Monday, December 28, 2009

A Pain In The Neck (part 9) - When doubts creep in

Continuing the saga of a pain in the neck and the long treatment therapy I took to avoid invasive surgery. It is normal for the mind to doubt the effectiveness of a treatment when it takes too long to take effect. So I need to record my experiences just to help remove such doubts from those who have to suffer the same fate.

Yesterday: 5-10-2005

I'm so tired, worn out by the constant nagging pain again. Pain rating: Fluctuating between tolerable and intolerable. I suppose it's because of the longer break in between treatments. The last treatment was last Thursday, a lapse of 6 days, which is probably why the pain sneaked back on me. To worsen the situation, the last 2 days were spent sitting in a training room, clicking the mouse, mostly with my right hand. We had to learn how to use new software for FMEA (Failure Modes and Effects Analysis). Well, I tried to remain seated as long as I could anyway which wasn't pleasant to say the least because it's not my height-adjustable chair and the conference table was too crammed for comfort.

And the chiropractor just went through his routines without even trying to listen to my complaints, as he seemed more intent on showing his personality rather than his professionalism. I'd rather face a sullen, stone-faced doctor who appears to know what he's doing than one brimming with optimism but keeps me guessing all the time. Besides he seemed to be rushing through the job as there were a few more patients waiting in other cubicles. I begin to doubt again his optimism about solving my problem and the effectiveness of this treatment. What's going on inside my neck? Maybe he knows. Or is he also guessing just like me?

My theory is that during the delay, the cervical bones slipped back a little, which explains the 'entangled wire' and the pain shooting down my arm. I'm theorizing this based on my own feelings and the wriggling I have to do every now and then to loosen the neck muscles, which provides some relief, although only for a few minutes at a time.

I will try to schedule my treatments from here on, to twice a week with a lapse of 3 to 4 days in between.

Today, 6-10-2005

I'm spending my time sitting at my work desk, made as comfortable as possible, with my neck in a brace. By now I'm an expert in explaining the Cervical Slipped Disc condition to every other work mate who happens by my cubicle and wonders aloud why this Darth Vader without the black helmet and visor is sitting here at my desk pretending to work.

And I'm still praying, this time, for a miracle to happen.


  1. When you wrote "How to retire painlessly" I assume you also meant the freedom from neck pains. Surprisingly my father who's 81 years old does not have bone related problems. He carried heavy loads as a young man and never once suffered a slipped disc although he does have other ailments. In fact I can't remember anyone from my kampung having such a condition to a point where they had to wear braces. Could slipped disc condition be a modern ailment, aggravated by the kind of furniture we sit or sleep in? (We all slept on a mat and wooden floor in those days).

  2. According to the chiropractor, possible cause for my case could have been a whiplash caused by rear-end collision. I was hit not once, but twice within a month. Curiously my car didn't suffer much damage.
    My MRI scan showed my cervical column in a slightly straightened condition instead of a "C" curve.

  3. If its a car accident then it is unavoidable. What I've heard is one can develop similar problems with the spine and neck after sleeping on soft mattresses and pillows for years. Someone told me some bone doctors recommend you to move about in a way that keeps your spine as straight as possible. He says correct spinal alignment is why Buddhist monks can medidate for a long time, sitting upright for hours without feeling any discomfort. Do you know if that is true?