Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Crack Back

This morning I once again limped over to the chiropractor, who showed me the x-rays, and diagnosed some spinal curvature, both in my lower back and also in my neck. Poor posture and hunching over a computer a lot probably contributes to the latter, and you can see on the x-rays where my vertebrae are starting to form little bone spurs, which, if not addressed, can actually lead to them fusing, which would be very bad.

So some long-term adjustments are necessary, but in the meantime, I need some physical therapy to deal with the immediate pain problems in my lower back. First up was a little electrical stimulation, with electrodes wired to my lower back, cooling gel, then an icepad over that while they let the electrical unit twitch me for around 15 minutes. After that, it was to the monster massage table, with big wheels that run up and down your back -- like a super-sized version of the massage chair at the O'Hare Oasis and the TA Truck Stop in Donald, Oregon -- which proceeded to pound away for another 15 minutes.

Finally, it was to the chiropractic back adjustments proper. The doctor laid me out on the torture table, strapped my ankles into place, and did spinal manipulations, some of which were audible, in that I could hear the *crack* and the joints popped. After the first set, he undid the ankle straps, which is good because when he did some mid-back adjustments, the pain in my lower back pinned, causing my legs to go shooting in the air to try and counteract the pain.

So after this first round of therapy and back adjustments, I can definitely say that I feel much better. One set of poking at my back does not a cure make, and I still can feel the pain in my lower back. I have another appointment for 5:30 PM on Friday afternoon. I carried the cane home with me and never used it again today, nor did I need to wear the back brace. Even more importantly, I felt limber enough to be able to take short (~1200 m) walks after lunch and dinner tonight. By my normal standards of walking 7-10 km/day, that's not much, but when you realize that for the past couple of weeks, I've barely logged 500 steps/day many days, and some days much less, due to barely being able to move.

At the doctor's advice, I will wear the back brace in bed, as it should reduce the pain and stress of getting out of bed in the morning by supporting the lower-back muscles that are troubling me. And I'm trying to concentrate on better posture, which is not easy when you spend your time concentrating on a computer screen and zoning out writing programs as I do for a living, but I'll do what I can.
Tags: health

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