Monday, June 10, 2013

Adding a new layer to treatment.

I am very fortunate that I have terrific insurance through my job.  For several years now, I have been interested in trying acupuncture- and my insurance will cover it- but the glitch was that living in Kentuckiana, there were no practitioners in my area- until now.  There is a local Chiropractor who does acupuncture who is now on my plan.

Let me first say that Chiropractics kind of scares me.  Not the actual "adjustment" thing- but that everyone I know who goes- goes ALL of the time! It's like they are...addicted?  That said, the pain in my neck and my back was great enough that it outweighed the fear and I bit the bullet and made an appointment.

I was very impressed that when I told him I was there for acupuncture for pain management, the doctor took the time to not only do an exam but also to do X-rays.  He suggested a book for me to read (The Bowersox Protocol) for my Fibromyalgia and he made me a second appointment where he would give me a treatment plan.  Now- I got the book. It's a supplement based treatment that may help but with all the medications I am on- that's a lot more "stuff" to take.

I went back for my treatment plan two days later and while I KNEW that I had Osteoarthritis in my lower back- I wasn't quite expecting what I got.  The doctor showed me my x-rays and and I am a hot mess.  My neck x-rays are very clear and you can see the damage without any explanation.  My upper cervical vertebrae are okay.  A little compressed but that's to be expected with my past and age.  My lower cervical vertebrae are that of a 60+ year old.  When it came to the lumbar vertebrae the situation was the same and he also showed me that my right hip is slightly lower than my left and has a lot of thinning due to the RA and that also contributes to the OA in my lumbar region.  It's no wonder that the pain in those areas are constant.  His concern though was that because of the arthritis, the lack of range of motion and the pain levels that there are also pinched nerves and/or bulging disks.

So- here's the treatment plan:  A total of 20 visits.  The first 9 will be 3x a week for 3 weeks (skipping next week's vacation-obviously) to try to adjust me, following up with a massage after.  I love massage so that was a welcome surprise.  After that, he will re-evaluate to see if he needs to send me for an MRI to look for bulging disks.  He will also then add in physical therapy and acupuncture.  They also sent me home with a TENS unit.  I love the tens!

Before I left he did an adjustment.  When he cracked my neck- I almost cried.  I haven't been able to crack my neck in over a year and it felt wonderful!  My lower back was less successful but since I didn't expect any relief- it was okay.  The only problem was that though that adjustment felt great at first- my muscles just throbbed all night long.  That was not fun but I talked to a friend who is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and she said that it was to be expected as we loosen things up.

So there we are.  This week I will be there Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  We shall see how it goes.  If it helps- I will rejoice, for sure.  Do any of you see a Chiropractor or an Acupuncturist?  I would be interested in your feedback.