At long last, I have some news about my back problems. My diagnosis was delayed while my mother-in-law was staying with us, but I finally got the results of my x-rays this past Saturday. The good news is that my pain can be fixed, eventually, but the bad news is that my spinal problems are a little more serious than I had originally thought.
Here’s what a regular spine should look like:
Instead, my neck is straight and then in fact starts to curve in the opposite direction at the very top of the cervical vertebrae. I had one x-ray done front on with my mouth wide open, and looking at the image made me feel quite sick. The top of my spinal column leans significantly to the right. The right side of my pelvis is also tilted upwards, as is my left shoulder.
The lump in my neck I can feel is swelling related to the top vertebrae starting to fuse together. The underlying problem is that the nerves in my neck have stopped working properly so my brain doesn’t know how to correct what’s happening.
My lumbar vertebrae is almost straight, as my posture is actually too good – I didn’t even know that was possible! All those years of trying to correct my duck booty (anterior pelvic tilt) and I actually over-corrected it. Interestingly, the chiro said this imbalance could be causing the digestive issues which I’ve been experiencing for the past couple of years. I suffer really bad bloating but it appears to come on randomly. Elimination diets have not uncovered a cause and I can eat the exact same meals one day and be fine, but the next day end up looking seven months’ pregnant. I never, ever thought it could have anything to do with my spine!
He said the forward position of my head is most likely to be the result of a car accident I had when I was just 15. Although I suffered pretty bad whiplash at the time, I didn’t realise that it takes 5-10 years for deeper symptoms to emerge. Sitting at a desk all day has simply triggered a negative response at a faster rate.
The chiropractor said the best news is I’ve caught the problem early. If I’d had waited another five years, my vertebrae would probably have fused together – which is basically irreversible. He suggested several solutions to me: manual treatments twice a week, getting up from the computer screen every 20-30 minutes (all the discs in your spine start to compress after just 20 minutes of sitting!) and to stop sleeping on my stomach.
He said the first thing he usually prescribes is exercise, but he can see I’m doing enough of that as it is. I usually stand up from my desk every hour or so, but it’s hard remembering to do it more often. I may have to set an alarm!
I have always been a tummy sleeper, so I’ve been sleeping horribly lately as it takes me forever to fall asleep on my back or side. And then my body automatically defaults to being face down in the middle of the night. I don’t know how I’m going to break this habit, but at least it will prepare me for pregnancy!
We tried my first manual treatment on Saturday. He shot my muscles with this instrument that looks like a needle and sounds like a gun. I was quietly terrified that it would hurt but I barely felt a thing. We’re trying to wake the muscles up and get everything moving again.
The new Xtend by Scivation finally made its way to Australian shores. I’m really quite upset that they changed the formula. According to their website, it was reformulated to “improve taste and ingredient solubility”. I actually prefer the taste of the original formula – this one seems more artificial – and I really couldn’t care less about how soluble it is. It also now contains zero calories, whereas it had about 30 calories per serve before – hardly anything to stress about. Now they’ve added a bunch of artificial crap including, as Joob pointed out, petroleum-based food dyes. Ick.
Xtend is one of the only supplements I use. I find drinking BCAAs during my workouts makes a huge difference in how sore I feel the next day. A few weeks ago I forgot my Xtend and, while I’m always sore after a workout, I was finding it hard to physically walk properly!! So I’m feeling rather disappointed and not sure what other replacement products are available.
Finally, you may have noticed my posts have not been as frequent as usual. Studying and working full time is certainly taking its toll on my brain, so for the rest of the year I’m going to cut back to blogging twice a week. I hope you guys don’t mind 🙂
Does anyone have any other BCAA recommendations? Have you ever trained yourself not to sleep a certain way?