Six years ago I had my first and only acupuncture treatments. At the time, I was addressing a shoulder issue care of a pretty epic and ungraceful bail while trail running. It was magical. One of the needles struck perfectly in the midst of a tense muscle, created an intense spasm and, just like that, my shoulder felt measurably better.
Somehow, I have not returned to acupuncture since…until today. My unaffordable, and therefore temporary, Olympic and pro sports team chiropractor and sports therapist also does acupuncture and thought it might be good for my sciatic issues. My father also suggested this several weeks ago but, in true stubborn and lazy fashion, I wasn’t willing to look for an acupuncturist even though I knew it would probably help. But if an acupuncturist happened to fall in my lap, well that’s an entirely different matter…even if I ended up paying five times as much for it.
Here’s the skinny on today’s acupuncture:
- Pre-acupuncture symptoms: I’ve been what I presume to be sciatic-related aching in my right leg muscles (mostly hamstring and calf), along with a horrible feeling that my sciatic is on the verge of going into its bad place (i.e. spasms).
- During Treatment: I believe my doctors think my threshold for pain is about 1/1000th of what it actually is. The number of times my chiropractor asked me if the needles felt ok was alarming. I have had my entire SI joint seize up. I have had my sciatic nerve decide to host its own raging dance party. Sticking a couple of tiny ass needles into my muscles is nothing. My saddest treatment moment occurred when I realized I wasn’t going to have one of those crazy muscle contractions that causes your entire body to involuntarily twitch. I got some good tingling and minor twitchy-ness but not at the scale I was hoping for.
- Post Treatment: I got to lay on my stomach and close my eyes for ten minutes, so first and foremost I felt like I’d almost taken a nap. In terms of my SI, it feels about the same post-treatment. The muscles surrounding my sciatic nerve (mostly the piriformis and gluteus maximus) on the other hand, have had a pretty consistent dull ache since the acupuncture. Apparently this is common, but I definitely didn’t experience this with my last acupuncture treatment. However, I’m also comparing apples to oranges as my last injury-related acupuncture treatment was for a completely different part of my body.
So now I wait to see if there is some lasting relief from this course of action. If so, I will seek a more affordable acupuncturist. Although I quite like new chiropractor/sports therapist/acupuncturist, if I see him weekly I will be spending an ungodly percentage of my net income, a number so high I can’t name it here out of fear that it will spur on a panic attack.