Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oh Scalene! Whatcha doin' to me, Scalene? :)

Well! We might be excavating deeply enough to find some real therapy to go along with the drugs to work on my Meniere's Syndrome and Migraine Disease.

At the moment, I'm iced up and doing some music therapy for the pain in my head. The pain's not pounding yet but it will be in a little while. That's what physical therapy on a neck can do!  Taking meds now and I'll be off for rocks shortly.  Chris told me to expect all this exacerbation of symptoms.

Many of my Meniere's buds and I have a thin strip of painful muscles down the sides of our necks on the side (or sides) in which we also have Meniere's. My right ear is currently diagnosed with Meniere's. The painful strip running down the right side of my neck has made me weep from the relentless intensity. Neither ice nor heat relieve the pain nor even mitigate it. With the Migraine preventative medication regimen I'm on, nearly all pain in my entire body responds to either Advil, Aleve, or if it's Migraine, to Indocin (occasionally I'll need my really big pain guns but not often).  They'll relieve the thin strip of pain but not the tenderness when I touch it.

Today, physical therapist Chris got to work on my neck.  He worked and worked and suddenly SHAZAAM.  He touched that painful strip (which had not been actively hurting and isn't hurting now) and I nearly came off the table from the hurt.  I felt it inside my right Meniere's ear HARD.

[As an aside, I felt bad for the other people in the clinic who heard my *ack*.  Hope they didn't wonder if Chris was throttling me or something.  XD]

He told me he had touched a group of 3 muscles called the scalenes.  Scalene muscles are innervated by one or more of the very vertebrae in my neck that I know are in trouble:  C-2 through C-7.  Chris told me that if we had time he'd get the anatomy book out and we'd look at it but dang, he spent two hours on my backbone as it was and I was a steak tender at the end.  I told him I'd look it up on the internet.

Scalene muscles seem to be associated with a repetitive injury called thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS).  TOS causes, among other things, numbness across the tops of your arms down to the ends of certain fingers.  That's a sensation I have during some migraine attacks, usually during prodrome.  Won't matter if I have TOS if they can just fix it.  Not looking for yet another diagnosis.  All I want is to get well.

Anyway, Chris worked like a field medic:  he noted how bad he was hurting me but it didn't stop him.  He got all up and under my C-1, also called the Atlas bone, but otherwise didn't do much near my vertebrae at all.  He concentrated on neck muscles.

Last thing he did on my neck was something he called "manual traction".  MY WORD I'd hire that man to do that to me every day.  I told him I felt an inch taller but he said he hoped he'd not stretched me but half that.  XD

We took a break and he showed me how to use my TENS unit.  E-stim which clinics use for pain relief is very good for me so I'm pumped about trying this for pain.  Chris gave me free reign to use it wherever I needed it.  COOL BEANIES.

[Another aside:  TENS units are not designed for the electrodes to be used directly on the head.  There is a company that makes an over-the-counter mini-TENS for headache but otherwise, don't anybody use TENS electrodes directly on your head unless your doc or PT tells you to and even then, have them explain why your prescription durable medical equipment TENS unit is safe enough for your head, why not?]

I have enough pain in other places that I could burn up the batteries in short order, I imagine.  And, after trying a nice little TENS secret that the owner of the clinic uses for vestibular problems, we discovered last week that it temporarily stopped the migraine pain that last week's work triggered.  I'm telling you, Dr. Breathtakingly Arrogant is onto something.  He spotted my Meniere's (which is a cochlear condition sometimes called cochlear hydrops) and told me that many of his tough cases have cochlear issues as well as migraine.

I had a rare opportunity, during my first visit to clinic, to be evaluated by a physical therapy doctoral student.  She was utterly amazing.  Never have I had a more thorough spinal and balance evaluation, ever.  She was about to recommend a...walker...but said that if I was doing ok and not falling with my cane, it would do.  Elder Assistant Offspring told me that if it ever did come down to a walker, she and my other daughter would pimp it out for me.  My only request was for headlights.  LOLOL

Anyway, that's a status report on the state of my head.  I've decided to name my TENS unit "Scalene".   After while Scalene and I gonna hook up and go cruisin'.  :)

Some links below to information about scalene muscles if you're just interested.

Scalene muscles drawing
Scalene muscles

Parin Stormlaughter sent this using ShareThis.

Head and Neck Musculature, innervation of scalene muscles
PT Central - Muscles of the Head

Parin Stormlaughter sent this using ShareThis.

Gray's Superficial Cervical Plexus (purple-taupe)
File:Gray784.png - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Parin Stormlaughter sent this using ShareThis.

Copyright 2008-2010 Parin Stormlaughter, Sparkling With Crystals, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. I do not grant reprint permission. Use the ShareThis link if you want to share this. Nothing in the above article is remunerated content. Remember that if my work gets published anywhere else without proper citation, I'll pray for you. And perhaps take legal action. Rest assured, prayer is far more effective.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. Publishing decisions are made by the Sparkling With Crystals staff.