This week I finally gave up and went to the physical therapist for my neck pain. That's right, the neck pain caused by the hard core acts of sleeping and sitting at my computer.
Here is what I learned from my therapist (I don't blame her, she was lovely):
1) I sleep in the worst way possible for my neck and lower back. No stomach sleeping allowed! Boo. Plus, I had bought an expensive contour neck pillow to help with the pain, but since I always end up on my stomach, that is pushing my neck even more wonky and escalating the damage. Awesome. I PAID to make my pain worse.
2) I sit at the computer in the worst way possible for my neck. My posture is terrible. I hunch, I look down, I stick my neck out. I should not use my head to look down. Only my eyes.
3) I drive the wrong way.
4) I do laundry the wrong way.
5) I do dishes the wrong way.
6) I watch TV the wrong way.
In fact, only when I am walking, and sometimes standing, am I doing things the right way. I spend most of my day, both awake and asleep, injuring myself. She took measurements of my range of motion when I turned my head various ways.
"Well, the good news is it's about the same on both sides." That sounded promising. "The bad news is you are no where NEAR where you should be able to turn your head. And the wincing you are doing indicates that little bit was painful." Well, yes. She rubbed the back of my neck and upper shoulders.
"Good grief. Your muscles are so tight they feel like bones!" Awesome. Well, at least all the pain makes sense now.
So, I have homework. Pretty much if I just change anything I'm doing, I should feel improvement. Plus I have some nice, painful stretches to do. Physical therapy is not always a kind, friendly place but I was feeling optimistic about everything. Until she gave me some parting words.
"Try these things and come see me in two weeks. If it's not getting better, we will have to dig deeper to see if there is an underlying problem." Great. Tumors. Spine and disk injury. My brain took me to limitless options and my neck muscles seized up.
This woman clearly does not know me. You can't insert goodbye doubt in my head! Now I'm aggressively doing my stretches in hope of signs of improvement.