July progress report

What’s Going On?

I seem to have skipped a June progress report entirely.  Bad blogger!

I feel like I’ve made huge improvements since my May progress report.  Let’s look into that.

Gokhale method work

I’ve mentioned the Esther Gokhale class work a few times.  Since the May progress report, Peter and I finished her six-week class and have also attended one of her “alumni” refresher courses, on glidewalking.  I know I recommend her class in every blog entry, but honestly, I can’t say enough good things about it.

I do her stretch-lying routine before bed every single night and now the only time I wake up with back pain is if I wind up in some crazy position overnight.  Most mornings are completely pain free.

I also practice hip-hinging at least once every day for 30 seconds at a time.  I’ve mentioned this in prior entries but it’s made a noticeable improvement in my SI joint pain.

When I remember to do it, her method of walking, called glidewalking, is also very good on my back.  I almost never remember to do it while I’m walking, though. That would be a good mini-goal for my August progress report (hear that, future self?).

New Back Doc and the spinal decompression therapy

I’ve completed 11 weeks of treatment now.  I no longer go three times per week but instead have dropped down to 2x/week. I think I have one more week at 2x/week and then I’ll drop to once a week and then, eventually, monthly.

In the May progress report, I wrote:

  • It’s hard to say whether it’s really helping.  On the one hand, I’m almost entirely pain-free during the day…on the other hand, I still have SI joint pain if I do the elliptical and I haven’t tried riding or doing a workout since starting the treatment (at the doc’s request — he wanted me to pause those things so that if I had pain, he would know that it was something with the SDT and not the riding or whatever).
Now that it’s July, I can unequivocally say that it has been helping.   Our sessions have a bit of traditional chiropractic manipulation now and even having the sacrum smacked around a few times per week isn’t painful at all.  I continue to be pain-free most days and I really don’t have SI joint pain anymore.  In fact, today has been the first time in weeks that I’ve had any SI discomfort and I’ve been — shall we say — perhaps a bit overzealous during my vacation week from work (riding and exercising and house redecoration, oh my!).   
New Back Doc is very supportive of the motorcycling, so that’s really what we’ve been focusing on.  He says that once I can ride whenever I want to again (with the exception of off-roading), I can start doing public skates and then gradually work my way back up to hockey. Right now, though, he’s focusing on the motorcycling and doesn’t want me to think too much about a contact sport. 😉  That’s fair.


I think the best example of how much better I’ve been doing is to give a short run-down of “active” things I’ve done since my last progress report in May: 
  • Ridden about 200 miles
  • Camped overnight twice (including setting up camp, walking, carrying stuff, etc)
  • Bumped up my Couch to 5K workout settings to a slow jog (still doing that 3x/week)
  • Started doing a FitDeck bodyweight workout 2x/week
  • Painted two walls of our guest bedroom, including carrying the paint cans and carrying/moving around the ladder
You get the gist.  That’s a lot of movement and I’ve had very little pain after doing any of it.  I get muscle pain, of course (after the first day of painting, my back muscles were like, “wait, this isn’t sitting on the couch!”) but the discomfort generally lasts 1 to 3 days, instead of a week or more at a time.  Things are really moving along!
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