Just Roll With It

“And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter.”
– Judges 15:8

Within our front closet lurks a hateful device: The Foam Roll.  The purpose of this thing is to use pressure to stretch and loosen tight muscles, which is all very nice in theory, but when one has an extremely short iliotibial band in one’s right leg that has caused all manner of physiological problems, the Foam Roll becomes an instrument of Dante-esque torture.

To such a person, the Foam Roll combines some of the most horrid ways human beings have come up with to kill one another throughout our creatively violent history.

Purpose: to stretch you. To death.
Purpose: to pressure you. To death.
Purpose: to make you spill your guts. To death.

How does the last one apply, you ask?  Because every time I’ve used the blasted thing I’ve been swamped by waves of nausea and/or actual vomiting.  Admittedly it’s a creative stretch, just go with it.

J. can use this device without so much as a wince whereas there are days that even a light tough on my right leg (to say nothing of putting all of my body weight onto it) hurts like the bleeding devil.  Nevertheless whenever I get a pain flare up or overextend myself exercising, J. will smugly point at the Foam Roll and declare it my only chance at salvation.

He did this the night before last when I limped into the flat after work.  My mature response was a feral snarl and an attempt at a quick escape, which looked more or less like a Quasimodo lurch at a snail’s pace towards our office.
“It’ll be good for you,” he insisting, picking up the hated thing and following.
“Don’t come after me!  It’s not fair, you can out-run me,” I gasped, thumping faster.
“I can out-walk you,” he retorted and thrust the roll at me.  “Use it.”

So I did.  And since he found me five minutes later, clutching the toilet with mascara running down my face, I’m choosing to hate him for it.

Any less immediately painful solutions, ducklings?

4 thoughts on “Just Roll With It”

  1. Wow. Sorry to hear this.

    I assume (?) you have already made the full and exhaustive rounds of every possible specialist: orthopod, PT, physiatrist, chiropractor, acupuncture, massage…Last year, in my agony of the arthritic left hip, I saw five (!!) medical specialists, including a pain specialist, had multiple MRIs and CT scans.

    The only thing that has given me back some semblance of normal life (and every step still hurts) was 2 months of 3x week physical therapy to loosen and strengthen all the surrounding soft tissue and the exercises I now do at home to keep it up. Oh and three entire months on crutches to allow my exhausted body to rest and recover. It made a huge difference. I went from crying at 3 am, taking painkillers and ice and applying topical creams and sleeping with a pillow between my knees to a weekly jazz dance class. There’s stuff I cannot do, or do well, but that is one hell of a change.

    Would surgery fix this thing for good? This much pain cannot be good for you, now or later.

    1. Nope, surgery is not a viable option now – maybe when I’m older and more damaged (you may imagine how much this diagnoses thrills me). I’ve got a massage therapist working on me now and it’s getting better.

  2. Daily stretching of all the appropriate parts in all the appropriate directions, whether you are suffering or not. Stretch it out to the length it’s supposed to be and continue the routine–good times and bad. Start easy and build. It will all get easy.

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