Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Price of Health

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!


  1. TOTALLY not dogging your chiropractor, cause he could totally be right. I just want to tell you about my story. This is the EXACT story my chiropractor told me. Said I needed a years worth of treatments - it was all about my left hip being higher than my right, I needed a lift in one shoe. That's what was causing lower back problems, knee problems, arch problems, neck problems, etc. I did a few treatments with him until I felt better, and I started sleeping on a special pillow. I since cancelled the other appointments, and didn't fork out the $2 grand (chiropractic treatment is considered alternative care, thus not covered by most health insurances). Anyway, I still sleep with the pillow to this day - and I haven't had nearly as many problems. Could be a total coincidence - but before signing over a years worth of treatments and all that money, I would get a second opinion. Or, look for alternative, cheaper answers. My pillow kind of looks like this but it's actually a full-sized pillow, it just has that extra roll along the bottom to go under your neck while you sleep. I was also told I had a wrong curve in my neck. Sleeping with this pillow solved all my problems, along with a couple adjustments by the chiropractor. Good luck!

  2. I have somewhat the same thing as you do. Part of my lower back is curved wrong, and I have scoliosis in my upper spine near my neck. But I my neck curve is also exactly opposite of what it should be which causes me to have massive headaches all the time.

    I got one of the special pillows with the curvy thing too and at first I hate it because it made my neck hurt but now it hurts to sleep without it.

    I've been going for about 2 months now and it's actually helping a lot. My headaches are getting better and my lower back rarely hurts now. So woohoo for that!

    Be prepared to be REALLY sore though. After the first couple of times you go when you start out, you are majorly sore since you're basically reshaping your spine.

    Do you get to do traction? where you get to have your head strapped down while you lay on this triangle pillow thing? Cause that's awesome. And annoying.

    Anyway, I'm glad you're going to get all better. It should actually really help.

  3. He said treatments should only take 3 months and all I need is orthotics for my shoes. He didn't say anything about needing a pillow. The scoliosis I have is in my very low back near my tail-bone so I don't know that a pillow would make much difference. I'm going to give it a shot and see if it helps after the series of treatments.

    So far all I'd had to do is lay on a table on my stomach that moved my legs up and down and stretched out my lower back. Other than that I haven't had any special gadgets yet, but who knows, I have to go for 36 appointments so I may encounter more wierd stuff!