It’s been cold in Ottawa for the past few days. There has been rain, and snow. Today, the sun shines its light upon us.
Coincidentally, it is the day after Canada has elected a new leader. Despite my election hangover, I am relieved that the dark days are over. At least they appear to be and I’m going to enjoy it until something happens that I need to be on guard for. I’ve been on guard for far too long.
This is part of the problem with my neck, I believe.
There was a time that I was with someone who constantly put me on edge. Life was about ensuring their happiness and sacrificing my own. I nearly lost myself. The sight of my purse strap across my body caused upset. I walked on egg shells much of the time. I felt suffocated. I was told that I shouldn’t bother writing because I wasn’t J.K. Rowling, who I idolize. I felt unsupported in nearly everything I did and unloved. I got out, but those scars take time to heal. How much time is different for each of us.
The combination of living like that for years with repeated neck injuries leads to deeply ingrained tension in the body, particularly in the neck and shoulder area for me.
Recently, my physiotherapist tried dry needling to force my upper trapezius muscles to release. I’m not sure yet whether it worked, but there has been some emotional release, which caught me off guard. I generally feel less tense since Thursday. I often feel my shoulders trying to sneak up towards my ears instead of staying down and back like they should be. At least I’m becoming conscious of it.
My disc is protruding/bulging around C6-C7. This means it’s trying to leave its home. This picture shows what that looks like. These things happen for a couple of reasons. Mine occurred as a result of skating into a player much larger than myself. What often compounds this is poor posture. The neck is supposed to be rather like a backwards C. Today’s texting focused generation is causing harm to their necks without realizing it. We’re losing our natural neck curves. When the neck loses its curve, it can pinch nerves or the spinal cord. My neck is losing its curve, so we’re trying to reverse this. What else happens? Slouching causes the spine to compress. A compressed spine makes it harder for discs to stay in their homes. What else? I’m not sure on this one, but compressing the spine might actually make one shorter?
So part of my treatment involves stretching my neck out to provide space for the disc to go back to where it should be. We’re also strengthening muscles to help it stay there and make it easier for my neck to support my head. There’s exercises I do daily. There’s treatments I get weekly. In between, my sweet man massages me. Today I feel less sore. I have more physiotherapy tonight and at least four more sessions after tonight.
But I believe part of the key is to deal with past hurts as emotional pain can manifest in the body. I’m tired of holding onto the bad stuff. I don’t have room for it in my life anymore. I can’t change the past, but I can choose my future.