Thursday, December 19, 2013

My Body Hates Me

My favorite topic in the world is pregnancy/childbirth. I could seriously talk about it all day - my pregnancy, other people's pregnancies, it doesn't matter. I am SO fascinated by what our bodies are able to do and how different an experience it can be for everyone. 

Did you know...

...the uterus will increase by TWENTY times it's original weight and ONE THOUSAND times it's original capacity?

...your blood volume will increase 25-50%?

...your bones soften? 

...your womb can hold 1 liter of water in addition to the full-sized baby in there?

Not to mention about a million other strange things. 

It's no wonder we experience a little wear and tear throughout and after the whole process of mothering a child. I know I for one have a gripe or two. I've been experiencing neck & back pain since 8th grade. It wasn't the result of an accident or an injury or anything, in fact, my theory is that my big boobs and those massive text books I had to carry around started the problem. The pain was always more of a nuisance until I got pregnant. I had back pain almost immediately and it proceeded to increase as I got bigger and bigger. I also had awful back labor. 

Since having Kenley, I've noticed a few other weird little quirks like restless leg syndrome when I'm in bed, tingling and cramping in my hands AND of course there was my 6 week stint with bells palsy right after Kenley was born. 

It's been over a year since Kenley was born and it feels like my ailments are just getting worse. It was a pretty bad fall on Thanksgiving and a severe pinched nerve in my neck a week later that finally put me over the edge. I knew I needed to do SOMETHING to get some relief. My dad suggested I try a Health & Wellness Chiropractor that him and my aunt visit. And so I did. 

Turns out I have an inverted neck curve. A normal person's neck should look like this:
see how it kind of makes that reversed "C" shape?

Well here's my neck:
definitely the opposite of what it's supposed to look like. 

While I can't blame the structure of my neck on motherhood, the chiropractor did say that the extra weight, hormones and general wear my body has gone through in the last 20 months most likely have made this problem worse. It's also probable that it's the cause of the bells palsy as well as the hand numbness and restless legs. 

Needless to say I am thrilled that I finally bit the bullet and went in to get some help. I am sick and tired of being in constant pain and am definitely over wincing every time I pick up my daughter. 

With the help of the chiropractor I have come up with a plan to reverse this problem and eliminate this darn pain. With some corrective stretching {ie Yoga}, stabilizing/strengthening exercises and regular chiropractic visits/massages I am hoping to be good as new and strong as can be before I go down that pregnancy road again {if I should be so lucky.}

Do any of you see a chiropractor? I have been so skeptical for so many years and am still not completely sold. If it's going to help, by all means I will go, but I don't want to get suckered in to anything I don't need. What are your thoughts?


Katie said...

Ahh! I have seen a chiropractor many times. I've also had chronic back/neck pain since middle school…its what brought me to yoga. I think they can do some great things for you, my issue is that they always say you need to come in SO many times and SO often to make a difference. It just becomes unrealistic for me. I'd learn some of the stretches and yoga poses (ahem, you should come to my yin class!) and then invest in a bolster & block so that you can do them at home for FREE!

Nikki said...

My husband and I both go to the chiropractor religiously. I go 2-3 times a week. I fell at work and messed up my back really bad and have been going ever since. Now I'm pregnant -16 weeks- and my back pain is getting worse and the multiple weekly visits definitely help!

hello erin said...

What a pain (literally!). I hope you find something that helps with all the pain! That's zero fun living with... Boo.

Mateya said...

I don't go regularly, probably 2-3 times a year, but I love it! I always feel so good when I leave. When I was in high school, I was a gymnast so I was constantly having aches and pains and I went every other week!

Bridget said...

So funny you post this because I am in the process of setting up to go for my first time. It freaks me out to go but I am also sick of being in pain. Mine comes from sitting @ a desk ALL day and then breastfeeding hasn't really been good on my posture either. Tate was always weary of me going because he thinks of it has a temporary fix...not something permanent. I'm thinking if I can just go a few times a year to get 'adjusted'...then I would be good. I'll have to see what they say @ my first appointment though.

ajs {of MN} said...

holy cow, i can relate BIG time!!!

ok... how can i comment w/o making this a NOVEL....

i was ALL belly when i was pregnant and with my small frame it did a number on me! i came out with major major neck pain- numbness and tingling... i dealt with it for over a year before i started to share the pain and went with some topical muscle cream, then i tired one chiro who was just in the field for the money.... so i threw my hands in the air and said "ill just deal with it"

i tried massage, but b/c i am TYPE A and a psycho i just cant relax enough to fully enjoy a massage making it seem like a waste of money.

well the pain was getting worse to the point of me waking up and barely being able to move and it being a bother all day every day in stead of just off and on here and there... so i talked with a friend and he had the miracle guy for me... **side note, everyone has the BEST chiro in their phone**

well i went (trusting my friend that this guy will be great!) and i discussed my "inability to trust that this will work, but i gotta do something" this chiro really took the time to sit and listen and talk and go thru what will work and stretches, why the body does this and that and why my body is being like this, etc... and then talked with me about the muscle stimulator that he will use for me before each session... um....awesome!

i started going every other week for about 2 months, then every three weeks and now... i only have to go when i feel tense and the pain starts to creep back which is about every 6 weeks.

basically carrying a baby around for 9 months and THEN carrying baby around for another 1 year in arms off and on along with a purse and diaper bag, etc... doesn't do a body good.

in the end, i am SO happy with the chiro that i have found, there are SO many out there and they ALL have different philosophies- you just have to find one that works well with you AND your body! i say stick with the chiro if you are finding it to be comfortable for you, you will feel great in time, i know i did/do and i am the MOST skeptical "i hate docs" person to ever walk the earth ;)

SUPER long comment, whoops! ;)

P!nky said...

Def def def give your chiro a try. If they listen to you, understand your needs and know that you are skeptical you should have a great experience.

I've been to a chiro for my shins and my back and it was awesome. We did electro stimulus, stretching, back strengthening and I even got inserts to run in as well.

My guy is awesome and I should pay him a visit soon, cause I've been sore. Give it a month or two and if nothing changes, then you might need to try something else. But I fully believe this should give you some relief.

My next suggestion would be acupuncture.

Sarah said...

I was terrified to go to the Chiropractor but did something to my back and my dad made an appointment from me, I felt relief almost right away... I was really tense when I got there obviously me being nervous didn't help but Dr. Lutz talked me through what he was doing and it made a world of difference. With yours being ongoing I think it would be worth it, but make sure you do a lot of research to find a Dr. that works for you, they are all so different.

lo @ crazy ever after said...

I went to one for some lower back pain. The sign outside his office had a marquee that said, "Knotty people kneaded!" It creeped me out that I couldn't relax while I was there. Ugh. I need to go back because my back continues to be jacked up. I've actually heard it may be connected with helping cure infertility stuff too. Have you ever considered acupuncture? Jesse am I are doing that too. Super relaxing.

Kristin said...

OMG that's crazy!

Courtney B said...

Oh my GOSH! I'm so glad you went in! That is crazy!
I love that yoga will help... I REALLY need to start doing yoga!
I went to a chiropractor years ago after being in an accident where the car flipped. He really did heal me! He told me that healthy joints don't crack/pop and as my treatments went on, my body stopped cracking/popping until he told me to come back if I ever had problems again!
It will take some time because your muscles have to learn to stay in place a completely different way but I know it will totally work for you! Especially with the other things you're going to do to train your body! Good luck!!

Ashley @ Words About Waverly said...

That is crazy!!! Hope you feel better little momma!!!

WinterBenson said...

The human body is quite an amazing thing! I've actually seen a uterus, and it fits in one of those cups you would pee in at the OB office. I was shocked.

Glad you have a plan for helping your pain! I've never been to a chiropractor but I know many people who swear by theirs! Good luck!

Kari said...

I totally understand! I was so skeptical of chiropractors too! I shattered my tibia in 2008 and had a plate and 11 screws put in. Then in 2009 I had everything removed due to a lack of movement. But when I still couldn't move it much in 2010 and 2011 I decided I needed to figure something out. My dad kept encouraging me to see his chiropractor. I didn't think he could do anything on my ankle. It was so messed up and how was he going to help? Let me say he proved me wrong and now I anxiously wait for my next appointment :) I love him! My ankle felt amazing before and during my pregnancy! It was seriously never better! He also made sure my back was well aligned during pregnancy- helping me feel awesome! My sciatic nerve would hurt every once in a while but his adjustments made everything feel so much better. After pregnancy my ankle decided to be difficult again but after 3 sessions since Colin was born, it is feeling way better.

I never believed in chiropractors and really thought they were just whacky "doctors" but after the experience I have had, I would highly recommend trying one. I think we are so quick to jump to western medicine and take a pill for pain instead of really figuring out what might be out of "whack" in our bodies and what just needs to be put back into its intended place. My opinion now is that meds are just a band aid for the real problem is.

I hope you can feel better soon! Babies do a number on our bodies- it sure is nice of us to share that space :)

Bre said...

I never knew about Health & Wellness chiros until my friend started seeing one. I only knew about the injury chiros. I started seeing my friend's chiro about a year ago. I have learned so much about my body. Like the fact that the reason I had gastro issues is because my spine was all out of whack in that area that housed the nerves that control bladder and gastro function. Much happier now :)

Glad you are getting everything realigned and hopefully won't have pain for much longer.

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