Monday, October 28, 2013

Managing Osteoarthritis

October 8th had me at the sports MD clinic where we discussed treatment options.  It was at this appointment that the full scope of what I am dealing with came into focus. I realized that this wasn't just 'bone spurs' I needed to treat but it's full on Osteoarthritis in my knees. Now, my chiro did make this clear when we first reviewed my x-rays but I had focused solely on the spurs at the time.  I left the appointment feeling a little overwhelmed as the realization sunk in.  On the plus side I had options that could delay surgery and delay eventual knee replacements.  The best option on the table was to move forward with injections that would basically lubricate my knees.  I had the usual chiro appt that night as well and we discussed my options a bit more and dealing with Osteoarthritis and the next day I booked my first injection.

I went in October 15th feeling a little nervous, excited and very hopeful that this was going to do the trick!  The sports MD preped the area and I barely felt the needle but I could feel him injecting the fluid into my knee.  It took not even a minute and that was it, after the injection he just worked the fluid around a bit and I was done and booked my right knee for the following week.  

So last Tuesday I went back to get "righty" done and I wish I could say it was the same experience as it was with the left but boy or boy it was anything but!  I felt everything this time, the needle going in was incredibly painful and I could feel the injection more as well.  But again less than a minute and it was done!  As soon as I got back to work my hamstring starting stiffening and it wasn't long until my calf followed.  By the end of the day I was limping around work.  When I got home I stretched out with a heating pad and had dh work on my calf in an attempt to loosen up the muscles a bit.  I had tears streaming down my face it hurt so badly.

The next morning I emailed my chiro and he fit me in that evening.  By this time I was full on limping around the office as my leg was stiff and swollen.  He took one look and got me on the table connected to the electric muscle stimulating machine.  I think I sat there for a good twenty minutes while the machine worked it's magic. He then followed up with some ART just to finish off the treatment.  Following doctors orders I went home and soaked in a warm bath then stretched out my legs a bit more.  I was amazed, within 24 hours I was walking normally again, what a difference!

I learned a big lesson from the experience with my right leg.  Before these types of injections I need to make a trip into the chiro office for some clean up so my muscles can calm down and not be super tight to begin with as I had done that for the left and I think that was the difference between the two.

This past Saturday I went back for another treatment and my knees felt great after!  Even today I am noticing a big improvement with reduced pain and I don't feel the grinding, cracking and popping as much...perhaps it's already working!  

I also started back doing some hip strengthening exercises this weekend and plan to continue that today.  Slowly, ever so slowly I am making my way off the bench and I am keeping my fingers crossed that I get the green light to bike and run again this week!

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