Life with MS & EDS

December 11, 2008

Trying to Get in Alignment

I had my first ever chiropractor appointment yesterday. I’ve been complaining of hip and neck pain, so my husband suggested making an appointment with a dr. his family has used for years. Other than getting slightly lost on the way there during a rainy day and a longer than expected wait, it was a great appointment.

It was confirmed that I am very bendy. It was kind of weird to have the confirmed by a chiropractor. My range of motion is far greater than the average adult. It’s even greater than I thought in my hamstrings, which I always thought were tight. The best part was that the dr. was very knowledgeable about MS and EDS! I got a lot of good advice, but was pretty tired, so hopefully I can remember it.

I learned:

  • I shouldn’t have Chinese food (avoid MSG and high sodium foods, including those with soy sauce)
  • Sushi is a good thing
  • Wild salmon is better than farmed
  • I shouldn’t be walking around barefoot all the time (he asked if I wear supportive shoes and it occurred to me that I spend the majority of time at home and I don’t wear shoes in the house)
  • I should be taking fish oil supplements that are higher in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and that aren’t processed using alcohol
  • That repetitive exercises are best (e.g., rowing machines, elliptical trainers, etc.) and that I should work up to 30 min. a day, 4 days a week; starting at 10 min. per day at the lowest setting on the elliptical is my goal (remembering to stop when tired and not push it too hard)
  • I should try to get back to doing water aerobics, but water temp is a challenge for me. It can’t be too cold (EDS – feet cramp up) or too warm (MS – aggravates symptoms). (I’m still searching for a pool that has evening classes if anyone knows of one. The pool I usually use is currently closed.)
  • When doing yoga, focus on balance
  • Keep using my headset when on the phone so that I don’t strain my neck
  • Walking on the boardwalk is much better than walking on cement (but I already knew that one)

While he wasn’t able to do an alignment where I need it most (the top of the spine called the “cervical spine”), he was able to pop the top rib back into place (trying not to think about that since it grosses me out.) It popped back in place very easily, which makes sense given my connective tissues issues. He was also able to help better align my hip (that had something to do with the sacroiliac joint or something that sounded like that, but I don’t recall the details.) Unfortunately, the dr. is limited by what he can do on someone with EDS. But, I’m extremely glad that I found someone who knows about treating someone with EDS and MS and knows what he can and cannot do. He even does the MS 150 each year. I’m seeing him again next week. It’s a good thing Little Sister’s extra therapy sessions are ending this month because it seems like I am going to have more of my own appointments going forward.



  1. I find that fish oil upsets my stomach. If I take a capsule, I can taste it the rest of the day. Flax seed oil is a good alternative and I’ve been good about taking it on a regular basis (along with my vitamin D supplements and B vitamins for general energy).

    Does barefoot mean shoeless or entirely bare? Do fuzzy, warm socks count? I think good fuzzy slippers are a vital part of any self-comfort regime.

    Comment by Abigail — December 12, 2008 @ 3:02 pm

  2. Thanks for the warning about the stomach upset. I’ll have to check out the flax seed oil. I’m so bad about taking vitamins. I buy them with good intentions, but they generally expire before I even make a dent in the bottle.

    I live in very worn-out warm Lands’ End slippers. While my feet stay nice and cozy, they have zero arch support. Maybe someone can recommend fuzzy or at least soft and warm slippers that have arch support. Does something like that exist?

    Comment by mseds — December 12, 2008 @ 3:11 pm

  3. The fish oil and stomach upset might be my own problem, as no one else I know who has taken it complains about it.

    I don’t know how much arch support you’d want, but there are cheap inserts available, and I assume they’d fit in slippers. When I was working retail I loved my arch supports as much as I loved chocolate.

    Also, I may be sending another friend this way.

    Comment by abigail — December 12, 2008 @ 11:15 pm

  4. Arch supports for slippers! I should have thought of that. Thanks for the idea.

    Comment by mseds — December 13, 2008 @ 7:58 am

  5. That sounds like a knowledgeable chiro which some great recommendations. As far as pool temp, try finding a pool which holds arthritis or senior classes. The water will be kept at a comfortable temperature. Professionally-made arch supports rock!! Be sure to get at least 1000 mcg of vitamin D daily; it’s good for MSers.

    Comment by Lisa Emrich — December 13, 2008 @ 1:25 pm

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