Monday, May 24, 2010

Trigger points and therapy

Today was my first physio session after the car accident. Can I just say ‘ouch’? I would say more than that, but then my blog would find itself slapped with an R rating for violence (of swearing), language and adult concepts (I should put it where?).

In short, while I am fine, I am hurting. Muscles that are supposed to just quietly go about their business holding me upright and allowing me to type (and be appalling at tennis) were rudely flung into a parallel universe – and they are protesting.

This is not a pity party (though feel free to share your concern about my wellbeing in the comments section). I repeat, I am fine, and I’m well aware that there are many people in the world much worse off than me. But being in pain has focussed my thoughts. With pin point accuracy.

My physio used ‘trigger point’ therapy on me today. What that showed me was that a muscle hurting down around my ribs can refer pain to my ears. Yes, my ears. The outside of my ears.

Ears don’t hurt. They just sit on the side of your head – never considered unless they’re too big and you spend your entire life making sure your hair covers them. Until today. When something hurts, it’s incredibly difficult to think about anything else but how much it hurts.

I know that there are people who live with chronic pain every day. They get through their lives with their ears (or equivalent) hurting. I never realised how much that underlying soreness drains your energy. It’s not just that you hurt, it’s that you hurt and you want to be lying in a darkened room. Eyes closed. In peace.

As opposed to playing Lego in a room full of people with the TV on.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve hurt before. But you know how it is with pain – as soon as it’s over, you can’t remember what it felt like. And while you’ve got it, you think it will never end. Just ask any mum to describe childbirth. She can’t. Not really.

The good news is that this too shall pass. I have more physio (aka torture) sessions to endure, but at some point my neck muscles will stop feeling that they gave to grip as tightly as a baby koala. At which point, I shall resume my tennis career.

You have been warned.


  1. Ouch, ouch, ouch. Hope you send that baby koala packing very soon. Until then, maybe you can convince Mr3 and Mr6 to play Legos in the dark??

  2. Oh I'm sorry you're hurting. Horrible. Was it all down to the accident? Pain is such a weird thing, like you say. You really don't remember it afterwards but at the time it twists your whole day. I had physio for about 5 months after my last baby was born as I had sciatica which I hoped would go on delivery. Then they moved onto acupuncture. It's weird seeing your leg go into spasm because of a needle somewhere else. And all that stuff about if you want to give up smoking (not that I do), they put a needle in your ear. The human body is a strange, miraculous thing.

    I do hope your pain - and your ears - get better soon. And you don't get tennis elbow.

  3. Why is it that the physio always hurts worse than the accident ever did? Anyway, get well as slowly or as fast as you like, Allison.

  4. Ouchie! Just make sure you look after your neck - it can take a while for that type of injury to heal. Don't push yourself too hard. xx

  5. I sympathise having been in a four car pile up a few years back. The physio was more painful than the accident, but worth it in the end. Looking forward to the resumption of your tennis career with interest.

  6. Poor you :( Expressing lots of concern and meaning it... I have worked as a psych in a chronic pain clinic and have seen how it drags people down day by day. Hoping you're back on the court soon- Wimbledon is coming up!


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