Months of under-medication had given me muscle tension to the point where I had pains in my left shoulder, akin to those I had had before diagnosis. This became increasingly distracting when typing on the computer, as I am a left-handed mouse user. I needed to lean my arm on the back of another chair to get relief. How can I even think of applying for jobs when I can't even sit comfortably at the computer, I thought to myself.
Once I arrived in Australia in July, the thought of going back to my physiotherapist became appealing. While I didn't think anything major was wrong (wasn't that sore ankle only a strained Achilles tendon?), I knew he could press the knots out of my back, if I could stand the pain of it.
But that is not a physio's job, I reasoned. What I need is a massage!
I treated my physio session like a visit to the GP. "I have this pain here. I think it's ...... I haven't had problems with my left shoulder since last time, but my right shoulder is acting up now." Etc, etc.
He agreed with me that massage would remove all those tight knots, known as "trigger points", so the following day I returned to see the massage therapist. He explained to her that I needed those trigger points massaged away. No deep tissue massage, more a relaxation massage.
The next half hour became increasingly painful. Firstly, she dealt with my back, working around my lipoma on the left side. I often think a lot of my pain is to do with having it growing there, but she said that shouldn't be a problem. However, she suggested that having it removed would be a good idea if I had private health cover. She also told me that it is possible to massage them away if one worked at it long enough (years).
Then I turned over and she worked around my collar bone (ouchy, especially on my right side). That was the pain that made me think I had hurt my rotator cuff! Then she worked on my neck, where she said most of the trigger points were.
Well, I almost had to ask for something to bite on! It was difficult to try to relax while the pain came over me in waves, but relaxing is the way to help remove the trigger points, so I tried.
At the end, she explained how the trigger points are the way the body copes with injury. It shuts down the affected area, and all the toxins build up. Now that she's opened them, the toxins should flow and be removed by my kidneys. I should drink water to help flush them out. Also, as I'd be sore for a day or two, I could use a heat pack to help take away the soreness and heal the body.
I will be seeing her every week while I am here, and she should be able to remove the trigger points. Once I am back in Oregon, she recommended a massage every four weeks to keep on top of it. Looks like I will have to find a massage therapist in Oregon!