I’m glad my back started hurting.

Remember that one post where I said I was scared the knee pain was more than just knee pain?

Exhibit A.
I went to the chiropractor’s office yesterday after developing a really painful knot in my lower back. It was so bad I couldn’t even sit and having the ballet class I really needed to be at, I knew I couldn’t handle it. 
Sure, maybe push through this class, or skip it, but what if this doesn’t go away? It’s not just my back; it’s my knee, it’s my head, it’s my hip, it’s so many things I can’t think of them all while dancing to keep the pain away.
Well now we know why.
I called my Dad since he works on the computers of a chiropractor’s office in town and he was actually on the phone with them when I called. They were able to fit me in yesterday, and this is what we learned.
From the above picture: My left leg is shorter than my right.

I knew my hips were out of alignment frequently, but I had no clue that my left leg was actually shorter. A friend I grew up with had this issue and wore special shoes and everything, but I didn’t know I had it too.

Then my spine is all jacked up as you can see, and my hips way out of alignment, more than what can be fixed with a simple jerk to set them back (like my PT did two years ago.)
Hence the hips pain.
Yeah, my back is supposed to be straight up against the back panel thingy. 
It’s clearly not.
He called this a “cheerleader back” which made sense to me since my family has cheerleaders in it. This is probably due in part to my hips and back being misaligned, but also something I need to work on.
No wonder I have such a hard time tucking my tailbone in class.
The Doctor said they’re going to have to re-teach me how to stand.
Yeah, so, you can see a lot of the vertebrae that are misaligned. It’s causing a lot of strain and pressure and just really bad. (Also, you can see the sutures from my removed gallbladder. Kinda cool.)
See how the one side is bigger than the other?
Yep. Arthritis.
Apparently when I was in that car wreck (that caused most of this. But I had no clue. Cause the ER told me nothing? thanks ER.) the whiplash caused some damage and over time it calcified and caused arthritis. It doesn’t really affect me, but it makes my neck bigger on the one side. And no wonder my teachers tell me I hold all my tension in my neck. You can also see some of the vertebrae misaligned here too.
Your neck is supposed to curve.
Mine doesn’t. It goes straight up and down. The Doctor couldn’t even get the 3D model to do this, like, my neck shouldn’t be doing this. But apparently my vertebrae are backwards or something. He explained it, but I don’t remember the details since there was so much information to take in. But my neck is shorter than it should be, as well. To quote him, “God just made ya funny.” I like this Doctor. 
So this makes all the pain make sense.
I figured there was some connection since it was all happening on my right side. The impact of the car wreck was on the right side. I wish I would have known I needed to see him back in 2011 when it happened, especially since I had just began ballet two weeks before and could have helped my learning so much more, but thankfully this is all reversible. He says it’ll take about six months to get it all straightened out and I’m going to have to work hard, but I am just so thrilled to actually have a doctor give me an answer and not just pass me off as being dramatic like everyone else has. (spare my family practitioner. I like her.) 
This should also help my stomach, which is amazing. And it’ll help my dancing. 
He’s gonna try acupuncture on me too, which I’m oddly excited about.
He kept saying, “Such a tender age…” for all the things that were wrong. Which honestly, made me feel really comforted. So often people talk to me and treat me like I’m just being dramatic and just need to suck it up. The ones that were helpful were actually helpful to the extent of their knowledge (like taping the knee and using oils to help me through) but everyone else made me feel like I had no right to say anything. Even my boss made a comment like I was being dramatic or like it was all my fault and I should have fixed it years ago but I literally didn’t know. And it made me feel bad. Or like it was a competition because he has cancer and obviously this isn’t cancer, but it is painful and is going to take a lot of time and healing and work. And if I didn’t do anything for it, it would greatly affect my way of life, as it already is. 
I love this doctor. I love his care for his patients. I love that he loves and respects my Dad and is able to help me so much. I am very fortunate. 
I was also able to tell Ms. Lori about it all (I had asked her opinion last class) and she was very grateful that I did so now she knows what to look for and can better help me. 
Goodness, I’m so glad I have her as a teacher.
Things are actually working in my favor and it’s wonderful.