Filling Your Niche

Fighting arthritis

For a couple years, I’ve had nagging hip pain. The longer it lasts, the more convinced I am that it’s arthritis. This is crazy depressing, because I am way too young for that crap.

After some X-rays, the good news is that I don’t have arthritis in my hips.

It’s in my spine.

Miss G spotted it on my films before I did: “Oooh Mama! Aren’t those glowing spots arthritis?” (I believe my exact response was “Gaah, WHAT?!”)

And it’d be one thing to just have the doctor hand you an invisible diagnosis, but to see it in real life was a little… chilling.

I’ve been collecting this for years now.

Vertebrae are supposed to run straight across. Mine, as you can see, have some jagged points combined with some eroded corners. The white-limned edges? Those shouldn’t be there. That’s all inflammation.

My chiropractor says she can have my spine fixed in six months. I mean, the arthritis is permanent, but once the rest of my vertebrae are in proper alignment, the condition won’t be as exacerbated. (In theory. I’ll keep you posted, Internet.) [Note: You can read an update here.]

In cases of osteoarthritis, one of the first lines of defense is exercise. This goes against our instincts because it freaking hurts to move arthritic joints around. They’re stiff and reluctant, more so after long periods of inactivity, like while you’re sleeping. Or after sitting through a Godfather marathon over Christmas break.

Yet you have to fight that instinct and move forward anyway. The pain unclenches eventually, though it takes a while. The release comes after the stretch. And it does feel better in the end.

Getting arthritic happens under our noses, whether it’s metaphoric or literal. Externally, the warning signs are easily missed. When there are sections of your life that grow rigid and resistant, that’s the time you need to exercise them the most– before they fuse into immobility and cause more severe damage.

I’m beginning my new year by bringing my spine into alignment along with the rest of my life. Work out the creaks and kinks. Infuse stagnation with movement and fluidity. Not just my spine, but throughout the rest of my life as well.

Murky pond or rushing river. Which provides the sweeter water?

Maarit • 01/10/2013

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  1. Julianna 01/10/2013 - 11:13 pm

    Hot yoga ROCKS…it is the only thing I can do happily after my leg broke, I bet it would help your arthritis.:)

  2. carolyn 01/11/2013 - 3:55 am

    Good points! I read that alkaline foods are also good for making the environment uncomfortable for arthritis to have its way! I love the analogy of alignment, movement and fluidity too! We’ll talk more about this.

  3. maarit 01/11/2013 - 2:31 am

    Thanks Julie! I do regular yoga daily (helps tons). I hear great things about hot yoga but it makes me claustrophobic just thinking about it.

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