in an attempt not to be broken
For the first few years I lived in Florida, I slept on an air mattress. Several of them, actually, because they would bust every 6 months or so. Then I finally bought a real bed. Then I had my old treadmill moved into my place and was exercising daily. For a while I was doing real good.
The old treadmill after years of faithful service finally stopped working. At that point my daily exercise was more or less nonexistent. After that my mattress started to sag slightly because in all honesty, it was a really cheap mattress. Even though it was bought new, the construction just wasn't up to par.
A few months later I started getting numbness in my outer right thigh and only there. This really bothered me because I didn't know what was causing it. The first thing I did was get a better office chair, and that helped, but not enough. Then after that I got another treadmill in my place and started exercising again. Every day. That helped a lot, and a ton of the numbness went away (almost to the point of being normal), but it still wasn't enough.
Finally, I thought, "Is it my mattress?"
It's a distinct possibility.
I am experiencing the symptoms of what's known as meralgia paraesthetica. This is a syndrome that in a nutshell means one peripheral nerve from the thigh to the spinal column is doing wacky things. Typical symptoms are numbness, burning sensation and/or "crawling" sensations in just one thigh. I experienced all that.
Now I want to make clear up front that this syndrome does not mean I'm going to lose a leg or any crazy stuff like that. The symptoms of this syndrome just happen to fit what I'm experiencing. In fact it's totally possible I don't even have the syndrome but just damaged the nerve.
The truly wacky part with me is that this syndrome usually only happens to people much older than I am, and to boot is usually not curable at all. At best it can be slowed down but never totally be rid of. My numbness/burning/crawling feelings however since starting the treadmill again have rapidly started to go away. Not completely, though.
What happened is that I was exercising routinely, then suddenly stopped when my treadmill broke. Add to that I was sitting in a chair that didn't promote good posture when at the computer and sleeping on a mattress that didn't have proper support, and that's just a bad combo all around.
I'm now treadmilling every day, have a proper chair where I sit up straight and as of today have a proper medium-firm mattress. The mattress is not some super-expensive thing, but rather a mid-grade - however it is truly medium-firm, flip-able (my old one wasn't) and billed as an orthopedic.
I already know I did the right thing with the mattress because usually it's the case where if I lie down for 30 minutes, I have to turn over because my outer thigh starts its tingling crapola. Earlier I tested the new mattress and after 30 minutes there was no tingling, burning or crawling sensations. Very awesome.
I don't know if I have meralgia paraesthetica or not, but I do know that the steps I've taken to address it have worked thus far. The only other option is to have it treated which doesn't do me much good at all because the standard recommendation is to get a Cortisone shot, and that's only necessary if from the syndrome you're in constant pain - which I'm not.
It's probably likely the oh-so stupid prior way I was sleeping with my back in a saggy-mattress-induced arch is something my spine really, really didn't like.
Well, my spine should be very happy tonight. Fingers crossed. 🙂
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