Jane has being living in pain for the last 18 years. Her life revolves around going to different doctor’s appointments, getting shots and taking drug tests. This life style started in 2000. As a result of an accident, Jane had a 360 degree fusion because her spine collapsed. She has Bilateral Neuropathy meaning that her sciatic nerves are permanently damaged. Jane lives with chronic pain.
What is a Back Account?
Visualize a bank account but this account is for how much activity your body can do in a day. Jane explained to me that she only has so much in her account each day. She does yoga, takes her medicine and eats a balanced diet all to deposit into her back account. Massage Therapy is going to deposit into her back account to help her live a better life. Because Jane will always have pain the goal isn’t to cure her pain but to improve her quality of life.
Jane’s First Week
To measure how massage therapy was effecting Jane, we went went over a number of assessments. Each category she gave a number from 1-10, 1 being the best and 10 being the worst. We also talked in detail about why she choose each number.
The week before her massage, she noticed her balance wasn’t great. She was having a hard time in yoga poses and would fall over if she had to balance on one leg.
After her massage she didn’t feel much difference in her balance.
Range of Motion- 5,3,9
We broke up range of motion into three different categories because some areas she felt good about while other areas, not so much. Her arms and legs had decent range and she could do big circles with her arms. She gave her limbs a 5.
She did a forward bend and gave that a 3. After all she could touch her toes and move around if she was bending forward. But her backwards arch was non existent, a 9. She was unable to even look up at the ceiling.
After the massage her range of motion in every area was better by 1 point.
Jane explained that her fusion was the worst pain she has ever had and that it’s the only 10 she will ever experience. That being said, three days last week she experienced a 9. She was bed ridden and unable to move without assistance. The other half of the week felt like her normal 4 and that is why she said the whole week averaged as a 5. She said her pain was at a 3 after the massage.
Mood- 8 and 1
She felt great on the days she wasn’t confined to her bed. On the bad days though, she was depressed and frustrated that her whole life had to come to a halt because of her condition.
After the massage she felt less stressed and relaxed.
Daily Function- 5
On this category she introduced me to the concept of a back account. She had a normal back account half of last week. A major factor in her week was the days she was bed ridden, so she had to do catch up on the days she could move. Her daily activity level is lower than someone with out pain, her 5 might be someone else’s 7.
After her massage she was able to do extra core strengthening exercise as well as yoga.
Sleep isn’t always on the horizon for Jane. She tracks her sleep with her fitness watch and one night she only had 2 hours of sleep. The best night she had last week was 6 hours of sleep.
The night after her massage she was able to sleep 7 hours and 34 mins. The last time she had came close to 8 hours was 12 days ago.
Jane says she has a lot of energy and that was makes her so frustrated. She has the desire and the energy to accomplish everything she wants but her body doesn’t allow it.
After the massage she said her energy was low because she was relaxed and ready for a nap.
Social Life- 1
This section is for doing things she enjoys, its for “wants” in life. Jane doesn’t go to the movies with her husband, or go for drinks with friends, or gallery openings. Jane said the only thing she did last week that she enjoyed was going to her mom’s house one afternoon.
I do not support anyone getting off any prescribed medication. I believe medication is very beneficial and you should always consult your doctor when changing doses. Jane has one medication that she takes as needed and she would like to cut back on that. Right now she takes 4 a day and that is the max allowed in 24 hours. She took the max amount the day of her massage. But she wanted to point out, she was able to do more exercises that day too.
Massage, just like medicine, takes more than one time to feel the full benefits. This is are starting point for Jane. We are really excited to see how adding complementary care to her routine will effect her quality of life.