Tuesday, August 23, 2011


When I was having back issues 2 year's ago, my chiropractor, Dr. Cawley, worked on my back for months to get me back in shape and pain-free.  Now I'm having neck issues that are leading to some pretty bad bad bad headaches. 

I saw my x-rays today.

If you could see your bones as you stand sideways, you would see your skull and then your neck bones curving nicely but surely towards the front of your head and then curving outwards again as the spine curves out and then again (lower back) curving inwards.  A nice, delicate but distinct curve.
(This spine illustration is from Wikipedia.)

Mine doesn't curve.  The neck bones are flat - straight up and down after leaving the head.  Oops!  So now we know I have a problem there and we have a treatment plan.  We are hoping the plan works and, in a few weeks I won't be having weekly migraines and tension headaches.

Years ago I listed to Eddie Izzard riff on chiropractors after he hurt himself snowboarding.  He swears chiros are addicted to the sound of the cracking of bones.  Funny guy, funny skit.  I thought of that today as I heard my bones pop all up and down my back.  I wondered if Dr. Cawley says in his head, "Oh, yeah, today we get to crack your bones!"  

Unfortunately, he says we probably won't be able to get the neck into that nice curve - my spine is dealing with too many things to have it look like this nice curvy thing here on the left.  But we'll do what we can.  I'm hoping for a headache free day and will be piggy and hope for a headache free tomorrow, too.

Until then, take care of your spine - it's the foundation of your body and you need to keep it healthy and strong.  And if you can't keep it healthy and strong, find a good chiropractor who likes to crack those bones!


Irina said...

I am so sorry. Just want to let you know about my experience: yoga class makes miracles in spine area, also in joints and many other body parts. maybe you should try it when the acute condition is over.

Carol Blackburn said...

Oh Rhonda, I feel for you, my friend. I got addicted to chiropractic many years ago and just had to stop going and you know what, I felt the same without it. I used it as a crutch and was spending money like water for nothing, in my instance. I don't deny the value of chiropractic if it works for you; I'm just saying becareful not to fall into the trap of needing it like a drug. It can happen. Wishing you many pain free days and night!

Anonymous said...

Rhonda, I too have had a history of neck and spine problems, and used to go regularly to the chiropractor. For a couple of days I would fee as if I were so upright, walking on air etc…. then by the end of week one or week two, would be all hunched and in pain again. Of course, it was mostly my own fault, because you can’t just go to the chiropractor, you need to change the offending habits as well. But this is so difficult if all of your life you have been painting in a certain way…. Sitting to the computer is one of the worse things for me, and I always stand to paint, either to my drafting table or easel. I feel about he same with or without chiro visits (apart from those first few days of feeling like walking on air). I just can’t afford it any more..... so don’t go, but know my back is not in alignment at all at the moment. (Which eads to constipation and a myriad of other things). I think a lot of it (just like being the best you can be in watercolour painting) is breaking bad old habits learnt over years and years.

AutumnLeaves said...

I hope you can find some relief, Rhonda.

RH Carpenter said...

Irina, I may get into a Yoga or a Pilates class once I'm over the chronic pain. Thanks for the suggestion!

Carol, I'm not addicted to anything - except chocolate and blogging and painting :) I just go when I'm having pain issues and he fixes me up and sends me on my way.

I have a lot of bad habits with my spine, I think, and have had a painful back since I was very young - in my 20's. It could all stem from a fall down a long flight of stairs when I was 13 and being sent home (over a mile walk) instead of being driven home. No other major injuries to my back that I remember. Sitting at the computer is the number one problem - in our homes we don't have the ergonomic set-up we need so sit too high, too low, hands typing at a strange angle, etc. I even paint with my palette on my left even though I'm right-handed because that's how my space is in my little art room. I do stand to paint and always have - much better for movement and being able to step away and take a break than sitting for hours. I stand even in workshops and classes. Breaking old bad habits is hard, no matter what part of your life they've infiltrated!

Pam Johnson Brickell said...

Hope the cracking helps. Yes to yoga... gentle though, as some instructors think we've all got the flexibility of a 20 year old. Also a big yes to stretching exercises for the back and neck. As we age, if we don't move it... we lose it. Terrible but true :)

debwardart said...

At least you now know what's causing those headaches. I always think that if you can put a name or reason to a medical problem, that's half the battle. Good luck. Hope he also does some massaging - had a chiro who did that and it was wonderful, not so much cracking as really deep massage - and that little electrical stinging thing! They really can help you.

Judy said...

My neck troubles began due to a chiropractic treatment. After months of pain I found a wonderful fysiotherapist who helped me with exercises and it's so much better now. Changing habits and exercises are the solution in my opinion.
BTW, what happened to your pears? They were so cheerful!

Sadami said...

I know your situations very well... A physio and a podiatrist are in my medical team (*A chiro was not helpful for my case.) I'd just say, please take care. Excercise takes at least 3 months to have some result. But do not give up and be kind to yourself.
Best regards,Sadami

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks, Pam and Deb :) I may get into yoga and definitely stretching and easy movement right now until I'm back to feeling 100% - I do tend to overdo it when I exercise and then end up sore or hurting somewhere! For some reason, I think I should be able to do now, at 54, what I did at 24!! Deb, I want to buy one of those eletrical stimulating things!!! They get all the knots out so quickly.

Thanks, Sadami and Judy. Judy, I'm sorry you got a back chiropractor - I've had one of those who began treatment on me before he did any x-rays or talked to me more than 5 minutes - and said my migraines were from repressed anger at my husband! ha ha Needless to say, I didn't return to him more than once.

Judy, I removed the pears because they were painted following an online lesson with Suzanne McDermott that I was taking; since it was from one of her lesson plans, I should have gotten her permission to use it before sharing. If you're interested in her online course, please go here for more information: