A while ago I wrote a blog about knitting being injurious to your health. I've had trouble with my arms, I had wrist surgery and now I have problems with my neck and shoulders. For about the last year the pain in my upper back and neck has become progressively worse. The more I knit the worse it gets but I keep hoping it will just go away on its own. Unfortunately the pain becomes chronic.
About eight months ago I saw my family practitioner and she diagnosed it as degenerating disks in my neck. Apparently this is also known as arthritis. Not so glamorous. She suggested physical therapy and then would look at it again. Did I go to physical therapy - no. Who has time right? Takes away from knitting time. So I suffered with it.
After speaking to a lot of my students, a number of who had issues with their backs, I went to a Sports and Spine clinic close to where I live. The doctor confirmed the problems with my discs and with the ligaments that hold the discs together. He suggested that I have some shots in my neck to relieve the pain. He said that physical therapy really wouldn't help that much and the disks were too inflamed to go that route anyway.
Now I have had cortisone shots in my wrist before I had surgery,and in my shoulder, as I was having some problems with my rotator cuff. They were pretty innocuous really. Not pleasant but bearable.
I was expecting the same thing for my neck. Should have gotten a clue when the nurse came in and said "wow your blood pressure is great for someone who is about to get needles in their neck!" No biggie - says I, I've had shots in my shoulder and wrist. I'm an old pro at this.
But, wait, I didnt have to put on a gown before? Well, its my neck and shoulders right - maybe harder to get at with my shirt on. Still no clue. Oh, we're going to another room? Hmmmm. Something wrong with the examining room we're in? I go into a room with some kind of large x-ray looking machine, a bed and two nurses. One busily getting ugly looking needles and medicine ready. The other tells me to lay down on my stomach and the doctor starts swabbing my back with what I assume is antiseptic of some kind. Now, I forgot to tell you I was supposed to have three shots on each side of my spine. They drape my back and my head - can't decide if it's because they really don't want me to see what's coming.
Mary, if you start feeling any pinching or pain you tell me because I have lots of novacain that I can put in your back. Okayyyy. The first needle goes in and then I start to feel it. Ok, ow! Really ow. ow, ow! The pressure is amazing and its really starting to hurt. The second needle goes in - the first one is still in there. Ow, ow, ow! Suddenly I start to feel really woozy. I think I'm going to get sick or faint - says I. Suddenly a little fan comes under the towel on my head and they break something under my nose. Breath deeply - you'll feel better soon. This happens all the time. Really, no one told me!
After laying there for a few minutes the doctor finished what he was doing and then says let's leave the other side for another day. Are you kidding me? You think I am coming back another day to go through this again!? They gently usher me to another room, put cold compresses on my neck and give me water.
Go home and don't do anything for a few days. You may not see any great improvement for a week or two. Oh, the nurse says, by the way, when you come in to get the other side done - tell them you want an intravenous tranquilizer or a pill to calm you down. I think they should just put me under completely. Either that, or just let me faint!
What we go through for knitting. Yes, knitting is not helping. Long hours of doing the same motion over and over, head in the same position, arms and hands cramping up. I can pretty much justify anything having to do with knitting and surely this neck issue is from something else - old age, a car accident I was in a few years ago, the stress I have in my shoulders from having three kids in college. Knitting - no way! But alas, its true. Another knitting related injury.
Knitters beware. Don't let these aches and pains go untreated.
I can't knit for a few days, so I am a grumpy person. My neck is sore and I just want to knit. All of this better be worth it. Stay tuned.