I am Georgia and I’m 35 years old. I’ve lived a freelance lifestyle for over a decade and dedicated my life to animals and writing. I’ve worked mainly from home most of my post college years but spend just as much time in front of a computer as your typical 9-5 office worker. That means not only increased risk for carpal tunnel, neck pain and eye strain, but the common and prerequisite back pain as well. As you can imagine, the back pain was just a symptom of something else. In my case, it was scoliosis, which I was able to treat later on through chiropractic.
I don’t know how I evaded back pain as a teen since I barely remember sitting up straight in class. I also worked in retail and stood on my feet for multiple hours straight throughout the week in high school. But I wouldn’t be so lucky in college. Somewhere between freshman and sophomore year my mid and upper back pain became too great and I went searching for solutions.
At first I tried to rest my back and stay off of my feet as much as I could. But much of the pain manifested when I was sitting down. So I made sure to use computer chairs with lumbar support and went out and got a lumbar support back cushion to use in my car. These changes helped a little but after a few months they weren’t enough. I decide to make an appointment with a local chiropractor.
During my initial visit I learned all about the spine, what it was supposed to look like and how mine had gone rogue. So, the spine has four sections: cervical (neck), thoracic (upper and mid back), lumbar (lower back), and sacrum (tail bone area). Not only did I have issues in my neck and through the length of my back, my hips were also off kilter. This made one of my legs functionally shorter than the other, giving me a slight limp.
I saw the x-rays of my spine, followed by a thorough explanation of my diagnosis and prognosis. When looking at my neck from the side view my cervical spine was completely straight. This is bad. Your neck vertebrae are supposed to curve a bit toward the front of your body, referred to as lordosis. Mine being completely straight meant I was lacking “the curve of life” and it was contributing to my pain.
Most notably though was the well-defined S-curve of my spine when viewing back to front. My neck tilted right, my thoracic and lumbar spine curved in opposite directions, and sacrum and hips also tilted. The doctor explained that although my symptoms were mild at the moment scoliosis was a progressive ailment and the best I could hope for was maintenance. This began my long relationship with chiropractic medicine in an effort to treat my scoliosis.
I started getting adjustments every two weeks in college and continued as much as I could once I graduated, which was more sporadically. But a chiropractic adjustment isn’t just getting your back cracked. It starts with e-stim, or electronic stimulation. The chiropractors places sticky pads with electrodes on your skin, which zap the muscles in the afflicted area. Then a technician uses an ultrasound wand to massage the area. Both of these treatments help relieve pain and relax muscles so they give less resistance and allow the joints to flex and move as needed. The chiropractor would then apply particular pressure to shift specific vertebrae causing sometimes uncomfortable and even painful “pops.”
Throughout my collegiate days my back pain would come and go. And although it had become more consistent since graduating, with every set of x-rays I saw my spine looked closer to normal. My health took a turn nine years ago and my pain spread from my back to several other places. In search of all over relief I received several more x-rays. And even though I explained my history and symptoms several doctors said they saw no evidence of scoliosis. I looked at the films myself and confirmed they were drastically different than the scans I’d seen throughout the years. The straightening of my neck is still present but is lightyears better than it had been. The S-curve in my spine had straightened and my functional limb difference disappeared. I was finally free of scoliosis thanks to chiropractic!
But this didn’t mean I was free from back pain. Unfortunately, fibromyalgia picked up where scoliosis left off. Although I now live with pain every day I’m happy to say it is not because of a misaligned spine. I can’t fathom enduring this new condition along with back or spine problems, so I’m so thankful chiropractic cured my scoliosis. I am now investigating natural, non-invasive ways for fibromyalgia and I will report back!
Don’t let people tell you chiropractors are not doctors or the practice is not medicine. If you are having pain associated with your spine, and sometimes other kinds of ailments like migraines or digestive issues, find a chiropractor with good reviews and make an appointment. You can learn a lot about your body and take a step toward improving your life.
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