Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Back troubles redux

I felt pretty good after a week of working out at the gym. Specifically, I felt creeky but healthy enough to have done five days of cardio, stretched two to three times daily during the week, and worked some weights and abs. So on Saturday, I showed up at the dojo, wished everyone a happy new year, and went thru a bugo class. I held up fine through the class including four small sparring sessions. Cardio was my biggest problem but I left the dojo convinced that I was back and ready to train.

That night, my back started really aching. Specifically, my hips felt out of whack and one shoulder felt like it was pushed way forward, almost out of its socket. Sunday morning, I went off for a therapeutic massage which made me feel better but also convinced me that I have some serious problems.

The therapist pointed out that my neck was at a funny angle as were several other parts of my anatomy. She couldn't really figure out why. I concluded that as soon as my muscles got tired or contracted, parts either fall or getting pulled out of whack. Ouch.

So, who should I go to? There are a number of closely related specialists
which I find confusing.

Physiatrists - A physician who specializes in the use of physical therapy for treatment or rehabilitation following disease, trauma, or surgery
Chiropractor - A system of therapy which involves manipulation of the spinal column and other body structures.
Orthopedists - Medical doctors
Osteopaths -
- a therapist who manipulates the skeleton and muscles
Physical therapists - They usually work in conjunction with a doctor in building up or stretching out.
Massage therapy -

Stay tuned as I wonder my way through this labyrinth.


John Lyons-Sensei Universal Goju Karate School said...

This is exactly why I said go back but be easy about it. We need to make sure everything we do is controled and well thought out. Adreniline will mask injuries until later in the day or night. Adreneline is relased when the "fight or flight" instinct is activated while sparring. The adreneline that was released takes hours to to be flushed from your system. That is why yoou didn't feel the pain until that evening.

You really need to see a physiatrist soon. They can help you address your whole body issue. There isn't one particular thing that is affecting you. It is a combination of age, body type, past history, genetics, etc, etc.

Becareful of the Chiropractor. Anyone who is manipulating your spine is delving into a sensitive region. When you're young you can bounce back from malpractice. When you're older it takes much longer.

The Physiatrist and physical therapy should get you back in order. Kata is the key to physical conditioning for the martial artist. It's practice is a controled "psuedo" fight. Kata prepares your for a fight. The older we get the more we need to learn to "fight the wind".

Good luck

Anonymous said...

Personally, I would try a chiropractor first and continue with the therapeutic massages

Mark Cook said...

I'm sneaking up on 50 myself. I also have students in their 50ties. Props to you for working hard toward your BB. I started training seriously in 1994. Shortly thereafter I began to have back troubles. A chiropracter I went to told me I should give up Karate. 14 years later i'm a 3rd dan.

I've linked a vid here from ABCs 20/20. it's a jon stossel piece on Dr.John Sarno. I found it, and Sarnos book "The mind Body Perscription" very helpful. Good luck.