Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Man Who Changed My Life

It wasn’t my father. It wasn’t my husband. In fact, it was a complete stranger – but our very short interaction did, in fact, change my life.

Before you start thinking that some deep, profound event occurred, let me set you straight – I finally saw a chiropractor. >>cue angels singing<<

Just like that.
[source]
I’ve mentioned before that my lower back has been bothering me, to the point that I’ve been taking some time off from the gym and going a bit easy in my workouts (minus the 11-mile run on Sunday, but that’s neither here nor there). I don’t like it – I prefer to stick to my regular, do-something-every day routine, but I also like to be able to do things like put on pants or get out of bed without feeling like an old woman. So, I’ve been trying to listen to my body.

I rested.

I stretched.

I foam-rolled.

I took walks.

I iced.

I heated.

I got a massage.

I tried everything I could think of, and it didn’t seem like anything was making an ounce of difference. The pain wasn’t severe or constant, but it was regular and just enough to be irritating – and just enough to have me changing up my routine. Finally, yesterday, when I was getting up from my chair at my desk and it still just ached, I decided to bite the bullet and find a doctor. (I hate going to the doctor. I’d really rather not – I’d rather just let nature run its course. But nature was not working this time around.)

So, I started calling doctors recommended by my insurance company until I found one that said the magic words: “we can see you today!” (OK, really, I called three – one was closed for the week, one wasn’t open yet, and the third had an after-work appointment available. You win! Done and done.)

When I got to the office, I handed over my new patient paperwork, and the doctor took me back immediately (seriously, that’s awesome. Awesome!). I explained where my pain was and what the circumstances were, and he had me sit down and he looked at and felt my back. Within seconds, he said “Yep! Your SI joint is all out of whack.” Well now - that, sir, sounds completely accurate. It’s basically exactly what I thought it was – I was misaligned. My right SI joint had sort of rotated and popped out of place, and the result was that it was pushing on the surrounding ligaments and causing swelling, hence the pain. Makes sense to me!

The offending joints.
[source]
In order to alleviate the pain, everything needed to be manipulated back into place. After some electro-pulse-therapy nonsense (to loosen and fatigue my back muscles) and ten minutes with a heating pad, the doctor gave me a good stretch and then popped my hips back into place. It was basically the best back-crack of my life. It took minutes. And I immediately felt better! WHY DIDN’T I DO THIS WEEKS AGO!? Seriously – could have saved myself a lot of pain and effort…. Lesson learned. I was advised to take the night off and ice my lower back a few times to get the swelling down, and ice it a few more times today, then come back into the office tomorrow to make sure that everything has stayed in place. I’m clear to do some light cardio tonight (elliptical, most likely, so that I’m not putting pressure on anything) and can do whatever upper-body weight-lifting I like. After that, go with it until the pain goes away, but it should clear up quickly now that there isn’t pressure and swelling where there shouldn’t be. 

The doctor was super nice and funny (he informed me that if I’d waited much longer, my hips would just keep rotating until my “butt was in the front” – ha) and explained what was going on with my body in a way that completely made sense. He was laid back, the office was nice and clean, and the receptionist was really sweet and totally on top of things (she had my insurance all figured out in seconds). Oh, and like I said – they got me in for an appointment same-day and made my return appointment in about two seconds. All in all, a fantastic find – I’m really pleased! (If you live in the NoVa area and want his name, let me know!) I just wish I’d gone sooner.

Best indicator that things are already getting better: I put on pants pain-free this morning. Success! (Granted, I’d rather just not being wearing pants, but that’s another thing that’s frowned upon in the work place… sigh.)

3 comments :

Erica said...

This used to happen to me all the time! There is actually a way that you can put yourself back into alignment without having to go to the doctor, which is really easy and instantly relieving. Let me know if you are interested in hearing it, glad you are feeling better :-)

Caitlin said...

Ah! This is so good to know. I'm currently sitting in my desk chair with back pain. Danggit!!! You make me wanna find a chiro. So glad that you found a good one and are feeling better :)

caityrogo said...

Who was it/where was his office? Email me details when you get back from vaca please my love <3 :)