I thought I was doing well physically, alternating between twice weekly runs and twice weekly yoga. I was doing so well as my flexibility improved with my new yoga teacher from India, whose one to one teaching ensured that I did to my maximum potential. I climbed Mount Kinabalu (4000m high) in June and ran a few 10km runs thereafter without any knees troubles, since I am taking Viatril S Glucosamine. For someone who detests popping pills, this is quite a feat.
Then in August, I felt a tightness in my left butt while doing forward bends. The pain could also be felt after a run or after sitting for too long. I tried to stretch, went for a few massages, all without any alleviation of the pain, which got much worse.
In September, Bee introduced me to a Chinese Chiropractor at City Plaza in Paya Lebar. The shop sign stated Chinese massage. I didn’t know what to expect. I told the proprietor what my problem was. In the common room with three beds, I was made to lie on my tummy, faced turned on a kitchen towel covered pillow, and a heater vibrator placed on my affected area for about 15 minutes. I gathered this was to circulate my blood and warm up my body for whatever it was to come. The masseur, the father, part of a father and son team, diagnosed me to have a tilted hips and proceeded to clicked my bones into place very much like what a Thai masseur would do at the end. It was so sudden I screamed from the shock rather than the pain. Then he sat me on the chair and adjusted my neck in the same manner. The total cost was $30 for 30 minutes and I left the shop feeling no difference.
A week later, I was at the Ladies’ Fair at MBS and met a certified chiropractor. He was giving out free assessment and I decided I might as well do it. After taking my photo on a ruler-marked wall, he too concluded my hips were of uneven height. For any adjustment, I would need to visit the clinic. I learn that a chiropractor is not a doctor recognised by Singapore Medical Association (SMA) and thus any fee is not claimable by my insurance. The chiropractor believes all aches and pains start from the spinal cord and by manipulating the spine, may eliminate the symptoms. (For more info, please googgle.) I remember a free massage voucher to a chiropractor clinic at Sixth Ave and promptly called for an appointment. The massage was normal and done by a female spa therapist. The handsome young Chiropractor from Canada then assessed me and attempted to do a few manipulations, stating that he couldn’t do very much because I was in a skirt. For that session, I was charged $60. I didn’t feel any difference and bulked at spending anymore money.
Mike advised that I should consult his acupuncturist. Since the pain is deep in my buttock, I was not comfortable having a man stick any needles up my arse. I called a friend whose sister practices acupuncture. The physician took my pulse reading, diagnosed me as weak and then proceeded to do acupuncture at a few meridian points. I was now prepared and came in gym shorts. Still, she had to pull down my shorts to insert the needles. At the end, I was charged $50 for consultation and $80 for acupuncture, much higher than the $35 charged by Mike’s acupuncturist. There was no improvement.
I gave up and went to my GP, demanding that he gave me a letter to do a scan. He sent me to an X-ray instead and gave me a week supply of muscles relaxant and anti-inflammatory pills. The pills actually improved my symptoms. My X-ray came back all normal, no uneven pelvic bones whatsoever. He gave me another week of pills and was quite confident that would solve the problem.
My Yoga teacher had been sympathetic and warned me that as soon as I finished the pills, the pain would returned. She was right. So she recommended that I visit her Osteopath. An Osteopath, I learn, manipulates the soft tissues of joints and bones. The clinic I went to is located at Chinatown point. First visit costs $160 and subsequent visits cost $100. Like the chiropractor, you may purchase a package for your 30 minutes treatment. My Osteopath, after a lengthy question and answer, made me changed into the clinic shorts provided, even though I told him I was in gym shorts under my skirt. He felt along my thigh and butt and immediately located the epicenter – my glut. He then decided to do a Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy, using needles to remove myofascial trigger points, tiny contraction knots that develop in a muscle/tendon when it is injured or overworked. Because he managed to locate the exact point of pain, I decided to return for another two treatments where he told me to do pigeon poses and spinal twists 5 times a day to release the knots in my gluteal muscles. I Googled and found videos teaching me how to massage the area by sitting on a ball and then doing the pigeon and spinal twist. I use a tennis ball for my massage.
I spoke to a ex-fellow yoga mate and was surprised that she too had the same problem and was advised by my ex-yoga teacher to take this particular Vit B. I have been taking it for a few weeks and find my pain reducing. I have also stopped running for the past two months. The tightness in my left butt is still present but I am now more accustomed to it, although I miss my flexibility, since my left side had been the more flexible side. Hopefully I will be back to normal in no time.