Hi all… 41 year old computer dork here, been coding/gaming since about 8 years old. Also played football and had a very ... rough-play childhood but no major injuries (no bone breaks, but did deviate septum).
Dislocated the top floating rib on my right side when I was about... 5?: it was undiagnosed and I was unaware of this until recently. As a consequence, at some point my ribcage shifted down to protect it, and that left my neck with less rib and muscle support. By the time I was in 8th grade, I was noticing pain in my right hip when doing the adductor stretch (sit on ground, feet together, press down knees). X-ray analysis at that time by Group Death showed me to be "normal, healthy, carry on..."; but right hip flexor tendonitis 3 years later was not related they said. I was the slowest guy on the team, but not nearly the fattest or the heaviest. Also set the school record for squats, but I had a unimpressive bench press maxes.
This problem manifest as a neck that would not stop "falling out of place" requiring me to forcibly shove my skull left, forward and down. But this practice was not resolving the underlying issue, and years of gravity abuse created other problems: hypolordosis in both neck and lumbar, and hypokyphosis in sacral and thoracic: my back was essentially flat in all 4 regions.
IN addition, my ribs "squashed" together in at least 4 areas (2 left, 2 right), creating complicated multi-curve scoliosis. The end result of this was that my xiphoid process had turned inward, and my sternum rotated both laterally (clockwise looking down at it) and dorsally, and my xiphoid impacted my liver, cutting off the gal bladder duct. My gall bladder was removed for the stones this created when I was 28. Unfortunately, the surgeon didn't figure this out (laproscopy techniques inflate the chest with nitrogen. His only comment post-op was "there is a lot of scar tissue in there". It was a clue, but it wasn't a cause.
After this surgery I developed some kind of IBS, and could never process food correctly. Not just the fats (they actually weren't the problem, but fiber and continence. Chronic diarrhea, or constipation.
At 33 I as diagnosed with arthritis in my hip (yes the right one) when I sprained my left foot walking to work. Tylenol and Advil (max daily doses for both!) were prescribed.
I've been to chiro's at 22 years old, 28, 33, and 37 and 40 and again now. Only the first time did the treatment relieve the shooting pain from my T5-6 vertebrae toward my right arm.
At 34 I developed a pain in my left breast that felt like it was cancer or something. I had mammogram and doctor said no, it was just gynocomastia. Again, he had no idea why it happened.
At 37, after this chiro tried to fix me: I was put on neck traction and lower thoracic traction to try to fix my lordosis problems. After 6 months and tens of thousands of dollars of this, I began walking for exercise, and was struck with a debilitating rib dislocation, this time the obliques attaching to the left top floater. I only felt excruciating low left back muscle pain like none before. The next day after the walk, I did an overhead stretch (both hand up, lean into door frame), and my third rib on right side popped out at the junction with its cartilage. It poked my lung and I couldn't breath! I slammed it back in with my fist and went on not sure if I was dead meat or ok.
At 40 my right arm nearly paralyzed, and I could feel a tendon or facia run across my upper right back then suddenly every movement of it hurt like crazy. I scheduled a Dr. Appointment (finally had insurance), but was able to stretch it back into place and gained movement before the appointment 3 weeks later. The doctor prescribed physical therapy which was utterly useless and obscenely (and prohibitively) expensive. They refused to refer me to a real orthopedist, and like they did when I went in with my first gallstone attack, they assumed I was shopping doctors for drugs. Their final comment to me as I stormed out the door was "I don't know what you expect us to do!". Some bedside manner for someone in neurological, psychological and physical distress but without any known pathologies. I am not even "disabled" in their eyes, so I can't get any assistance from the government.
I was unable to work at 40 because the massive stress on my spine created intense lethargy and grueling chronic pain. I had no energy for anything, even doing dishes or picking up my clothing was a task I had to schedule a week in advance. Continued chiropractor appoints did little, and my vertebra developed spurs (calcification) while under this care. My entire spine was "locked down" with very little movement at all. My hips were offset in height, rotation, and front-back orientation. I couldn't stand without pain, I couldn't sit without pain, I couldn't lie down without pain. My back would pop just by lying on my stomach in bed.
The American health care system is totally inept at dealing with a bad back. They are too afraid of lawsuits to even tell you what the cause of you medical problems really are, let alone offer a treatment that might offer some success.
I have been treat myself with all-body massage and exercise techniques, and have significantly reduced the problems in my ribcage and hence my back. I have popped my ribs back into shape, along with the various facias and muscles that became a tangled mess of goo inside me.
So now, so-as I don't die while the doctors watch and take notes, I have popped nearly every possible bone in my body, and have developed safe technique for doing so (massage the associated muscles with the proper stridation you see in gray's anatomy, and articulate the joint in slow, deliberate fashion carefully. The pop comes naturally, without forcing the bone to move directly. But remember, if you are popping your hips, you need to pay very special attention to your muscles that you use to excrete waste materials.... these will need to be treated as part of the "whole you".
Anyways, that's my story. My back works much better now, most of my symptoms are gone. I am still prone to back pain as the muscles and facia haven't fully reorganized to a more proper position.