Last week, I went to see a chiropractor after weeks of neck pain. It seems to be a trigger for my migraines, so I wanted to see if there was a reason for it-- besides that I sometimes work on the couch and I don't always stand up straight.
It was some appointment. When she started feeling my neck, she said it looked like I had problems with three of the vertebrae in the neck.
"That's unusual," she said.
I love when I stump doctors and healthcare professionals, so I wasn't all that surprised when she said this.
X-rays showed that my neck did have a problem. A quick lesson in spine health. From a side view, the human spine is supposed to have a slight curve when it runs down the neck. It then curves again down your back-- it's supposed to look a little like an "S."
Mine didn't look like an "S." I had no curve in the neck portion. It was straight. She said that because I didn't have that curve, I was carrying a lot of weight in my neck. She suggested 8 weeks of neck traction therapy.
My main problem with my neck is that when I run longer than an hour, I usually develop a horribly stiff neck later in the day. I've tried Epsom salt baths and massagers and heat and pain relievers and patches and creams. They've had a range of effectiveness, but some days, I can't even move my neck because of the pain.
A few days after my chiropractic assessment, I had an appointment with my neurologist at the headache clinic at UT Southwestern. She said I could give the therapy a shot, but she was wary of anything that involved manipulating my neck.
I am too.
Her suggestion was to try a prescription NSAID before I run and a prescription muscle relaxer at night. It's not my favorite solution-- more meds, but I did try the NSAID before my 7-mile run today, and I haven't developed the awful neck ache, which in turn, should mean no migraine.
What do you guys think of chiropractic treatment? Is it worth the try?