Back Adjustments Aren’t DIY


I’ve been to a chiropractor four times in my life, and I was sort of thrown into it.  My mother in-law swears by it, even though it’s my unprofessional opinion that it’s completely bogus.  She says it releases toxins from the joints that build up, opens pathways, and all of the other stuff that evidence based science people groan about.  Granted, some alternative medicine is completely legitimate.

When my husband returned from Korea we spent two weeks at his parent’s house, yet somehow I survived to tell this story!  She gabbed about me with her chiropractor, and he said “You should bring her in!  I’d love to get my hands on her.”  Creep!

Oy vey.  MIL doesn’t fully understand my neurological issues because she thinks I’m too stupid to understand what the doctors say to me.  She thought taking me to get my back cracked would be the magical fix for my neuropathy.  It’s no use arguing with her.  I could have said no, but she was paying, so I figured I’d go ahead and waste her money.

What happened?  Absolutely nothing.  There was no change in numbness and function, but I did hurt more in places that rarely bothered me.  Oh yay, more pain.  Thanks harpy, you slag.  The one good thing that did come out of it is that I had plain x-rays taken of my L-spine, which showed some pretty gnarly shit going on in my lumbosacral area.  He recommended I take the report to my doctor and have an MRI ordered, and that’s when they found the bulging discs (one of which ruptured a month later), and foraminal/spinal stenosis.  So, we know about all of that shit now, I’m supposed to see a guy about getting coristone epidurals to make me a happy, shiny person.  I don’t want surgery on my back.  Ever.  I know how the treatment train rolls, so here’s me being a wimp and avoiding it.

Going to the chiropractor was mostly pointless, but sometimes I’m sitting here at home, and I just want to crack my back.  It feels tight, shitty, and crunchy.  Sometimes I hang off of the side of the bed and get to crackin’ that way, then others I ask my husband to do it for me by giving me a bear hug and picking me up off of the ground, then bouncing me.  Nope, that’s not foreplay.  That’s DIY chiropractic and it’s a stupid thing to do, but everybody’s doin’ it, so it must be okay!


2013’ish, I separated a rib doing this with him.  It was pretty terrible.  Anyone who has cracked or bruised a rib before knows it fucking hurts to breathe for a long long time, and it heals slowly.  AP and Lateral chest x-rays, in the order notation “pt’s husband hugged her too hard, please evaluate”.  Haha, busted!

Fast forward to 2016, tonight.  I’ve been fucking around with a tension headache bordering on a migraine for most of the afternoon and felt like I needed to be cracked.  I got my bear hug *pop pop pop*, aaaaaah.  Then he asked if I thought I was good for any more pops, so I turned around and he picked me up while standing behind me.  Bouncy, bouncy, “ARRRRRRRG MOTHERFUCKER!”

Oh yes, we did it again.  I popped a riblet, and the hurt won’t fucking quit.  Once every three years isn’t too bad, right?  Now I’m compelled by the resident bone person to make an extra trip to the clinic to rule out fracture, then load a bucket full of STRONG pain medication.  Anyone who makes me laugh in the next few weeks, do so knowing it’ll make me want to poop in your favorite shoes.



14 thoughts on “Back Adjustments Aren’t DIY

  1. GAAAAAA! I’m awfully sorry you’ve got the spinal badness. Mine started when I was about 30, one emergency surgery on C5-6, now have ruptured discs and bone spurs from sacrum to C3. That’s why I have trouble localizing pain. I can’t distinguish between nerve root compression pain and local musculoskeletal nociceptive pain. Like right now it’s 0330, and I am in the process of medicating my right shoulder. It woke me up with a 9+ at 0200. I was in so much pain I forgot I have a precious stash of tramadol! I’ve now taken one of those plus something else, finally feeling better. I don’t know how much is shoulder and how much is neck.

    The safe way to do the back crack, far enough in the future for the memory of your poor rib to fade, is for you to lie on the floor face up. You concentrate on your breath, get very relaxed. Then your Neanderthal stands over you, slides his hands under the small of your back, and in one swift, smooth movement, lifts you almost off the floor. But not TOO swiftly. Not so you get whiplash, God forbid. You will feel your whole spine go pop pop pop pop pop etc! Manchild will want you to do the same from him, but you will demure. Oh, and no bouncing, shaking, or any other shit after he picks you up, because that just causes your muscles to contact, to try to keep you from injuring things like RIBS, etc. You are a delicate flower. I’ll be happy to explain that to MC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He cracks me the same way he cracks his mom, and there’s a 2o0 pound difference between the two of us. That’s probably the problem. 😉 I should have stopped while I was ahead, but the first round felt so good. I got greedy!

      I think most of my lower back stuff was probably caused by running (at least the excessive disc compression)minus the transitional anatomy and scoliosis. The one benefit of being solid muscle once upon a time, is that I didn’t have back pain because all of my bits and pieces were so well supported and stabilized. It has gotten worse the longer I’ve been unable to engage in intense exercise. I really need to get back into daily walks, at the very least. Or start doing weighted hip lifts. Somethin’. I stopped doing core exercises when it caused me to barf all over myself every time I did it. Now, if I get down on the floor, I need a crane (or a neanderthal 😂) to pick me up.

      I got all of the hardware abnormalities handed down to me by my Dad. He was a couple of years younger than me when he slipped his first disc. It’s so bad now, he doesn’t have any options other than to take his morphine. It’s pretty much his entire spine now, like you. He needs to lose about 80 pounds before they’ll consider reevaluating him for a fusion. After getting a small taste of back pain, I don’t know how anyone can have that sort of pain 24/7 and not implode. I feel for you. 😢 I think if it just hurt where it hurt, it’d be different, but the fact that it radiates pain frickin’ everywhere makes it especially nasty. Wouldn’t it be cool if we all had lifetime warranties and could be refurbished?


      • As far as I’m concerned, all m&m’s are edible. (Insert dirty joke here.) Instead of insulating yourself, maybe you should insulate your surroundings. Cover everything with padding. Then you can pretend that you’re a princess who’s been locked up in a padded cell by some dastardly villain. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yikes! Broken/bruised ribs are no joke, so much pain for so long. I get the Mr. to crack my back often while I’m on my stomach, so far not too much trouble, but I definitely won’t let him do the bear hug anymore, I ended up with some shoulder complications and slings. I hope your trip to the clinlic ends in lessened pain 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s all gravy. Not broken, just dislocated in the back. Got it popped back in, two weeks of percocet to carry me though the worst of it, so I’m good to go. I haven’t taken any yet because it makes me cranky. I’ll probably just take it at night so I can sleep, and use the other stuff during the day.

      I can’t help but think of The Princess Bride when I envision our dudes breaking us by accident. “I’m on the brute squad.” “You are the brute squad!”

      At least you learned after your mishap! I’m a little slow to learn, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I could have written this, warning danger will ! Right after my post to you last May I was sitting on my bed gently using gravity in my own DIY back p.t. to. Acute.pain the next morning, which I thought was pleurisy, no biggie. Except it wasn’t and it took nine weeks of unrelenting level 8 pain and finding nothing wrong, to discover two crushed vertebrae, T7 and 8. The raging edema constricted my lungs until I could not breathe or walk and learned what panic disorder feels like. I’ve been in hospital since 7/21 on IV prednisone.and antibiotics to get me where I sit waiting to be finally wheeled off for kyphoplasty 5pm _ 3hrs from now. Home tomorrow if i don’t wake up dead . I’ve never been through something like this where something is obviously wrong but no test or doc can find it. I now sympathize so much more. Because with me, it’s always something spectacular, like my own trimalleolar dislocated ankle, just taking a step in level ground. always something. This may make no sense because unfamiliar has autocorrect crazier than Drumpf. But they are coming for the big shower and the ride to the OR any minute. I agree about back surgery, but in my case, there is something they can fix. It’s day surgery and the pain should be gone, relief. my neurosurgeon wrote the book on not having back surgery BACK IN CONTROL. Highly recommend. Separated ribs, check, so painful, poor kid. And my MC is always following me around wanting to stretch me, or hang of monkey bar thing bought for me to hang from. Just thinking about it….resist resist the urge because you also fracture easily and it happens so fast. I’m heartbroken at losing my slender waist and 4″ of my height…now a hiatal hernia had moved my stomach into my chest cavity to pay with the thoracic pain and lung damage. Oxygen 24/75 yrs and probably for life because every time I get strong enough I am injured again. Thanks for coming to my pity party, I feel better now. hope typos etc are entertaining because no time to fix. It wants me to say “tipi” or holy instead of ‘you’. .
    OK at least I had nurses and drugs standing by for the Trumppence show. My prediction, aKardashian Kabinet or perhaps another one for the Supreme Kourt.


    • Holy smokes, Vivia! I hope that surgery goes super smooth, and it should because you’re a superwoman! That’s a lot of shit to go through. And you’re so right, once something is fixed, something else breaks. That’s sort of why I tried to sell my last car, but we can’t do that with ourselves. Hardware upgrades are needed all around!

      You are so funny! The current political stuff scares me quite a bit, but all I can do is laugh because it’s just so utterly ridiculous.

      Godspeed, m’lady! Can you do me a favor and hoot me an email or a comment when you’re out, on the mend, and well enough to communicate with other humans so I know you’re alright? Hearts and farts ❤

      P.S. one last thing….


  4. Get well soon Kara 🙂

    I love bone crunching too – it seems a lot of us do! We call them osteopaths here, nothing to do with sociopaths (I think). My fave move was when I laid on my stomach and had the upper part of my back crunched. It always loosened everything, but in a good way. All that tension gone…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Steff!
      The cracking does feel amazing! I used to be awesome at, cracking myself. I could do my hips and lower back just by rolling my torso to one side. Now I need to be broken by the brute squad to get things to loosen up.

      Have you done Tai Chi? That looks nice and relaxing, and like it’d be a good way to stretch everything out. There are several group in my area that do it (I would bet there’s something similar on your side of the Atlantic), even if most of the participants are retirees. I’m sure they won’t mind having me around if my mouth can behave itself. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I always crack my neck. I do some yoga exercises but have to be cautious of pulling my damaged left hip out (a physio has to then realign the hips). When this current pain flare up has stopped (my period exacerbates the chronic pain) I’m back on my bicycle 😉
        I wish your docs could properly help you… Kara, I always admire your wicked sense of humour and resilience. I think swearing helps ease the pain and stress 🙂
        🐻 💜 🍦

        Liked by 1 person

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