lumbar and cervical spine compression, and torqued right pelvis
As I sat in Dr Tina's office and for the first time, saw the full X-ray of my spine, I was speechless and a little bit emotional. I’ve never seen my bony insides and I’m amazed at how fragile and at the same time, how brave it looks.
The diagnosis made sense. I knew I had childhood scoliosis, but at that time, it wasn't that bad enough to warrant a brace. I went about my day-to-day stuff. I pushed myself like any kid would.
I am lucky I'm able to move pretty easily. In fact, Dr Tina said if not for my muscles, I would have been hunched or be walking funny. . But over time, scoliosis plus every day wear and tear can cause issues in the spine and posture.
WHY I SAW A CHIROPRACTOR
I made the decision to see a chiropractor because I've been having vertigo and unexplained migraine after my dance classes where I've had to do a multiple head flips. And I experienced the same head pounding feeling after a camel pose or knees-chest-chin or even the fish pose in yoga. I want to rule out a brain-related disease, as I had a student with similar symptoms, who is diagnosed with brain cancer.
My scoliosis was in upper back - a C-Curve, so it caused a compression in the cervical spine (neck) of C6-C7.
That explains why certain poses or movement causes me pain. And it also explains the tension I feel in my neck all the time. When I get stressed, or I sit too long in front of the computer or carry heavy stuff over my shoulder - my shoulders and neck tensed up to a point where I get a blistering migraine. When I do my Pilates "Hundreds" or any crunch variation, 90% of the time, I'd have to modify with my hands behind my head, otherwise I'd feel it my neck more than my abdominals.
As mentioned, my scoliosis is in my upper back, in the thoracic region which primarily assist with the rotation of the spine.
The struggle in my twisting poses are real. Namaste Thunderbolt Twist, Revolving Crescent Lunge, Twisting Triangle, to name a few twisting poses - they caused me a lot of grief. I remember when I first started - my teacher made me aware of the fact that I was rounding my spine in order to get my elbows to hook onto my thigh. (Ideally you want to find TADASANA or neutral spine in every pose) . So in my early yoga years, I was using a block to support myself.
And before I found yoga, I was very much into Pole Dancing. Looking back, I realised that most of the pole tricks are SO NOT for my body. I did try my best to contort myself around the pole, but it never did look like what it was supposed to. For example, pole moves like the angel spin, twisty ballerina and the Jade, which is a split on the pole. The last trick was my tipping point for my hamstrings, which got strained and forced me out of pole, and unglamorously, into yoga and pilates. #therealstory
I am never going to be flexible
I acknowledge the beauty and the strength of my body as it is.
We only have one body and it's up to us to take care of it.
I have a pain in my Back
I always ask my students when they come to me with a pain in the back or down their legs or shoulders -
"Does it affect your day to day living?"
If it's a yes, I say - go have it looked at by a professional.
If no, it's ok. Most likely there's nothing to worry about. Modify and rest when needed.
Listen to your body and be mindful
Disc issues doesn't happen overnight.
Maybe it does if its hereditary.
Over time, our spine bears a lot of our day today activity, from carrying that heavy groceries, to having a baby in your belly to full term, to working at a desk, typing on your phone, doing sports, walking, running, jumping, lifting weights at the gym, skiiing, heavy backpacks, moving your sofa, turning the beds - it is an endless list.
Or we could have fallen on a ski trip, and didn't feel anything until the pain comes.
And most times, we do nothing about it because we are strong and we can take the pain.
The irony is we can't see our backs, our spines - we would never know unless we get x-ray done or an accident happens touch wood.
Yoga does help to manage the pain - Yin Yoga helps to hydrate our connective tissues, Yang Yoga helps to strengthen the muscles around the spine. Pilates too, is essential to strengthen and stabilise the core. There's also physiotherapy and deep tissue massages, however all these only work on the superficial surface .
So I see Dr Tina to work deeper into the nerves of my spine. What she does is re-align my spine to allow the spine to return to its neutral state. In other words, she cracks my spine. It's not as scary as it sounds. I find it funny and rather ticklish.
I go every 2 weeks now even though I'm not in pain, but it's like insurance, just in case. I don’t want to wait for the pain to come - I want to have a healthy spine right now.
I want run, and yoga and flip my hair once in a while, without worrying that one day, things worsen, and I can’t move anymore.
What is Chiropractic
Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine/therapy that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.
Name of Clinic : Activelife Chiropractic
Name of Doctor : Dr Tina P. Ta D.C B.Sc
Phone: (65) 6733 6421
Consultation fee : $120 before GST. *** Consultation fee will be at 50% off if you tell them you were referred by me. Consultation is a one-time fee and is not required to be done in every session.
Medical imaging (X-Ray) charge : $80-$200, before GST depending on the Doctor’s recommendation.
Treatment charge : $80-$130 before GST per session.
Opening hours : Monday: 8:30am - 7:00pm Tuesday: 3:00pm - 7:00pm Wednesday: 8:30am - 1:00pm Thursday: 8:30am - 7:00pm Friday: 8:30am - 1:00pm Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm
*Prices are correct as at Aug 2018
HOW IT WORKS
Call (65) 6733 6421 to make an appointment. If you have recent X-rays, let them know and you'll need to bring along to the consultation.
If not, you would need to get an X-ray done which is done separately in a clinic in Paragon, before Dr Tina can give a diagnosis.
I'd recommend that you call and ask if they could arrange for the X-ray for you first, so you don't have to travel twice for the consultation. Payment for the Xray has to be via the Activelife clinic,
I saw Dr Tina on 20th July 2015. For the first 3-6 months, I went for intensive treatment twice a week, which consists of spinal manipulations or adjustments as they call it. You'd be out in 30 mins or so depending on waiting time. The frequency reduced over time, and now I'm going every 2 weeks for maintenance.
Same year, my husband saw her and was diagnosed with a bulging disc with additional MRI done, which confirmed it. He had an additional treatment - Decompression Therapy, where he lies on a bed and the bed "pulls him apart" albeit gently. (It's better than my original perception that they hang their patients upside down to lengthen the spine! ahaha :P)
I'm glad to say that after 2 years prior of being in pain, he is now pain-free! Woo Hoo!
Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor or qualified to give you advice or solutions to your pain. My opinion is of my own and through my own experience. Please do seek your own doctor's advice if needed. Also I'm not asking you to spend unneccessarily to get an X-ray done. It's your choice and your body but if you do, get a chiropractor to give you an explanation of their findings. I'm not paid at all by Dr Tina to recommend her services, but I trust her because she has helped myself and more importantly, my husband. Today he is pain-free, and I am happy that he is happy.