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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bits and Pieces

It's funny just how difficult it is sometimes to see the big picture. I am speaking both literally and figuratively here. Like most of the time when we look at a problem or a piece of art or anything really, we end up focusing on certain parts or issues and don't even notice others. What we focus on depends on many factors: our personalities, our experiences, our culture and our education. This is why in academia you often find conflictual relationships between various departments, like, say, political science, economics and history. or engineering, biology and environmental studies.

Everyone has their own way of looking at something and it may be no more right or wrong than any other perspective. Just different, and sometimes different perspectives conflict, but other times they may be very complimentary, but the opportunity for real progress and discovery is lost because there is a lack of communication and cooperation.

Within the health and wellness field you get this a lot too. Take the same health problem, and a family doctor, naturopath, homeopath and physiologist, for example, may all have a different explanation and form of treatment.

Originally when, what I thought was sciatica/periformis syndrome, started becoming unbearable many months ago, I saw an osteopath. After one treatment, she said I could expect an improvement but that I might regress, in which case I might need several treatments.

I did improve and then I did regress. But at that point, I decided I should see a doctor to get a REAL diagnosis. He did not think it was sciatica/periformis syndrome, but a compressed nerve in my hamstring due to my pelvic misalignment and sent me to physio. And so, for months now, I have been in physio. I started to see some progress - the pain went from unbearable to bearable - but then I regressed almost completely a few weeks ago. This was very disheartening, especially considering all the time and effort I have put into my exercises and core work as my physiotherapist suggested.

Monday, after almost a month without physio, I saw my therapist and told her about my regression. After examining me, she said my pelvic alignment was holding well, but that the muscles in my lower back and hip on the left side were incredibly tight and my movement one that side was extremely comprimised. Despite my despair, she assured me that recovery is still possible.

Nevertheless, I decided to go back to see the osteopath on Friday. I explained the diagnosis I had been given by the doctor. She was skeptical but said she would not challenge the diagnosis, however, she was concerned that certain things were being overlooked.

She examined my alignment and confirmed that my pelvis is in a better position, however, she pointed out that my upper body is completely crooked! She shifted my torso and shoulders so that I was standing straight and asked how it felt. It felt totally unnatural! The osteopath said she was surprised that the doctor and physiotherapist were focusing solely on my lower half and not looking at what is going on above my waist. Apparently not good things!

She also noted that I still have diastasis (seperation of the abdominal muscles) from my pregnancies and felt there was bound to be some built up scar tissue from my c-sections that could be having an impact on my biomechanics. I had asked my physiotherapist about my diastasis and she thought is wasn't serious enough to worry about.

The osteopath worked on me intensively for over an hour. I left feeling a bit better. Yesterday I felt even better. Today I am completely pain free for the first time in many, many months. I realize now that I had forgotten what it is like to not feel pain! For the first time in such a long time I can actually fully straighten my left leg without crazy pain in my left hamstring! I am really and truly astonished!

Of course who knows how long this will last, but if I have to see the osteopath every few weeks or months to be pain free, that's better than seeing a physiotherapist weekly and just getting to the point of having tolerable pain, right?

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