Author’s Note: I am linking up with themommymess to “recycle” one of my “old” posts for you to read. The post below follows my encounters at a physical therapist last summer. Though I haven’t been back in months, I now know what Piriformis Syndrome is.
Recently, I went to the doctor complaining of back pain. I had been having severe pain for the past few weeks - which really had started to impact daily activities. Since I also was recently diagnosed with gallstones – I was concerned that I would have to get surgery. And, quite frankly, who has time for surgery?
So I was relieved to find out that it was merely back pain. But I was surprised when the next step was being given an order for physical therapy. I thought I was just going to get some medication and be on my merry way.
Wrong. Or as John McLaughlin would say, WRONG!
To be honest, I have a narrow view of physical therapy. PT is for athletes recovering from ACL surgery, people recovering from car accidents, strokes, or other medical conditions. You know, BIG life events. I have no idea how I injured my back – just the normal day wear and tear of just…being me. I wasn’t sure how physical therapy would help, because I already know how to stretch. Once in a while.
But, I decided that the pain was bad enough to try something new, so off I went to PT. And I definitely learned some things, like:
1. Yes, there are stretches involved. And some I already know. And you still have to do them.
2. They will give you a massage. Granted it’s centralized in the place that you are experiencing pain, and it may hurt…but massages are still awesome.
3. In some cases, they will hook you up with a machine that sends electric pulses to parts of your body. It’s called electrical muscle stimulation. And it feels bizarre, and yet slightly tingly. It helps relax those pesky muscle spasms.
4. Heat compresses feel good after they work on you. Plus, if it’s quiet, you can try and meditate.
5. Even though you come in with one issue, new issues somehow pop up. Like my second visit, when a therapist started working my hip and I yelped in pain. Turns out it is Piriformis Syndrome. Otherwise known as pain in the buttocks. Most likely given to me by my children.
So, I’m in Week 2 of PT…and it’s not bad. I’m feeling better, and I’m definitely sleeping a little more (with some pillows to elevate my knees). I still feel a little silly at times. But I’m trying to make time to help myself feel better, and a bit calmer.