Friday, January 8, 2010

Chiropracter visits

Hi, as you may recall I had a neck MRI to see if there was some reason my arm/hand EMG was indicating a pinched nerve higher up. That came back normal. I concluded from that that the next best step would be pursuing chiropractic help, since I don't want to settle for medications to manage my pain rather than fixing whatever's wrong if possible. Since months of PT haven't resolved things, I've felt I need to take this step, being pretty sure my spine is somehow creating at least some of my symptoms, if not all. Interestingly enough, the last week or so I've started experiencing neck pain along w/ the thumb pain and aching in my arm I started having a couple months ago. The symptoms just seem to be moving up higher and higher.

One of the things that has held me back from seeing a chiropracter is not knowing if insurance would cover it. I found out that my company will cover certain parts of it, but I still need to get my primary physician to send a referral. I couldn't get in to see her till next week, but since the initial consultation w/ the chiropracter is free and ex-rays aren't covered by my insurance, I went ahead and got the ball rolling this week.

My consultation and exam were on Wed., and I went back today to go over the ex-rays. At my first exam, I watched a video, then they sent home another video, then showed me a third one today. So I'm now educated in the basic approach, which views your nervous system as the basic key to good health. Since I've known from the beginning that something was askew with my nervous system, it seems to fit w/ my needs.

Seeing my ex-rays gave me a clearer picture of what's wrong. The lower third of my spine curves to the side. My neck has a couple problem areas as well. My spine is in Phase II of degeneration (out of IV). The doctor estimates this started 3-5 years ago. I told Ethan it's not Memphis that did it to me after all - of course it didn't help and may have brought it on quicker than it would have otherwise.

The chiropracter gave me a couple options - getting enough treatment to relieve symptoms but not really fix the problem, or more frequent and focused care in hopes of restoring long term spinal health. He compared it to patching a leaky roof or getting a new one. Obviously the sensible thing is to get a new one, so I'm going to go that route even if it costs me more. My body will tell me if it's doing the job after I get into it. I've gotten to know my body so well and am always aware of my level of pain, twitching etc. If I find it's not doing anything or making me worse, I'll have to figure out what the next step is.

The adjustments will be done by a pro-adjuster machine vs. manual manipulation. This seems very safe and intriguing since it was originally used by NASA, at least that's what the informercial style / propoganda video claims. Yes, I'm joking but there's always that element to everything, isn't there? No one thing can fix everything. But skepticism aside, I feel positive about my options right now.

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