Finally, finally, finally! Dh had his first physio today. We weren't sure what to expect.
We discovered a couple of things. First off, Dh no longer seems to have any reflexes whatsoever. The physiotherapist tried various reflex tests and got NO reaction at all. Nothing. Weird.
Second, Dh really misses his old TENS machine. We got one back when he was heavy into martial arts training (during which he injured his back the second time), but had passed it on to his instructor. The physiotherapist used one on Dh's back, together with a heating bad, and it was a huge help.
Being the first visit, they didn't do a whole heck of a lot. Dh is back early next week. For now they're working on relieving the pain and trying to get the muscles to stop spasming. Eventually, they'll move on to figuring out what he can safely do to rebuild his core muscles, without exacerbating the injury again.
Dh also got some acupuncture in his ears. Dh doesn't think much of acupuncture, though he doesn't reject it. He's trained in Shiatsu, which is based on a similar principle. The physiotherapist started telling us how he was going to put more needles in the right ear to treat the left side of his back (he did do both ears), then made a comment about "I know it sounds backwards. I don't know how it works ... it just does."
Uhm... that didn't really instill much confidence. We haven't studied a whole heck of a lot about meridians, etc., but even we knew enough to know why it works (well... why it's supposed to work. Dh didn't feel any extra benefit due to the acupuncture). It didn't help that the guy didn't seem well versed in inserting the needles. Done right, you're not really supposed to feel the needles going in. Dh certainly did feel them, and I could see why. At one point, I actually saw the needle bending as he was trying to insert it. Which meant he was hitting cartilage.
I really would have expected a bit more training.
The whole consultation and treatment took about an hour. When we got there, Dh was using his cane and took the wheelchair ramps up most of the way to get to the doors. When we left, he was carrying his cane and took the stairs all the way down. He was still in pain and it was difficult to get on and off the table for treatment, but he was already moving better. He's been warned that he'll stiffen up and feel sore for about a day or so from the treatment, but we were expecting that. We've got an electric pad we can use for heat treatment at home. He's got instructions on things to do at work to try and keep things from getting worse again - sitting at a desk all day is certainly not helping anything.
It's so good to see him moving around so much better after a single treatment. He's going to have to watch he doesn't repeat his pattern, though, of getting too active too quickly.