Friday, April 3, 2015

Two days after first Prolotherapy injections

I am also really happy to finally get to ride my ElliptiGO outdoors
this week after riding 1300 miles on the indoor trainer since January 1.

Wednesday, I had my first prolotherapy injections for my si joint and lower back. What I expected was that I would be sore for a day or two and beyond that feel nothing new. I was told it may not be until the third set of monthly injections that I notice any difference and would be able to tell if it works for me or not. My doctor also said that for a very small percentage of people it works right away even after the first injection. Prolotherapy involves injecting a substance into ligaments that make them inflamed and starts them on a healing process to tighten them up. The osteopath I went to in order to put my si joint back in place before the injections says it is like fusing the joint back together.

Since I started having si joint problems when I started competing in triathlons back in 1983, I knew this was a chronic problem for me (and it led to a torn hip labrun that I had surgery for in 2011 to repair). The injections weren't as painful or plentiful as I imagined. When I got down to my car 20 minutes later to drive home, I thought my pelvis area was feeling better, but it could be due to the lidocaine or whatever medicine they put in the shots for pain-relief.

After an hour drive home, I felt pretty good, and the injection sites were not that sore at all. As I walked around, I felt as if the bones of my hips and low back had been tightened up, but the muscle around them had been loosened from their tightness. It was a good feeling. I was more steady and solid on my feet instead of feeling off and twisted like I usually do. Again, I think the medicine or just the positive feelings of taking care of business (finally) had my feeling good.

I didn't exercise that day (as suggested) and while I was a bit sore that night (nothing as bad as when my hips are tight and out of alignment), I woke up still feeling good. I noticed that my roll out of bed was easy. I usually can't stay in control of twisting out of bed or into or out of a car because there are certain parts in my lower back that feel dead. I walked around all day with what felt like a new left side, I was in control of my hip movements on that side. It felt like my left (bad) hip had been zipped into place and was now pulled back where it belonged. I assume this was because of the si joint and not the hip, but that is how it felt. As I walked, my hip worked normally, something I am not familiar with at all. It was really weird and the knee (popliteus) tightness and tightness on the bottom of my foot had disappeared. My left leg was moving and holding my weight normally right down to the bottom of my foot. Gone was the twisting and off balance feeling I am so accustomed to. I haven't felt this way in years- dare I say since 1983, I do not understand this and expect it to all fall apart soon, but I rode my ElliptiGO the next day for 15 miles and 24 miles today with no changes in how good I feel. I also felt more balanced on my ElliptiGO, although not perfect, something I have been struggling with since the summer. Everything is working better!

I did not expect this at all and don't expect it to continue, how can it? I keep thinking the ligaments will stretch out again or something else will start hurting or fall out of place, but for now I am enjoying what feels like the start of a new body. Basically, I always felt something messed up in my left hip (could it have been the laxity in the si joint that threw everything else off) and that there seemed to be a piece missing in my left lower back that made it always feel like it was collapsing just a little bit (no strength there). Could those little injections already have started to tighten things up. They aren't supposed to take full effect for 4-6 weeks. Was it more the relaxing of a big spasm when she put the needle into my lower back? That even surprised the doctor.

What I do know is that I can feel better, if only for a few days and I feel really good that I am on the right path. What I don't know is even if this eventually makes me as strong as an ox where the ligaments made me weak, if I will ever be able to run pain-free again or even run again. Who knows what will happen when I start to run. I definitely am not going to try doing that yet. I will let things heal and just be patient. If it all falls apart tomorrow and I lose all these good feelings and improved movement and balance, I will not be disappointed, because this just shows me that I can get back to a more balanced body that is strong and working on both sides. I am just really perplexed at how quickly things started to feel so good! I would be extremely happy to feel this good for the rest of my life as it feels like a breath of fresh air to this constantly twisted painful body. I don't go back for my second injection until the middle of May. It will be interesting to find out what happens to my body in the next few weeks. Let's just say that this little experiment is making me very happy, as I was extremely worried that I might just be wasting money I didn't have, to try out some new type of therapy!


Brian said...

Wow! This sounds really good; almost too good to be true, but while I share your trepidation about this not being permanent, I really hope that it is! It's so good to hear you having a positive result, resulting in a positive frame of mind. So just like on "Mission: Impossible", I'll sign off by saying, "Good luck, Jim."


Jim Hansen said...

Thanks Brian,
I am really baffled at this. Some people do get immediate improvement. I certainly did no expect this. It may go away. Who knows? I am curious about the next few weeks. Meanwhile I can bend down and pick things up easily for the first time in years, so my wife is very happy as I do all sorts of cleaning and chores around the house.

Brian said...

It's all good! I hope that it continues to improve for you.