Solving the puzzle

(Medical stuff is boring to a lot of people, so if you’re one of them, skip this post.)

I saw the physiatrist yesterday, and I mentioned that my GP thinks the pain in my upper arms — the same pain the physiatrist thought was a rotator cuff tear – is from a herniated disk in my neck. “Hmm,” he said.

He made me push back from varying positions and said, “It’s not an unreasonable conclusion, but you have no weakness in your arms,” he said. “I don’t know that we can rule it out completely, but it doesn’t seem likely.” He said an MRI would probably help — except that even if I did have a herniated disk, it didn’t really prove anything. “Just about everyone 40 and older has at least one herniated disk,” he said.

But he thought it might be helpful to try some deep acupuncture in my neck and upper back, so we did. A couple of the spots ALMOST SENT ME THROUGH THE ROOF when he stuck in the needles, but he said that indicated we were on the right track. He said if I had arthritis, or a herniated disk, it was likely that my muscles spasmed to protect the area — and since my upper back and neck are always as hard as a rock, even after myofascial work, that seemed to confirm his theory.

I have to say, my neck feels really good right now. Much looser than usual! That’s the thing I love about acupuncture: If it’s going to work, you feel better right away. Stay tuned!