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Accupuncture, work for you?
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Accupuncture, work for you?

I am thinking about acupuncture to loosen a tight left hamstring and calf muscle. Is this possible? When they tighten up so does my left foot. Tired of stretching my hamstrings every 1/2 hour - only short relief.

Chiros and PT don't seem to help with this. Doctors are clueless. I've never had acupuncture.
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Ask the acupuncturist if they can help you.  They will tell you.  Even a clueless doctor would send you to physical therapy for a while to see if it would help.  I love acupuncture but don't know if it helps that type of issue.  Ask.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Interesting little piece on how scientists now think acupuncture works on a little program run on the local public radio station by a university hospital.  Seems to release a natural painkiller and antiinflammatory.  My own opinion is that if your muscle is always tight, you might be low on magnesium, and might not be doing the right stretches.  Don't know if acupuncture is the right thing, but the question to me would be, why is it tight?  Some exercise you're doing?  Trouble sleeping?  Medication side effect?  Anxiety?  The cause would probably help determine if acupuncture or massage was the right modality.  You might also try taking skullcap tincture.  It's a fairly good muscle relaxant.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Not just magnesium but potassium too.  Actually to two work best together for the most benefit. Our bodies need more potassium as we age.  
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798555_tn?1292791151
Yes, I have tried many vitamins and supps - its something many with Hashimoto need. I found Mag Glycinate relaxes muscles way more than Mag oxide. But is make me sleepy to, so I only take it before bed.

As to the reason why - there are several overlapping reasons is just one in my case. But no one doc can really say what it is- its to complicated.

I was hypothyroid for maybe ten years before I was Dxed. It can mess up muscles and make healing of injuries incomplete. So I may have some permanent damage from this as I am more sore than I should be. But some Hashimoto patients just are that way, its a fact. I also have two slight disc herniation's L4, L5, and one leg 1/2 in shorter! What fun!

Believe me , I have self studied all of the above, and treatment options. I learned Trigger Point Therapy, anyone with body pain needs to learn this! So low back, hamstrings and calf musces are my tight points. Water intake make no difference, same goes with bananas for potassium.

This is why I'm thinking of acupuncture - I know its just a band aid, but if it helps, thats what I'm looking for until the exact cause is determined.
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh no.  Don't think of acupuncture as a band-aid.  Quite the opposite really. I have seen remarkable and permanent results with it depending on the problem.  I didn't know you had hashimoto (I'm not going to capitalize the H and make the word that important, LOL). I didn't know about the thyroid background either.  

I'm sure that acupuncture will do you some good in one way or another.  It is wonderful.  However, for your particular issue, there might be another alternative modality that might be better for you. Maybe not.  You won't know until you start looking, asking and experimenting.  Try going to the alternative site here and other boards and ask them.  Just look and it will find you.  You have already opened up to looking outside the box.  That is a huge step.  God luck and enjoy the journey!
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Avatar_f_tn
I apologize, this is the alternative site.  Check other ones too!  
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757137_tn?1347200053
Is it a muscle problem, or a nerve problem? If it is a nerve, try a fairly large dose of vitamin B1 for three or four days and see if that works. In any case make sure that you are taking multivitamins and minerals.

I do not have luck with acupuncture because it overstimulates me. But I know others who swear by it.
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798555_tn?1292791151
"Is it a muscle problem, or a nerve problem? "

- Well, that would be the million dollar question for many people I suppose.

Nerve problems can mess up muscles, and muscles can mess up nerves from pinching them when swollen (inflamed).  Combination possibly. I'll look into B1 and still ponder acupuncture. Working on muscle isolation strength training of the lumbar back muscles right now.
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Avatar_f_tn
LazyMoose,  based on your general descriptions, have you looked into a chiropractic neurologist, or one that practices AK along with muscle treatments?  I have seen both types.

Here is a blurb from one of my amazing chiros ... she worked wonders on me after a near-fatal biking injury and someone similar may provide answers for you, or minimally, relief.

"I am a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic where I received additional training in Applied Kinesiology, which aids in the diagnosis and treatment of musculo-skeletal conditions through muscle balance evaluation. I practice traditional and low force chiropractic techniques. What makes my practice unique is that I take the time with my patients to do soft tissue work, muscular rebalancing, emotional clearing, and stress and lifestyle counseling."  

My chiropractic neurologist has also seemed a friggin' genius at locating troubling areas of nerve damage and how it relates to the musculo-skeleton...

And not to knock it, but I have had years of many different alternative treatments, including acupuncture, in attempts to stitch me back together, and I didn't find acupuncture as effective for pure body relief. My 2 cents.

Someone who knows what they are doing with deep tissue or sports injury massages might also be a place to start, if you haven't tried that yet.
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Avatar_f_tn
oh, v sorry, didn't see the last line in your post.  

I still believe the two types of chiros I mentioned, who are different than the typical crack/popper, may help.  I personally didn't find traditional chiros to be helpful either.

best--
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798555_tn?1292791151
Hmmm.   Not to many chiros mention Applied Kinseology (sp). Might see if I can locate one.  I do trigger point muscle therapy so that helps.

I still think something is missing - body chemical - nutrient.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yeah, I always think along the nutrition lines first.  Is your tightness like muscle cramping, where it comes and goes?  Or is it tight like the tissues are hardening or something?  I have rare muscle cramping, but when I do, I just up my calcium/magnesium/potassium intake and that seems to do it... although sounds like that's not it for you.

The fact that it travels down your leg to your foot does sound kinda suspiciously like nerve-related ... any numbness?  Every guy I know that has had L4/L5 back surgery has similar issues, and some numbness, down to their feet.  It follows that nerve down..

My AK chiro incorporated acupressure, and applied pressure on other hot spots, which I know helped release pockets of built up energy, or whatever.  It would hurt like all-get-out when she pressed the spots, and then some time later I would notice improvement, and on the next visit the same spot(s) would barely hurt (but then of course others would!).  Like peeling an onion...

btw, if you aren't allergic to coconut, I think coconut water is better source for potassium than bananas, and all around a great electrolyte drink to have regularly.  

good luck...
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Avatar_f_tn
Another thought - have you tried something like GABA or taurine supplements?   I have been reading a book called The UltraMind Solution by Dr. Hyman and he recommends these for tense muscle and stiffness.  I have lingering stiffness in my neck/shoulders/back so I may try boosting GABA.
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I have read that oral Gaba supplements don't cross the blood brain barrier. Read it in several sites actually.

I do know, that I have taken a product containing GABA and L-theanine and it was really relaxing, so I don't know about that statement for sure.
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Avatar_m_tn
It's true, GABA doesn't cross the barrier in most people.  Some probably gets through, but not consistently or efficiently.  And, for some, it actually increases tension.  But taurine, a quasi-amino acid, does cross the barrier, and it's what the body uses with B6 and other cofactors to manufacture GABA.  On the other hand, benzos do directly target GABA, but they're really not muscle relaxants -- ask those of us who take them!  There's a drug called Neurontin, or gabapentin, that basically is just GABA, but as it's a drug, it has side effects.  It's used for neuropathy, so that suggests increasing GABA might help with pain but more by blocking the pain signal than relaxing the muscles, I think.  The herb skullcap is used as a muscle relaxant, as are most herbal relaxants.
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798555_tn?1292791151
"Another thought - have you tried something like GABA or taurine supplements?"

- Have not by itself,  taurine is in most protein mixes thats the only time. Would rather look to getting the tightness corrected without needing to take a lot of supps.

Left leg had some nerve problem years ago (felt hot), so this related to a past injury that never healed correctly from being hypothyroid for years at the time.

Its a wierd tightness that comes and goes on the left, from low back to foot. Not quite a cramp. But it does effect my walking gate at times. No one in the medical or PT clinics could ever figure it out. I've self studied it , very confusing.

What your chiro was doing in the name of acupressure may have been myofascial trigger point release.

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