Tag Archives: chiropractor

Today in health news …

It now appears that I have bursitis in my right shoulder.My chiropractor has made this diagnosis, so I’m not sure if it’s “official” in the medical sense, but I’m going to run with it anyway.

My shoulder has been bothering me for months. Many months. Maybe even years. I don’t even remember when I had full range of motion in that shoulder – perhaps a decade ago? But it wasn’t ever too debilitating, and I was easily able to compensate for the lack of movement.

Last summer, I started to develop stiffness and pain in my right hand. Oh, it would go away after I flexed my fingers a few times, but it came right back a couple of hours later. I was thinking that I had some arthritis happening in that hand, as it seemed to be worse in the mornings. PG was thinking that I was just playing with my phone too much (So I play Angry Birds a lot. What’s his point?!)

By the end of August, though, I’d had enough. These twinges of pain in my hand and shoulder, plus the lack of full mobility in the shoulder were starting to piss me off. I went in to see my chiropractor and explained what was happening to me.

He felt that my back and neck were out and there was likely pressure on a nerve. He adjusted me, gave me some exercises to do, and told me to come back in two days. The stiffness and pain in my hand diminished pretty much right away, so the pressure on the nerve seemed to be gone. My shoulder was still not moving properly, though.

I went back to the chiro three more times. Each time he adjusted my back and neck. He pronounced my back almost perfectly aligned at that point – but my shoulder still wasn’t right.

Even though he wanted me to come in one more time, I didn’t. I figured things weren’t changing a whole lot any more, so why spend the money. At least my hand was good again – and I could play Angry Birds to my heart’s content. (Take THAT, PG!)

But last week, I must have done something to that shoulder. I don’t recall any movement that was exceptionally hurty, but I must have pulled something, because by Thursday evening, I could not lift my arm more than a few inches without great pain. Try and wash your hair like that. Try and pull a t-shirt on or off. Try and roll over in bed!

Now I was worried. Had I broken my rotator cuff? Had my shoulder muscles actually detached? This was entirely new. This wasn’t just discomfort that I could work around, this was serious pain and serious lack of mobility. I needed serious help.

My physician only works two days a week at this point, so it was unlikely I could get in to see her (or even one of the other doctors in the clinic) within the week. I considered finding a physiotherapist or acupuncturist. I thought about going to the nearest walk-in clinic, or even to emergency at the local hospital. I finally decided to give the chiro one more try. He, at least, knew me and some of my medical history.

So there I was, in his examining room this afternoon. I brought him up to date, and he started off massaging the tight muscles down my back and neck. He cracked my back and neck – and said I’d “moved beautifully”. Then he started on my shoulder. He probed around and told me to tell him when it hurt. I SO told him! He asked a few questions, poked around again, moved my arm as much as it would go without pain, and made his pronouncement: bursitis. He manipulated my arm and shoulder some more, told me to ice it for about twenty minutes tonight, and showed me some stretches to do at home.

“It’ll hurt,” he warned, “but keep trying, little by little. It’s like a piece of leather in there: it needs to be gently stretched in order to get supple again.”

He also wants me to come back to see him on Wednesday. After that, he added, we should have the problem licked and I should have no more pain, so I shouldn’t have to come in again. Relief that fast? Yes, apparently so.

I am feeling better now that I know what I’ve got and how to treat it – but I’m also wondering why he couldn’t have just done this last August when I first came in complaining about my shoulder. Maybe I could have been spared some pain – and also saved some time and money – if he had paid more attention to my shoulder back then.

Oh well. Can’t change the past, so I guess I’ll just go ice my leathery shoulder now.

Not exactly in the pink

Health-wise, things have not been fabulous lately.

First of all, I developed a sore throat last Friday afternoon, then was pretty much sick the rest of the weekend … which is awesome timing, I’m sure everyone would agree. It’s always best to be sick on the weekend, of course. That way you can get right back to work on Monday without missing a beat.

The cold or flu or whatever it was has now settled in my throat, just enough to make me have to clear my throat every six seconds or so. My voice is hoarser than usual, which I kind of like, because I think I normally have a little girl high-pitched voice and I’m not especially fond of it. However, it’s also more nasally, which isn’t so pleasant. Suffice it to say that I will not win any awards for my dulcet tones any time soon.

My nose is just stuffed up enough to make breathing through it tough, but not impossible. But I find I’ve become a mouth breather anyway, because it’s easier – and that doesn’t help the throat situation much at all. I’ve also woken myself up in the night a couple of times in the past couple of nights, gasping for breath. Veeeeeery attractive.

But I’m functional – well, as functional as I generally get.

And then I had a visit with my chiropractor on Monday afternoon. The plan is regular maintenance visits now, and this was the first one. My neck was quite tight (it’s report card time, so I’ve been spending much time huddled over my computer, typing away), so she spent a lot of time massaging it and stretching it out. My back didn’t require much, just a tiny adjustment and some massage. But I was achy and sore on Tuesday and still am a bit today. I thought this maintenance chiropractic stuff was supposed to prevent pain and maintain good back health, not hurt me!

Tuesday afternoon, our school nurse came by to check our blood pressure. Guess whose blood pressure was sky high? Okay, I’ll tell you: it was me. Even the nurse lost her usual soothing, non-committal expression and gave me a look that seemed to be bordering on outright panic. She launched into a big long explanation about how dangerous this was, and how I should exercise more regularly and watch what I eat and try to avoid stress.

I launched back into my own explanation that high blood pressure runs on both sides of my family, that my doctor has been watching mine closely for a number of years now, that I already do exercise at least three times a week, that I already am quite mindful of what I eat (if not necessarily what I drink), that I actually have felt pretty stressed and have not been sleeping well lately so I was sure that accounted for some of the elevated readings …

… and later that day l made a doctor’s appointment for tomorrow. No sense in taking any chances with my health, is there? I mean, maybe there’s something else wrong with me?

Chiropracticing

I’ve put my back out again. And all I was doing was sitting there at a table with a group of Grade 4 students!

Apparently Grade 4 is really hard on your back.

Thus, off I went to the chiropractor, moaning in pain. It’s really tough to do anything when you have a sharp pain in your lower back every time you move. “Moving” includes “breathing”, by the way.

My chiropractor is a chatty young woman who is supernaturally strong. As she man- (woman?) handled me, she kept up a steady stream of patter, probably designed to distract me from the fact that my spine and neck were cracking like ice with every manoeuvre. When she finished, she casually suggested that I should think about coming in at regular intervals for adjustments, because this seemed to be a recurring problem. She also wanted to see me in a few days just to make sure everything was in its proper place. I took that to mean that she’d basically adjusted me already. I made the next appointment, assuming that it would be a quick touchup.

Ha!

The next morning (fortunately on the weekend), I could move even less, but had even more pain. I wondered if she’d damaged me somehow. I’ve heard some horror stories about chiropractors, and despite the fact that I’ve always been a “oh-that’ll-never-happen-to-me” optimist, I was having serious doubts that morning. It wasn’t till mid-afternoon and a double dose of Advil and a long hot shower that I loosened up enough to find a sitting position that didn’t hurt. Getting up from that seated position was still a challenge, as was rolling over in bed, but I wasn’t thinking that my chiropractor had maimed me for life any more.

Then today I was stiff and sore again, but perhaps a little less. I still couldn’t walk very well, which a few people at work noticed and commented on. One other colleague thought my hair looked cute today, though, so that made up for the comments on my lumbering gait … a little.

I went back to my chiropractor after school and told her how painful the weekend had been. She nodded and, as she started massaging my back, said, “I thought it would be.” She completed whatever it is she does, chatting all the while, then told me that she thought she’d now gotten my back to relax enough that she could adjust the actual cause of my pain next time.

I paid, booked my next appointment, and lurched down to the carpark to retrieve my car and head home. My body was still aching. I was thinking gloomily, Two visits just to relax my back? We’re not even dealing with the real problem yet? Seriously?

Less than ten minutes later, I pulled into my garage. As I grimaced in preparation for getting out of my car, I paused suddenly. My back felt better. Much better. I gingerly got out of the car. Yes, some pain, but nothing like I’d felt half an hour previously. And now I’m sitting here at my desk, typing away, and I do not feel my back throbbing. I can already stand up less dorkily. I can walk in a less robot-like manner. I might be able to roll over in bed tonight without help!

So I guess my chiropractor isn’t trying to cripple me permanently. And now that I trust her again, I think I will follow her suggestion that I come in for regular adjustments. I’d rather give up some money every month that give up my quality of life even for a week once a year. Sensible, no?