Wednesday, August 27, 2014

spoke too soon re: back injury [but foot is improving!]

It turns out I should've waited another week or so before posting the update to my back injury.  Unfortunately, Dr. Anna just didn't work out.  When I first visited with her, we discussed my issue and her treatment plan.  I did a combination of heat, electrical stimulation and traction therapy before Dr. Anna performed some back adjustments.  My back felt better and I was optimistic that this would help. 

Unfortunately, on my 3rd or 4th visit, Dr. Anna decided to adjust my entire body, which was previously not discussed.  I asked her to please not touch my right foot, as I am in physical therapy post-surgery and it was still very sore and tender.  What did Dr. Anna do?  Grab my foot very hard, causing extreme pain.  She proceeded to yank my legs so hard that it jolted my back, causing more pain then I'd had in over a month.  I basically had to hobble out of the office, and I knew that I would not return.  It really just did not sit well with me at all that she didn't listen to me.
Seriously, is there a color-scheme prerequisite for
sports medicine / physical therapy / chiropractic practices??
Early on, Deb had recommended that I check out Capital Rehab as she has had such positive experience with them.  Unfortunately, they are located in Arlington, and with all the running around I feel I have been doing lately, I just couldn't see how I was going to be able to squeeze in a drive up that way multiple times a week.  But it got me thinking... rehab.  Maybe that is the key.  So, I did a little research and stumbled upon Sport & Spine Rehab in Fairfax.

Dr. Sevel is pretty awesome.  She reviewed my MRI and did a thorough exam and measured my range of motion, something that neither my previous PT nor chiropractor did.  In fact, she spent a lot of time with me, watching my movements, taking measurements and evaluating me. Her conclusion is that yes, I do have the disc issues, and that accounts for the "some days is definitely worse than others" or the more acute times that I physically can't move... BUT... for the more consistent pain I've been having, she believes I have a dysfunctional SI joint. She thinks I've probably had both all along, but once people saw the disc issues on the MRI, they focused on that. OK, I'll buy that.. and glad I didn't pursue another ESI unnecessarily.
My disc issues are in L4/L5 (the disc above the 5th lumbar vertebra)
which appears close to the Sacroiliac (SI) joint.
The treatment plan started out with three times per week of physical therapy, adjustment (and sometimes a grafting tool when my back feels tight), ice and electrical stimulation.  I will say that the physical therapy associated with the rehab is a little tedious, if not annoying at times, but at least the exercises they give me seem to work my back (as opposed to the joke of physical therapy I experienced before).  The most obnoxious part is that the "rehab specialists" just stand over you and babysit you while you are going through the exercises.  Watch me, sure, and make sure my form is correct, but please give me some personal space!  Then, with the adjustments, and after the jolting that I experienced with my previous adjustments, it initially seemed that Dr. Sevel was barely doing anything, so light to the touch.  But.. I *have* been feeling better after my visits [and doing foam roller, biofreeze, etc at home], and Dr. Sevel thinks I can start reducing my frequency to twice per week.
You can tell the difference between left [good] and right [bad] feet.
For once, you actually WANT to see wrinkles in the foot as it bends...
Still, the fact that I can go up on my toes AT ALL is a good thing!
Meanwhile, I am thrilled to say that my foot is improving!  Definitely not 100% yet, but Amy did a new set of measurements and my foot has gone from angles of 15/32 (down to up motion) up to 23/58.  This is compared with my left foot's measurements of 38/85.  I'm not going to lie, the physical therapy has hurt.. a lot.. but I know that it's helping.  In fact, Amy has told me that I only need to go back three more times before she sets me free.  I will need to continue working with my foot on my own and doing the exercises.  I am headed in the right direction!!  Finally, physical therapy has actually worked for me!

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