A few months ago I wrote about my struggles with tendinitis and bursitis, along with what I've tried and what I haven't tried. I had done everything from weeks of physical therapy to eating an anti-inflammatory diet. Based on recommendations, I decided to give chiropractic work another try. I had gone to one when I lived in Montgomery, but he didn't explain anything that was going on, spent literally no more than 3 minutes with me and overall seemed like a waste of money. I did a little research and decided on Waterside Chiropractic. I'm very impressed with their technology. During my first visit I had a mobile x-ray and an exam to test my range of motion and spine position. When I went back for my second visit (the next day) the doctor went over everything in great detail, along with the recommended plan of action and cost from insurance. It was cool to see the movement of my neck during the x-ray.
I don't remember everything she said during my second visit, but my right shoulder and right hip were very visibly higher than the left. I had signs of arthritis developing in some areas because my spine has been out of alignment for so long. My sessions included manual adjusting and this cool machine called the ProAdjuster, then followed by therapy (muscle stimulating pads, ice, an anti-inflammatory laser).
Although we were focusing on the pain in my right shoulder, bicep and forearm, I was also sure to mention my migraines and hip pain. I'm happy to say since starting my sessions, I think I've only had one migraine! That's enough to keep me going.
I was so excited that I sent my fiance for a consultation. The doctor invited me to participate in his follow-up and it was amazing how the symptoms matched up with where his spine was out of alignment. He suffers from Ulcerative Colitis and chronic sinus issues, and sure enough, he was extremely out of alignment in the areas were those nerves and blood vessels connect. He hasn't started going consistently yet, but he definitely plans to whenever my issues are cleared up.
I went for 12 sessions, and while it didn't completely alleviate my pain, I can tell that it helped. Since it's not completely gone, I got an MRI before my trip to PA. I went in Thursday for the results and learned that with this better view, they were able to see more constriction in my neck and signs of early arthritis and degeneration. The doctor says where the constriction is makes perfect sense for the symptoms I'm feeling in my arm, although the left side is worse than the right.
So the option I was offered was spinal decompression therapy. It sounds very promising, but is very expensive (probably about $3500). I'd much rather spend money on trying this than on surgery, though. Success rates with surgeries like these are very low, and I feel like I'm too young to do something so invasive. My orthopedic doctor had mentioned disconnecting my bicep and re-connecting it lower to alleviate the pressure/tightness. That sounds crazy to me!
Basically, as far as we can tell, this has all stemmed from a car accident I had in 2010 that wasn't my fault. A woman turned in front of me and I hit her head-on, thankfully only going about 30mph. It's frustrating because I've spent well over $5000 (out-of-pocket) on tests, physical therapy, chiropractor work, MRIs, CT scans, Xrays, supplements, braces, etc. None of this has been covered by her insurance, though, because my initial exam after the accident didn't show anything.
I stopped doing yoga for a few weeks in fear I'd hurt something worse, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. Now I'm just careful with moves like chaturunga.
So, that's where everything stands right now. If I do the spinal decompression therapy, I'll have to go every day for 2 weeks to get started. That will be a challenge and I'll have to re-arrange some work meetings, but I think it will be worth it.
(I borrowed these photos from my chiropractor's website to give some kind of idea of what I'm dealing with. I'm not working with them in any way.)