By Dallas Sharples
Bob came in complaining about back pain that started in his lower back and radiated down his legs. At 63 years old, Bob's pain was so acute he was forced to give up golf; a game he loved and had hoped to spend his retirement enjoying. Bob told me he had difficulty sleeping and was taking medication every day to deal with the pain. In the past Bob had had neck surgery and back surgery on two separate occasions in an attempt to resolve his back problems but nothing had helped.
Assessing the Problem
I examined Bob and noticed he had significant scar tissue and calcification in the joints and muscles. I also noticed adhesions that could be an indication of poor blood flow or the presence of scar tissue related to previous back and neck surgeries. He had limited range of motion in his neck, almost no mobility in is hips, and his muscles were so tight they were difficult to massage and manipulate.
We started with weekly massage treatments focused on promoting circulation, breaking up scar tissue, and bringing the muscles back to a supple, flexible state that would allow them to function properly.
Bob noticed an immediate improvement. He was sleeping better, walking about 45 minutes a day, and reported significantly less pain. During a follow-up exam I noticed Bob's muscle tone had improved and found he was more flexible and had a greater range of motion.
Return to Health
After six weeks, I recommended we continue to address Bob’s chronic back issues but reduce the frequency of massage treatments to every two weeks. Bob’s progress stabilized after four treatments and I recommended he continue with monthly treatments that would ensure he was able to return to the game he loved.
A big part of Bob’s improvement resulted from his willingness to take part in his recovery and make lifestyle changes that would support a healthy back. When massage treatments started, Bob committed to walking every day and progressed from five minutes at a time to the two hours he is able to walk now. He also lost 50 pounds!!
Getting Back in the Game
I am happy to report that Bob’s quality of life has improved dramatically. He is virtually pain free and is able to golf regularly and walk the course without difficulty. He continues to exercise daily, is sleeping better, and finds the occasional strain no long aggravates his back. Best of all, Bob is back on the golf course. Bob is doing the things he loves and enjoying a healthy and happy retirement.
Bob is a great example of how massage can benefit old injuries and chronic problems and help us to regain a better quality of life.
If you would like to find out if massage therapy can help you, visit Okanagan Acupuncture Centre at our downtown Kelowna location or contact us to find out more!