Pain in the Neck
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Categories: Blog

I was in pain.

I was also frustrated, angry, disappointed and frankly a little scared.

But mostly it was pain. My wife, who has known me for 13 years said she had never seen me like this before.

One week before I was supposed to compete in my first powerlfting meet, we were in Omaha and I was teaching an HKC at SG Human Performance for Mark and Nikki Snow. On Saturday afternoon my neck started to stiffen up. On Sunday I taught an RKC Level 2 prep workshop for 4 hours. By Sunday night, my neck was completely locked up and I was in severe pain. By Monday morning I couldn’t roll over or get out of bed without using my hands to support my head. I was in the worst pain that I can ever remember.

We made an emergency trip to a chiropractor Mark knows in Omaha. He told me that my 3rd cervical vertebrae was WAY out of place, but the muscles and soft tissue were so tight that he could not get anything to move.

On Tuesday, we flew back with me in a neck brace.  When I got home I took some of the pain meds left over from surgery. By this time I had begun to accept that I most likely would not be competing on Saturday.

On Wednesday, I went to see my chiropractor, Dr. Chad McClellan. Sent me for X-rays to rule out the possibility of a C2 fracture. Not competing on Saturday suddenly seemed small by comparison. I began to wonder if I would be able to go to Ireland in 4 weeks for RKC. Or worse.

The X-Rays showed no fracture, thank God, and Chad diagnosed it as a bulging disc. C3 had rotated and twisted to the point that the pressure on one side was pushing the disc out to the other side. This put pressure on the associated nerves, causing pain and lack of function, which in turn caused the muscles to tighten even more as a protective reflex. Which caused the disc to remain locked in it’s position. I tell you this sucks a LOT. But I believe it is preferable to a neck fracture.

I attacked it from every direction. Daily adjustments ( very gentle and very little movement, but movement nonetheless). Ice. Electrical stimulation. Painkillers. Muscle relaxers. Healing Chi Kung. Rest. By Sunday I was feeling much better and I went to see Brian Wilson for some acupuncture. I suspected that I may have some sort of energetic blockage as a result of the kundalini re-wiring process that was at the root of the whole thing.  After being needled I felt much, much better. Practically zero pain and the range of motion was greatly improved, but not 100%. Turning my head to the right felt like I was running into a mechanical restriction, which would make sense because while C3 had moved, it had not yet returned home.

Monday I went in for my adjustment and instead of the typical “popcorn” sound there was a hollow thump, like tapping a ripe melon. Then…..nothing.  No pain. I got up from the table and there was ZERO restriction in my range of motion. I felt as if everything were lined up the God intended and circulating completely free and unrestricted. I felt like ME again.

I mentioned to Mandy at one point that I wonder how many people daily suffer an experience similar to mine and go to the doctor, get the prescription for pain meds and muscle relaxers, get minimal relief because the root cause is never addressed and wind up either succumbing to a life of pain and dysfunction or wind up with surgery. I am certainly not against conventional western medicine. However, I encourage anyone to look at all the available options whenever a problem arises.

So what caused it? I still don’t know. There was no event, no moment of doing something, feeling something and thinking “Uh-oh. I just messed myself up.” I am convinced that I didn’t hurt my neck last weekend. It just decided to show up last weekend.

What next? Continuing with regular adjustments to keep things where they need to be. Mobility work-Brettzel variations with neck rotations in particular are feeling very good. As for training- I will ease back into it to make sure I am not going to yank anything out of place.