I’ve talked about before that my wife and I have problems with Arthritis.  She has moderate to severe Rheumatoid Arthritis and I have a form of Osteoarthritis that invaded my left knee from repeated trauma when I was in my teenage years.  But for the last, almost, 3 years I have been dealing with a kind of neck strain that, on occasion, would be really hard for me to deal with.  It would wake me up at different hours of the night, interrupting sleep or causing me to have to lay in bed for much longer than I wanted or needed to.  Over the past few weeks, though, things have gotten even worse with last night being one of the worst episodes yet.  I had been trying to figure out, through my rheumatologist, what might help with the swelling in my neck and shoulder blades that was making life pretty miserable for me.  This time, though, I decided to try a different route and see my orthopedist who surgically repaired a torn meniscus in my knee back in March.  As it turned out, he had an opening today.  So I cancelled what would have been a scheduled massage, which can help in the short term, and decided that this had gone far enough.

It was a good thing I did.

As it turns out, I have what is called “Military Neck”.  I have virtually no natural curvature to my neck.  It is, like the picture above, very straight and also slightly bent from left to right as you would be looking at me.  My muscles are just so kinked and spasm so frequently, from being so out of line, that is creates extremely painful headaches that reach from my shoulder blades, up the back of my neck, over the top of my skull, and down to my cheekbones.  But usually this only happens when I am sleeping, when my body puts itself at rest.

Oddly, what I think started making this happen more profoundly was a change that I made to my golf swing a couple of weeks ago.  My coach wanted me to straighten my back by pulling my shoulder-blades together and lift my head up so that the angle of my posture was more like a straight line…as it should be.  But this created all kinds of spasms between my shoulder-blades, which in turn made it worse for my neck.

So now I am on muscle relaxers for when I go to bed, a prescription strength of Naproxen, and an 8 week course of Physical Therapy to include Dry-Needling which is an interesting form of acupuncture.  There might also be a needed purchase of a jacuzzi tub in our future, as well.  That was the one thing, when I was on the cruise, that really helped to relax my back, shoulders, and neck.  It would be good for my wife’s RA, as well, so we might have to put that on an early list of necessary things to get done.  We will have to see what we can do to facilitate this.

I’m glad I caught this when I did.  It has really put a problematic issue to bed and will hopefully open up a much better life for myself and my wife.

If you could all keep us in your thoughts and prayers, it would be greatly appreciated.

See you all soon!!!

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