Well, I went back to the chiropractor today and it looks like I have more problems than I thought. The good news is that they can all be fixed at this stage in a fairly short amount of time for a fairly reasonable amount of money. The bad news is that even with the cost being reasonable, it's going to be very hard on our budget.
What he determined is that my lower lumbar spine curves to the left. As a result, my hips are imbalanced to that my left foot bears more weight than my right foot (which explains why it's flatter and why that knee hurts), my mid-back/shoulder blade area is starting to curve, and my neck is curved. The curvatures cause my muscles to compensate for the strain which explains the knots in my shoulders, neck and jaw that I've had for years. The x-ray of my spine basically looked like an S. It's known as subluxation of of the lower spine or scoliosis. It kind of looked like this, but the curvature was much lower than in this picture:
It was actually kind of scary to see it. He said that what eventually could happen is that the discs supporting my spine will start to wear from the uneven weight distribution in my low back and that the bone will grow over them as they wear away. The final result looked like the bones were all fused together with teeth. This eventually leads to a plethora of different problems the first of which is a massive amount of pain.
The good news is that it's early enough that he can fix it. Potentially I should be able to exercise and move and sing without any tension or pain at all. I've always attributed my problems with physical activities to being overweight. It's such a relief to know that I don't have to feel this way the rest of my life! I am so looking forward to experiencing what it feels like to run without my knees or feet hurting, to sing without my jaw feeling like it's in a vice, to do yoga without cramping in places I didn't know I had!
The toughest part is going to be making payments on the treatments for the next year. I have to go to about 36 appointments roughly, have two nerve scans, another x-ray, and get orthotics for my shoes. The nice thing is that this doctor gives discounts if you're uninsured for chiropractic because it saves his office the time and hassle of dealing with the insurance companies. I'm really glad I did this. I haven't been fixed yet, but I would definitely recommend checking out a chiropractor if you're having any issues with your health!