Some of my 2000+ followers may have missed me for the past 2 weeks. It seems that my obsession with using my computer, iPad and iPhone for communication, research and yes, blogging, has combined with my exercise routine to add yet another painful ailment deal with.
24 years ago I was a passenger in a car accident that broke my pelvis in multiple places, broke my ankle, caused a reverse curvature of my C-Spine, gave me a memory impairing concussion, and severely damaged my sciatic nerve which has resulted in doctors advising me not to take part in any high-impact activities ever since.
I try to follow their recommendations: I swim, do Pilates, walk (never run) on the treadmill, lift very light weights and I blog. None of that should have caused me injury, but apparently all can contribute to the aches and pains I have radiating out from the teeny tiny little nerves in my neck, the cervical nerves:
- C5 – controls the Deltoids (the rounded part of the shoulder) and the Biceps (flexion of the elbow and rotation of the forearm)
- C6 – controls the muscles that make up the wrist extensors and enable wrist extension and hyper extension and the movements that are tied to the Biceps (front of the upper arm)
- C7 – controls the Triceps (muscles in the back of the upper arm that allow the elbow to straighten)
- C8 – controls the hands
I suffer from Cervicogenic Headaches: Headaches originating from the neck often as a result of repetitive or prolonged turning of the neck (e.g. breathing during swimming), slouching (especially during sitting, sleeping or use of a computer), bending forwards of the neck (e.g. hunching over to read a phone/tablet), shoulders forwards activities (such as gripping the band handles for rowing or butterflies at Pilates).
The last two weeks have been unbearable. I’ve had a nagging headache in the top of my forehead and in my temples; pain, stiffness and difficulty turning my neck; my mid-back, shoulder blades and elbows ache; I have painful pins and needles and numbness in my hands and fingers; as well as a few bouts of dizziness.
I thought I could manage the pain with trigger point injections in my neck and upper back and a good massage. I was so wrong! The combination resulted in even more pain and numbness and now has me in wrist neutralizing braces while I’m awake as well as trying to sleep.
- Neurontin combined with a muscle relaxant dulls the pain enough for me to get a few hours sleep at night, but I am only comfortable on my back. Unfortunately lying on my back compresses the base of my skull on the right and makes the pain and other symptoms worse.
- Typing puts my wrists in the wrong position and sends shooting pains up my arm & directly across my shoulders to my neck symptoms that mimic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. So now I have wrist position neutralizing braces for use during the day and while I sleep.
If these remedies don’t start to work soon I will be off to my favorite ART (Active Release Techniques) and Myofascial Trigger Point Release practicing chiropractor, Dr. Ron Higuera. He has worked minor miracles on my body, but there will be cussing, crying and pain while he’s fixing me, so I think I can be forgiven if I am willing to try the chicken’s way first…hmmm.
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