Monday, September 21, 2009

My bad leg

In the last blog I highlighted an issue I have been having with my leg. This has been going on for a while now. I have been getting numbness down my leg and into my foot. At best, it's just a little numb sensation, but at worst, I lose all feeling and control of my leg which essentially stops all motion. I have nearly fallen over a couple of times when I thought I had moved it to walk and it had stayed in its original position. Not a good situation to be in.

After my bike fit highlighted that something was very wrong, I went to the doctors to get an opinion. I was told that it was most likely nerve damage of some kind but it would require further tests to work out the impact and whether it was old damage, a current nerve restriction or something else.

I was ordered to go to a neurologist up in Beverly Hills to get an Electromyogram (EMG) done. This would involve sticking needle like electrodes into the muscles of my leg to listen to the electrical signals that were passed through the nerves. These test ended up revealing that I had lost 40% of the nerve function in my calf muscle.

So what does this mean. It means that 40% of the nerves that travel into this area are not carrying any signal to and from the muscles. This sounds really bad, but the body does cope with this situation somewhat. The remaining nerves branch out into these dead areas to fill the gaps. The signal is a little diluted and it does also mean that the control and feedback can be a little vague as to which exact area is being stimulated but the muscle does still work. It is a little weak but with some strengthening, I should be able to balance out my body a little more.

Unfortunately this more permanent damage is being added to by ongoing issues with my back which is resulting in spasms in my lower back muscles. For this, the treatment is Physical Therapy to loosen them up and try to strengthen my core muscles.

Massage and PT for me. I am now getting a massage at work every Friday and go to Physical Therapy twice a week at Evolution Physical Therapy over in Playa Vista. We are working on loosening the muscles around the spine and strengthening the leg muscles. This all seems to be helping so hopefully we are solving the problem.

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