Dealing with muscle tightness from referred visceral pain.
June 15, 2012 3:29 PM Subscribe
Sporadic muscle spasms/tightness in my right flank have stopped being sporadic. It's now pretty much constant. It's going to be at least a month before I have health insurance again, so for now, going to the doctor is not really an option. I'm looking to explore all non-woo
options to treat and prevent further episodes.
A little background: 10 years ago I started having nagging flank pain which, having never taken an anatomy course, I told doctors was "back pain." This led to two agonizing years of misdiagnosis. When it was finally determined that I had a ureteropelvic junction obstruction that was causing kidney dilation, I was promptly operated upon. The procedure was a success, my kidney function eventually returned to 100%, and all follow-ups showed no urological problems whatsoever.
Only problem is, I still get occasional nagging flank pain in the same area as the original kidney pain. Apparently it's not uncommon for referred pain from the viscera to cause painful muscle contraction and spasm, which can linger after the visceral condition is resolved. Groovy. Only problem is, the bouts of muscle pain in my flank have gone from "infrequent" to "all-the-effing-time," for no reason I can think of.
The pain pretty much always starts on the right side of the muscles that wraps around the spine. Then it tends to migrate upwards, to right below my right shoulder-blade. Then it migrates outwards to the muscles beneath the shoulder, right on the outside of the back part of my armpit, before migrating further outwards, and down, so that it runs down my right side, right along the crevice where the upper ribs curl under the scapula. And then it starts over.
As I am, at present, between health insurance providers, I can't afford to go to a doctor about this, so I need to come up with a plan to alleviate as much of the pain as possible and maybe even reduce the rate of recurrence. I'm open to any suggestions for non-woo* types of treatment.
Does anyone know where I can find any stretching + strengthening regimens specifically for flank pain? Are theres series of yoga poses that focus on this area? Any suggestions as to how to maximize their benefits?
Standing for long periods of time, and sitting without back support (e.g. on a barstool) tend to aggravate the pain. Any ideas how I can find if there are postures that will minimize the problems when in these positions, and then how to go about ensuring that I adhere to them?
Is there any stratagem that I'm not thinking of? Massages feel nice, but don't have lasting enough benefits to justify the cost. Do electric massage devices really do anything? Are there any good, relatively cheap ones that won't require contortionist skills to apply to the lower right flank?
*For my purposes, woo includes all forms of Complementary or Alternatvie Medicine, such as acupuncture, acupressure, naturopathy, reflexology, chiropractic, herbs and supplements, reiki, trigger-point therapy, etc.