My Experience with Chiropractic Care
When most people think of Chiropractic care or going to see a chiropractor, they assume it's because of some sort of accident. You need your back cracked or your neck adjusted and then you are good to go. On the other hand, some people think that if you start going to a chiropractor, you are always going to have to go, you can't get away. I've been seeing a chiropractor for a few years now. That is because I have an extra vertebrate that causes some pain and movement issues with me. I am one of those people that will have to continue to go and receive care for the rest of my life because there is no real fix, just a band-aid. But I've known some people who are perfectly fine with just an adjustment or two after an accident.
Chiropractic is a great and natural way to maintain your body in a drug free way. I've never been able to have the same relief with pain killers as with chiropractic care.
I made the mistake of stopping going to see my chiropractor when I came back from Australia. I hadn't gone for so long, and I felt pretty ok. I wasn't a fan of my last chiropractor, she wasn't as professional or welcoming as I would have liked in a doctor. Then one day at work, I was trying to fix a steamer, and as I stood up from bending over, I felt something pop and a sharp pain started in my left hip. I sucked in my breath and couldn't move. I was in so much pain. It hurt to move, to breath to even turn my head. It was bad. Walking and sitting was painful to a point of not being possible. It was much worse then when I first started having issues in high school. I ended up having to go home early and attempt to get comfortable in bed. I knew I would have to get some help.
So I looked online for chiropractors near me and the reviews. I finally find one that was right down the street in the local business area in the neighborhood and made an appointment. After my first adjustment, I felt better, but the pain was still there. Apparently I was in a lot worse shape then I thought. :/
My doctor kept making the point that it would take a while. And I understood. Chiropractic is not magic, it's not a quick fix. Your bones hold you up, but the muscles around your bones play a large factor as well. If your muscles are pulling and shifting your bones, that is going to mess with you! I would get my back, hips and neck adjusted, but the muscles are used to the old way my bones were, they are just going to pull the bones out of alignment again. Chiropractic care isn't just about moving the bones and joints, its about training the muscles to hold things in place properly. This is why you usually can't just go once, and be fixed. You need multiple visits to reach the results you want.
I started by going 2-3 times a week to get adjusted. I was still having problems walking and felt a lot of pain all the time. After I had some normal motion back and the pain had dropped to a more manageable level, I started seeing a physical therapist who worked in the same office as my chiropractor. This was to help train my muscles and my body on how to move again. I had started to move in ways that compensated for my lack of range of motion and to stop pain from spiking. I would never bend over at the waist to get something, I would lean over and use one leg as a counter balance, or I would use my foot to pull something up to me. I needed to train my self how to move again. I've gone to physical therapy before, for my knees and when I tore some tendons in my foot. So I had a good idea of what was going to happen. It's tough, but worth it. I've made progress!
I've been going to see my Chiropractor and Physical therapist for about 6 months. I'm now almost completely pain free, and going every other week to get adjusted. When I bend over to pick up something, sometimes there is a little pain. Or when I sit without my back supported, like on the floor. For me, I will have to get Chiropractic care for the rest of my life. That extra vertebrate is going to cause problems and pain forever. There is no real fix, I'm not getting it removed, and pain killers are out of the question for daily use. For me, it's worth it to get adjusted for the rest of my life. It's 5-10 minutes of my day, and it keeps me moving and comfortable. For other people, they may not need to keep going like I will. An accident may only take a month or so to rectify. I don't need to go as often because my muscles are working together and keeping my spine and joints in place. I can walk without shuffling and there is no pain in my normal movements. I can't bend over or pick up heavy objects off the floor, but I don't have a real need for those things on a daily basis. I'm happy that because of the time and effort I put into getting better, I shouldn't have another painful episode like 6 months ago.
If you hurt, try chiropractic. They will sit and talk with you all about the process and explain everything. Chiropractic isn't about trying to put a band aid on the problem. It's about getting you back to normal, as normal as you can get. Everything you do in your daily life, walking, sitting, or diving can cause stress and pain. Both my doctors got to know me, what I did for work and play and how I moved in my daily life. This lets them understand how to help. I'm not moving and lifting heavy objects very often, but I do go from sitting to standing and up and down stairs multiple times a day. He also gave me a movement evaluation the first time I saw him, so he saw how I compensated and moved. Every person is different, and every body moves differently, adjustments will differ from person to person. For example, I have to have my neck, back, hips and sometimes knees adjusted, but Alex really only gets his neck and back.
And for those of you who think about money...I know. It can seem expensive and not worth the investment. Chiropractic is a respected medicine, most, if not all insurances will cover at least a few visits. I don't make very much money, but even after my insurance has run out, I can afford to go. Talk to your insurance, I'm sure they have some sort of coverage. Both doctors I have seen have offered payment plans, discounts if you pay on the day of your visits or even just to wait until you get a paycheck at the end of the month. It's not cheap, but it can be affordable. Prices can vary from doctor to doctor so ask around.
When it comes to picking a chiropractic doctor, it's just like picking any other doctor. Make sure you know if your insurance will cover them and their background. I looked at the credentials and the reviews I could find online. I also called and explained my pain and asked about their adjustment techniques. There are very many different ways to adjust a body. Get as much information as you want and makes you feel comfortable.
It's not some crazy hippy thing, it's science! Just because you can crack your back or neck doesn't mean you are doing yourself any good. If you are an athlete, the stress of running and competition can be hard on you. Even a desk job and cause stress. I've seen children come into the chiropractor and get adjusted and they enjoy it! It's not a shot or a pill that makes you feel better. Its not tricking your body into something. It isn't messing with the chemicals in your head or body by using medicine, it's using your own body as a tool to make you feel better. Chiropractic care is just reminding your body of what it is supposed to do. It has worked for me.
Here are a few links if you are interested!
http://www.mylifestylechiropractic.com/ -If you are in the Green Lake area, this office has a chiropractor, trainer and a massage therapist. I've seen them all and they are all fantastic.
http://www.acatoday.org/patients/index.cfm- The American Chiropractic Association. This can answer all your questions and link you to all sorts of great information.