So in the evolution of my discovery and understanding of what's making my back hurt, I now have radiographic images, thanks to a prescription from my chiropractor and the fine folks at Inland Imaging (Valley branch), who totally got me "in and out". It was an amazing display of medical office efficiency that I'm not at all used to and which caught me more than a little off guard.
It's pretty much a case of way too much information in the hands of a fool, but it's also pretty interesting . . . I'll try to explain what the chiropractor told me, after being filtered through the mind of a guy who barely made it through high school biology.
First off, I have a congenital defect whereby my tailbone (Sacrum) is in two pieces. It's supposed to be all one. Where the two pieces didn't fuse, my body grew a new disc where one isn't supposed to be, to compensate. Since the non-fused piece is off center, so is the new disc and the structural load path (this is the lone part I could get my engineering head totally around) is all messed up. Curvy and unbalanced. Not good.
Here's an image of the sacrum and where it fits into the bigger picture.
Here are a couple of my actual X-rays. You don't care, which is good, because I can't explain much of the fine detail. The main thing that shows up though is that nothing is straight or symmetrical - my spine is all off centered and curvy. Good for causing pain.
As for what's behind the title of this post, I can't ride and don't know when I'll be able to. Just working the back problem at the moment. I should probably be depressed or panicked, but I'm neither - I think I'm still in the mode of trying to process what it is.
The thought of whether I'll ever be able to ride a bike farther than the grocery store does cross my mind, I'll admit. But the chiro says I should be fine in a few weeks and I choose to dwell on that instead. It's definitely a weird time, though - after more than a decade of spending a majority of my free time thinking about and then implementing bike ideas, I'm no longer in the position to implement shit. If I can't ride, what's my new job? I just hope I don't have to deal with changing over from a bike blog to a swimming blog.