your attention is specifically called to it, and even then it can take some sustained effort." Yep. I probably also missed it because, with my hypermobility, a lot of the recommended stretches just don't extend the hip enough to feel a stretch in there! That doesn't mean it's not really tight.

One thing still has me a little irritated, though: I've had trouble out of these muscles since I was a kid, and it got explained away by a variety of things. (Including my being a whiny PITA.) What made me repeatedly afraid I had appendicitis when I was 8 or 9? Iliopsoas pain (see psoas sign used in diagnosis!). And yes, it was excruciating when prodded right over the appendix; "the right iliopsoas muscle lies under the appendix when the patient is supine, so a positive psoas sign on the right may suggest appendicitis." In fact, it looks suspiciously like an inflamed appendix irritating the psoas may be responsible for a lot of the characteristic pain from appendicitis. Which only makes sense, if you look at how the body's systems fit and work together.

I do wish there were more medical emphasis on and knowledge about muscular pain; that would save a lot of people a lot of grief and, erm, pain. :-| Chronic back pain immediately comes to mind; something is yanking the spine around, when vertebrae or disks are noticeably out of alignment. Besides all the cases in which nothing unusual is visible on the x-rays, so it couldn't possibly be serious, right? *grumble*

Mostly out of trainwreck fascination, [personal profile] vatine and I have tried to watch a couple of the Deadliest Warrior episodes. How could anyone resist a title like "Shaolin Monk vs. Maori"? *g* (Indeed, it's annoyingly trainwrecky, and I don't plan to see it again.) One thing that struck me was their ballistics gel torso with skull, ribcage, and organs inside, used to demonstrate damage from weapons. It bears an eerie and unfortunate resemblance to the usual medical model, where pain is concerned: there's the skeleton and internal organs--where the Real Problems lie--and then there's this ill-defined fleshy mass encasing them. And Ingvar didn't understand why I was laughing like a loon at their hideous gel torso, even after I tried to explain.

At any rate, I'm hopeful that continued stretching will help get things back on track, so I can get back to doing more. Yay. (No wonder getting back into cycling just about killed me, especially on a bike designed for somebody with longer arms!) Massaging the iliacus isn't so difficult, but the psoas are hard (and painful!) to get to. If the stretching doesn't do the trick--and it might not, with the long-term trigger points--I may try it anyway. This has been hard to live with, but I'd just about resigned myself to it. Some indication that it can improve is welcome, though I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much.

Both fortunately and unfortunately, the asthma/allergy coughing is definitely helping keep this problem going--as I noticed when I had a coughing fit right after stretching. :-| They have always acted up in response to strong coughing, to the point that I wouldn't be surprised if the coughing were what got those muscles so touchy in the first place. (Never mind all the situps and crunches I used to do--ouch!) But, with any luck, I can get the asthma and post-nasal flood ("drip" does not describe it), which also makes me cough a lot, under better control.

This was supposed to be a short note at the beginning of something else (about quilting and new art projects, actually), but it grew. :)
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I am beginning to wonder if some upwind neighbors are thinking, "Gee, it's a lovely afternoon, I think I'll go start a fire." Yes, they are burning some kind of wood again, and I think it's the same people. This time it's a big enough fire that I can hear some crackling from the patio.

Currently lurking in this end of the house, since my eyes start burning and itching when I go into the part directly downwind of the fire. Max is not overly happy about this, but Punkin is. The cats usually don't get as much attention as any of us would like during the day. Punkin is in my lap now, and very smug about it. :)

Whether I like it or not, it's past time to get an appointment with the GP for more allergy/asthma/migraine treatment. This is getting ridiculous. Some of the spasmy muscles will probably calm down once they're not getting racked by frequent coughing fits*--and I would rather avoid going through another year of at least daily "sinus" migraines. Urgh.

After we move (and insurance kicks in for preexisting stuff!), I am even tempted to pursue allergy shots again. I swore never again, but the series I had before did help for years. For now, some Singulair and migraine meds would help a lot. I may try adding loratadine again, in case it helps some (definitely not enough on its own). This is already getting old.

Ah well. With any luck, the smoke will clear some soon. Maybe I should take something for my head and some extra antihistamines with coffee, and try to head it off to some extent. No pun intended.

Maybe I can find something to post about when I'm in a better mood. *g*

* The kind that have scared multiple doctors. Ones without barrel chests and asthma, that is. My lower back is not happy with them, either, never mind the chest and shoulders. Possibly worse? It only occurred to me the last time I had asthma gone crazy from a cold that this might be exactly what's been keeping the back "bad" for the past 15 years. Your chronic cough may be truly chronic when... *facepalm*


Apr. 23rd, 2010 04:10 pm
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Argh. Someone in the neighborhood decided to wait until (a) it's relatively dry out there, (b) allergies are already choking me, and (c) it's too warm to close all the windows, to burn garden debris.

OK, so they had no reason to know that "hay fever" is a paltry description for what some people downwind are experiencing, but they were surely aware it hasn't rained in a while. I wouldn't burn stuff out there at the moment. Then again, I'm used to not being able to burn things at least half the year, much less in a rather densely populated area.

Hmm, I really should try to get a fresh inhaler soon. 'Tis the season for maple pollen.

Just needed to rant a bit!

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