Injuries Part 1- Head to Toe

Disclaimer: I am finishing this blog up after celebrating National Margarita Day at my favorite Mexican restaurant, Plaza Maya, with some margaritas and karaoke.  I am not responsible for tpyos or things that don’t make cents.

It’s a fact.  No one likes injuries.  They hurt, slow you down, throw you off course, cost you money (if you see a doctor) and generally put you in a bad mood.  Of course there are different levels of injuries- some are short term requiring just some rest and OTC treatment, some are long term requiring a physician and specific treatment.  The short term injuries are mostly just a nuisance and annoyance.

Unfortunately, the majority of my injuries are long term.  I am constantly trying to manage them (yes there are several) and still stay active. I am pretty much a hot mess, head to toe.  And in that order, here is my list:

  • Neck: Your neck is supposed to have a curve in it. Mine is straight and that means I hold a lot of stress in my neck and shoulders.  I tend to raise my shoulders, in a shrug position, and not even realize I do it. On most days, I feel the knot and try to rub it out, usually unsuccessfully. Triggers are working on a computer (which is a major part of my job), lifting weights above my head (which I still do, I just use lighter weights and have the supervision of my trainer) and spending a lot of time laying around on my recliner (which is the hardest thing not to do because I love it!). At the worst pain it is difficult to move, difficult to chew, causes migraines and can be difficult to swallow.  Treatment includes getting regular adjustments from my chiropractor and deep tissue massages to work out the knots and release the toxins that build up in my body.  I am told by the doctor and the massage therapists on a regular basis that I am “tight” and they wish they had longer to work on me. That’s not news to me.  I can feel it.  When it is really bad, I ice my neck several times a day and make sure to sit upright on the couch and not recline.  All of these things help, of course.   But it would be great if I didn’t have to deal with it at all.Straight neck
  • Back: I have herniated discs in my lower back. This has been confirmed with an MRI.  A herniated disc is often referred to as a slipped disc. The inner tissue located in the center of the disc can be placed under so much pressure that it can cause the outer tissue to rupture or herniate. Even though the vertebrae is in the middle of the back, the pain usually manifests on the left or right side and proceeds to radiate down my leg, making all movement difficult.  You might hear people talk about their “sciatic”.  I’ve used that term as well.  Whether or not it is the same thing, I’m not really sure.  But people seem to be able to relate to that.  Triggers include sitting for a long time, driving long distances without a break and being inactive.  Treatments include adjustments from the chiropractor and using Thermacare heating pads.  This used to be my primary issue.  But, knock on wood, it hasn’t flared up much lately and the neck has become my constant source of discomfort.Heating pad for backHerniated disc
  • Knee: I honestly have no idea what this ailment is called. My doctor told me once, but I didn’t pay that much attention.  Instead he suggested a brace to use (shown in photo) and I wear it any time I am working out, whether it is a walk, boxing or training.  Not sure how it works, but it works!! It is flared up a bit now, which is my own fault.  When the brace gets sweaty, after time it stretches out.  You can’t launder it but you can hand wash it.  Since the brace is only $9, I just get a new one when it starts to get stretchy and gross.  Unfortunately, I am past due for a new one and it has caused a little discomfort, noticing it mostly on steps.  And I did buy a new brace over the weekend. Let the healing begin!Knee brace
  • Plantar Fasciitis: Let me tell you, this one is a bitch!  This condition is the most common form of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the ligament that supports your arch. Repeated strain can cause tiny tears in the ligament. These can lead to pain and swelling. There are many contributors to this.  But in my case it is high arches.  When it first started the pain was excruciating.  Triggers for me were wearing the wrong shoes and overuse.  I went to a podiatrist to find out what the heck was happening. Once diagnosed, he sent me to the expert in this area- Don at Charleston Department Store.  They specialize in fitting people with this condition.  My shoe size is 8-8 ½ depending on the style.  I do know that athletic shoes need to be bigger to accommodate your feet swelling and spreading.  So I was a 9-9 ½.  When he measured my foot he told me I was a 10 narrow.  I looked him straight in the eye, and said “you are smoking crack”. He stood his ground, put me in a New Balance 847 size 10 narrow.  And do you believe it worked!!!  This was at least 5 years ago and I haven’t had a serious flare up since. When I did have flare ups, the best thing to do was freeze a bottle of water and roll it on the bottoms of your feet.  The only downside is that this shoe comes in 2 colors- “nurse white/blue” and gray/pink.  I wear the gray/pink version.  But I have begged them to come out with difference color options.  I have tried other shoes, both NB brand and others.  After wearing them one time, I can feel the heal pain.  So I have accepted my fate and I stick to the 847’s.  Praying every day that they will come out with a stylish new color.

With anything chiropractic, you would be amazed at the things that these ailments can affect in your body. Much like stress can wreak havoc on you in ways you can’t imagine, so can these issues. Everything from headaches and swallowing to menstrual cycles and eyesight.  It’s crazy.  I am a huge believer in chiropractic care.  Not everyone is.  And I will admit that I have been seen by great, good, bad and really bad ones over the years.  I’m blessed to have the best for the last 10 years and have come to only trust him with my adjustments. When I stop by and they tell me he isn’t there, instead of going to the other partner, I politely thank them and leave.  There does need to be a trust you have with your chiropractor, as with any doctor.

I didn’t mean to bore you with all of that.  But maybe my experience can help someone else who is frustrated and experiencing the same thing. For anyone who is active, injuries are likely a part of your life.  If you are inactive and using injuries as an excuse, STOP that today!  Even though they are inevitable, they don’t have to stop you. Listen to your body, identify the problem, treat appropriately and get back at it!

Look for next week’s blog, Injuries (Part 2): Prevention and Treatment, for more in depth information on how to prevent, identify and treat your injuries.


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2 Responses to Injuries Part 1- Head to Toe

  1. Micah says:

    Well written and informative as always. Great to see how you overcome and work around your injuries. Oh and I love all the pictures, they make to blog come to life!! :)

  2. Christa Hamra says:

    Thanks Micah! I spend as much time on the photos as I do the content. So I appreciate the comment on that.

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