So I've had problems off and on with my back over the years, nothing huge, just seemingly normal stuff--pinched nerve, sore shoulders, etc. As a mother of 5, I kind of figure it goes with the territory. But it seems that the last few months it's been really bad; about every other week I've dealt with pain severe enough to take over my life for a few days at a time. The locations are the same: right shoulder blade, with nerve pain that reaches up to my neck and head, and across my lower back.
The Saturday before Thanksgiving I did a vendor event. I had pretty much no success with reaching new contacts for my Stampin' Up! business, but on the plus side, I met a chiropractor and his assistant/office manager. A brief evaluation showed that my shoulders and hips are not aligned. Since he was offering a special on initial exams and x-rays (normally $170, free with a $20 donation for a needy family at Christmastime), I went ahead and signed up for the evaluation. I went in the Monday after Thanksgiving; Ted got off work early to come home so I could be kid-free.
This past Wednesday I went back to go over the results with the doctor. Unsurprisingly, I have problems, LOL! Everything is out of alignment. I really appreciate the approach Dr. P has; he truly wants to help people function at their best level, and he is very understanding of the limitations of schedule and income. (Tri-Care does not cover chiropractic care, unfortunately.) I got my first adjustment then and there, which was good, because I felt some lower back pain coming on as well as the now-familiar tightening of the muscles between my shoulder blades.
The next day I was in extreme pain--and I mean PAIN! Dr. P said that people have different reactions to treatments; some feel just the same, some feel worse, some feel better. I'm not entirely sure that the adjustment is responsible for all the pain, since I was feeling it "coming on" the day before. I have a feeling I would have been in pain regardless. But yesterday was a very difficult day, and I confess I was in tears a lot because I hurt so badly. It didn't help that Tobin had awakened us at 2 a.m. after having a nightmare, and I hurt so badly that I wasn't able to get back to sleep after that.
Today the pain is somewhat lessened, but I'm sure it will be at least a few days before I can move without being conscious of every nerve in my lower back and legs. In the meantime, Ted and I are trying to decide our best course of action--we know that chiropractic care is worth it for overall health, but we also want to be good stewards of our time and money. The office is a half-hour drive away from our house. (Leave it to me to find a doctor on the other side of town!!) And each treatment is $40, with a slight discount for coming in monthly. The recommended plan of course would have me coming in very frequently, but we just can't justify that expense right now.
At the same time, something must change, because I simply can't live like this anymore! I hope to get back to "normal" soon and begin exercising regularly again. I noticed a correlation between not exercising and having frequent pain, and I know I need to get back into my strength training and stretching.