As an athlete, aches and pains are part of life. Some days are better than others - some days I think I am a 35 yr old rock star and other days I feel my age and the years of abuse I have inflicted on my poor, defenseless body, all in pursuit of some stupid round ball varying in size. However, over the years, one source of discomfort has remained constant - my neck and my right shoulder. I have had massages, Xrays, taken hot showers, ice it on a regular basis - with limited success in ridding myself of the discomfort. .
More recently, I have added lower back pain to that mix (prob 5-6 mos). I am a belly sleeper, which is causing a high level of discomfort for me. I get up and walk around like an old lady - in fact, my brother gave me grief just last night for getting up slow and walking hunched over. I can't stand for long periods of time without my lower back just aching.
Many people have suggested a chiropractor to me...but I just haven't been able to bring myself to go there. Sure, like most other athletes at Woody Hayes, I would line up eagerly on the days Dr. Pangoinis was there to throw us around and crack every joint in our neck and spine, but I never game much thought to what he was actually doing for us. I hear people swear by the chirpractor, but I wasn't sure I believed it would work. However, modern and conventional medicine has been scarce in providing relief to my discomfort and I have reached my limit. I was talking to a friend of mine in whom I have great faith and he was able to share his positive chiropractic experience with me, as well as some of his reservations before actually seeing one. He spoke very highly of his experience and encouraged me to go. The clinic he goes to is acutally covered in my insurance - a benefit I know most people are not fortunate to have.
So off I went today. They were very educational, explained why proper alignment of the spine was imprtant and how improper alignment affected the rest of your body. It appears as though I have some inflammed nerves at the top of my spine that are creating the discomfort in my neck - one of them is attached to some nerves in my arm, which explains some of the tingling I have been feeling in my right hand. I attributed the tingling to an old shoulder injury I had. I also had some swelling and inflammation in the lower part of my back (they took some sort of scan) that is the likely culprit of the lower back pain. While I was laying on my stomach, it felt like he was running my back over with a mack truck...thankfully it was over quickly. I also had multiple xrays taken of my spine.
So I will give this a try. I am going back in the morning to get "adjusted". I am hoping it provides at least some immediate relief, but am prepared that if in fact this does help, it will be a period of time before I see some consistent, noticeable relief.
This past year has definitely been frustrating - the sinus thing, the rash thing, the autoimmune thing and now this. Really what has pushed me over the edge is the lower back issue. I went through all of this stuff today with the doctor, and he said that the inflammation in my neck could have played a part in the TMJ situation...but who knows. I am hoping to see enough of a result tomorrow to encourage me to go back, but am also prepared for the fact I could feel like I have been run over tomorrow. :) Here's to hoping for relief...