Tuesday, March 27, 2012

[Girl♥Health]: It's Baaack... (Pun Totally Intended)

If you've been reading my G♥H posts for a while now, you may remember that I've been experiencing some back issues in the past few months.  Truth be told, I'm currently going through my third episode of crazy back pain in the past year.  If I had to describe it, I would say that it feels like a thick band of tension across my lower back, with most of the pain focused on my lower left side, right at my hips.  When I move my legs in certain directions, I'm rewarded with acute pain near my spine.  I can't rotate at the hips or bend toward my left, nor can I straighten my posture -- I'm sort of stuck in a hobbled over position leaning towards the right.  The only time I'm comfortable is when I'm laying down with an ice pack.

I was finally able to see a chiropractor yesterday to get some x-rays and an evaluation.  After talking to me for a few minutes, Dr. Eric thought this seemed like a classic case he's seen many times: I've essentially locked my ilium (hip bones) into a misaligned position to my sacrum (fused lower back vertebra).  This in turn causes inflammation at those joints and, in order to protect itself, my body has me favoring one side (the right) so as to keep weight off the focus of my pain (my left hip joint). 

Then I went in today to go over my x-rays and the story got a little more complicated.  Hey, I'm a complicated girl.

Apparently, on top of this misalignment, I also have a spine anomaly called a lumbosacral transitional vertebra (LSTV).  What this means is that the last vertebra of my spine can't decide whether it wants to be a vertebra or part of the sacrum. Being so indecisive, it has an "accessory articulation," which is a fancy way of saying it looks like a vertebra that's grown wings which sort of mimic the look of the sacrum.  "But don't those wings mean you have extra bones along your spine?" you ask?  Why yes, yes it does.  And these extra bones taking up all that extra space makes it impossible for me to bend or rotate like a normal human being. When I try to, stuff like this happens.

So, in summary, I'm currently suffering from a spinal subluxation (misaligned, pinched nerves) -- probably a result of me not knowing I had an LSTV and trying to do things my spine is unable to do -- which has caused painful, limited range of motion, joint problems, nerve problems, acute muscle spasms, pain at the sight of the subluxation and pain radiating from the sight of subluxation.  Because of all this, I am also in phase 1 of spinal decay, where I'm experiencing a loss of spinal curve,  narrowing of disc spacing (that plastic-y sort of substance between the vertebrae) and impaired turning and bending.

Dr. Eric suggested a treatment plan for me that requires regular chiropractic adjustments, but that's something I'll have to think about.  Being without a job also means I'm currently without health insurance and, in this country, getting back to healthy is not cheap.

Until I do get this straightened out (Hah!  See what I did there?), exercising is definitely on a back burner.  Whatever I decide, I'll post an update here.

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