Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Back pain vs. the chiropractor!

So, a couple Saturdays ago, I woke with a crick in my neck.  This happens from time to time, and I felt it along with a knot in my mid back, just under the shoulder blade.  If I pulled my arm around to touch my opposite shoulder and felt around back, I could feel it, but couldn't get it released.  Every day it got a little worse.  A little worse.  A little worse...  until Saturday the next week, I simply could not move without pain.

So!  My lovely husband suggested I suck it up and see a chiropractor, because that's their job.  Fixing backs.  Fine, I said, though I was hoping it would fix itself on its own.  It usually does.  I couldn't even work the iPad from my prone position in bed because I couldn't move my right arm without hissing in pain.  Not exactly a good sign.

So he worked it for me (noticing a pattern?  I think I'm starting every paragraph with "so".  Not on purpose.  We'll see if it continues!  LOL).  Helped me sign into my insurance's website to try and find someone, and double check my coverage!  Kinda handy to know if it will be costing me out of pocket or not.  Turns out, it's covered for a $20 copay for each visit.  Up to 20 visits a year.  Well, all alternative health care things add up to 20 for the year, but I have a feeling this is where it's all going!

(So) I ran up there and filled out paperwork while making quiet pain noises, and got in to be seen.  I sat in half lotus on the bench and waited while playing my turn in a few games of Words with Friends, which I'd fallen behind in.  When Dr. Kirby was able to finally get in to see me (I was a rushed appt they kinda just smooshed me in between others, so I waited a bit that day), we chatted about the issue, he checked my posture, felt around the spine to see what he could feel, and what he found said he needed to look further.

(SO!) We did this crazy heat and tension diagnostic tool that is supposed to help pinpoint the problem areas.  Turns out...  where I hurt was NOT a problem area.  But I had some pretty bad ones.  Mostly in my neck.  Since that didn't look like expected, we also did some X-rays.  We went from taking those to hooking me up to a fun electrode thing.  Electrocuted my back in an X shape to try and get the knot behind the shoulder to release. Mostly, my left shoulder pulled up without me telling it to move, and my head tracked up and to the right!  It was kind of a strange feeling, but the knot does feel better now.  Still there, but not as intense.  Doesn't hurt as much.

(so...)  After that, we did the first fun adjustment.  Now, I've never been to a chiropractor before.  I didn't really know what to expect.  But I do know how to breathe in and relax with an out breath from my yoga fun, so I did that.  And I've had small people walk on my back to help pop it a bit when things felt a bit stuck.  So I know what a crunch and a pop feel like from moving the bones around.  And I wasn't too surprised to feel them, but I was surprised at how easy it was to do!  Crunch pop rat-a-tat-tat!  LOL

My upper back didn't move too much, but my neck, where all that pain was stemming from, cracked like nobody's business.  Serious cracks man.  Major noise.  Sounded like a little machine gun.  O.O  Kinda like this, lol.  Not me, unless I grew a mustache overnight and went blonde without knowing it.  ;)

Anyway, so I left, made my payment while they tried to figure out my insurance stuff, and set up to come back a few days later.  Went back and got to see my X-rays.  And...  uh...  my neck?  It doesn't look normal.  Not a good thing.

Normal neck looks like this, with a lovely curve to it.  Supports the 15lb weight of the head so the head rests over the shoulders.  Normal:

And this is my actual x-ray.  I took a picture of it on my phone while the doc was out of the room.  Because it's so crazy.  Seriously.  No curve.  BAD.  

So my back is holding up the weight of my head instead of the neck.  That absolutely explains the back pain.  My head is sitting 1.5" farther ahead than it should.

When I was standing there for the x-rays, I got the random flash in my head from the last time I had x-rays done of my spine.   
 I was 19, had just been in a car accident, and had broken a windshield with my face.  Hmmmm...  I wonder now if my current state is a result of that, and the x-rays not being read by someone who was looking for things like that.  I'll never know, but it makes me wonder.

Anyway!  So, yoga feels nice while I'm doing it, but I feel a little too creaky to really do too much that's different.  I guess I'm afraid of moving things out of alignment too much, in case I do something wrong...  but I know at the same time, I should be okay to do most things.  But I should also trust my instincts and stay away from things that feel like too much.  Like wheel.

I was working up to a good one!  I could hold it for 2 or 3 breaths before releasing when I hurt myself.

Ah well, such things can wait.  So, for now...  I am supposed to go back for a total of 10-12-ish visits to try and get this back in place so it can get to a normal state.  And get my pain to go away.  And stay away.  That would be nice.

I'm tired of this.  And I can't go back to the way it was last Saturday.  So!  I have a feeling I'll be going back every so often to maintain the good alignment I'm working so hard to achieve right now.  And hopefully, with my lovely $20 copay, it won't cost me an arm and a leg to do it.  Stupid 20 visit max.  >.<


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