August progress report

What’s going on?

As a matter of idle curiosity, today is the two-year anniversary of my disc injury.

New Back Doc

The spinal decompression therapy continues to go well.  I’m down to going just once per week and seem to be doing well on that schedule.

One thing that I’ll note just for posterity is that I have a minor amount of pain at the end of the session when I move to get off the table.  I have a bolster propped up under my knees while I’m lying flat on my back and, at the end of the treatment, I need to lift my knees up so the tech can remove the bolster.  This always causes some minor pain at my low back.


I finally tried acupuncture this month for the massive muscle cramp in my quadratus lumborum (QL).  I went to Colleen Burke at Esther Gokhale’s studio and was very impressed. Our first session was about 90 minutes, half of which was going over my health history and talking about what hurt and how, etc.

She used 24 needles on various parts of my shoulders, back, and glutes.  My entire left side was very jumpy to the needles.  The right side was like, eh, needles, whatevs…but the left side jumped and twitched and spasmed.  The QL muscle on my left side immediately started twitching as soon as the needle was inserted and kept involuntarily twitching for about 6 hours.  I was incredibly physically tired after the session but it really seemed to help the QL muscle.

I saw Colleen for a second session later that week; nothing twitched that time but it still seems to have helped.

The QL flared up a little bit again after my most recent motorcycle ride, but nowhere near as badly as it was prior to the acupuncture. I’m very busy this week but will try to get another session with Colleen in; maybe if I go once a month or so it’ll keep that QL in check.

Activity Log

Here’s a rough list of the active stuff I’ve done since the July progress report.

  • Ridden about 240 miles (more than I rode from May-July!)
  • Did a mile hike on one motorcycle ride and a three-mile hike on a separate ride
  • Couch to 5K on average three times/week
  • FitDeck bodyweight workout once/week
  • Painted another wall of our guest bedroom, including carrying the paint cans and carrying/moving around the ladder

Reactions to Activity

For the most part, my back is reacting well to activity.  I generally have 1-3 days of muscle pain after doing a motorcycle ride that’s longer than about 50 miles, but it’s not debilitating.  It’s not even really ibuprofen-level; more like “huh, that burning/tingling is annoying”.  I had a day of some calf and thigh tingles/coldness after the most recent motorcycle ride (which I still haven’t blogged about as I am lazy) but that’s it.

What’s Next?

I have a lot coming up in the next month, so hopefully the September progress report will be interesting (not in a bad way).  Here’s what I hope to talk about next month:

  • Weekend camping trip including at least 5 miles of hiking
  • Much more motorcycling (maybe even a goal of a 100-mile ride!!)
  • At least one more acupuncture session
  • Round three of C25K; I’m about ready to start it over again and bump up the speed some more
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