So I finally paid my chiropractor, Dr. Bill, a visit. I have been working through suck-your-breath pain ever since poling myself into a corner last weekend. My money was on inguinal ligament entrapment of the femoral cutaneous nerve by the psoas, revised from gluteal compression of same (it’s a big nerve) but just lying on my face for him to check my reflexes made me Lamaze breathe and jack-knife up off the chiropractic table, the first time that has happened since I was in my twenties.
He opines that I tore the hell out of a whole square yardage of fascia. Have you met fascia? That stuff that you have to peel off poultry or flank steak when preparing it? It is not directional (meaning it can be strained from whatever angle), and infiltrates every tiny layer of tissue in your body — literally, there is no break between the fascia that divides your brain hemispheres and the fascia at the arch of your foot. It has no circulation of its own and depends on the pumping action of the adjacent muscles to do that job; when you hear about flesh eating bacteria, it is a form of fasciitis. I just had the kind that doesn’t eat your flesh, which sort of helps you maintain perspective. Dr. Bill got a Kleenex and tried hard to duplicate the visual demo he had seen in a workshop of what fascial tearing looks like, but it was a bit beyond his dexterity. Think the little gaps and thin spots that happen when you string out pizza cheese. I knew that anyway but it was cute to watch him get frustrated over a small heap of tissues.
My whole thigh had gotten clobbered; hence the random, varying seizures of pain, ranging from “hot wires running through the muscle” to “screaming spastic ache” chasing one another through everything except my hamstrings. I felt you could argue for a knock-on effect in the brain, sure enough.
We sat in his office while I absorbed a horse doctor dose of Advil and he changed the ice blanket on my leg and hip — which was already slathered with Biofreeze – three times. He didn’t adjust anything. The relief was worth the appointment fee nevertheless. According to one seminar he had attended you can do this ice thing for three hours at a time, stunning pain receptors and driving stagnant tissue fluids back into return circulation. I am on the second hour of the second round, having seen a client in between times, without pain making me light-headed for the first time since the weekend.
According to the Travell text I keep on a bookstand, “we see rectus femoris trigger points develop as the result of overload caused by abnormal hip joint mechanics, and then vastus lateralis trigger points develop because that muscle attempts to compensate for the compromised rectus femoris,” which all probably sounds vaguely rude to people who don’t toss these terms around every day, but pretty well describes where I was before I poled myself to death and just definitively tore up all the interlacing soft tissue.
I’ve been ordered to pound the Advil in double doses for three days; he insists another seminar reassured him that this is not long enough to weaken my tendons or turn my liver plaid or any of the things you worry about with NSAIDs.
I ate a whole pot of macaroni and cheese. This wasn’t a prescription, but it is something I save for emergencies. The last time I had any I think Clinton was President. The first box I opened was full of weevils.
This is all so educational I could just shit.