3.08.2013

Will a chiropractor help?

I am now on day 6 of lower mileage, day 7 if you count last Saturday when I cut my long run short at the gym. It was more of a start and stop and start and stop and start and stop day but you can read about it HERE.

Everything happens for a reason. We don't always know the reason, we may not like the reason but who are we to argue?

With that in mind, I want to rewind a bit and cement my learning experience and perhaps provide insights for others.

Way Back When
Years ago I woke up one morning and my left leg ached. I took it easy for a bit and the leg got worse. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with sciatica and told to walk it off. Nerves need movement. I walked. I got worse. Dear hubby was at the end of his wits with me. I went back to the doctors and got a different doctor. He instantly knew it wasn't a nerve thing. He thought perhaps I tore a muscle in my glutes (piriformis?) since I was explaining exactly when he experienced when he tore a muscle. Thing is, he knew when he did it. Getting on his bicycle by the way. I didn't. New course of treatment....rest flat. And he did give me a shot to ease the pain. Marvelous!

Many months later. Okay, over a year of months. My left piriformis was still pesky. I could run but often had to ease back. I foam rolled. It helped some. I went for massages. It helped some. My masseuse, who happens to be a friend too, kept saying I was not aligned. She kept hinting telling me that I should go to a chiropractor. She does muscles, not bones. My bones needed help. I didn't listen. I was afraid.

A few more months. Okay, enough is enough! Stop whining you silly piriformis! During this time you could find me at work with a heating pad and/or heating massage element. My co-worker had the same on her back. Different story. Different incident. We made funny office companions. She suggested the chiropractor too. Now I had two people suggesting the same course. I was beginning to listen. I expressed concerns about trust in chiropractic care. They assured me the woman they were recommending was good. I bit the bullet. I went.

Chiropractic Care Day 1
I found out my insurance didn't cover the care but they had a good kama'aina (local) rate. I continued forth. My hips were out of alignment. She recommended plenty of icing time, sit properly, no crossing legs, and come back. My muscles have been messed with for probably over a year and needed to learn to do things right again. She also did a full body check and targeted my neck too. Those daily headaches? Nope, not necessary. She had the power to incinerate them!

The beginning of my care was intense. I went three times the first week, twice the next, and once the third. My body was holding the adjustments better. I was advised to come once a month to keep things in check. I was feeling good. Life is nice without daily headaches and a constant pain in the butt!

Ongoing Chiropractic Care
Did I do once a month? Kinda, sorta, not really. I would return when I felt tightness in my left hip. I could feel the muscle ache as it was beginning to be pulled funny. In all reality, I was trying to save money. I am a working mom. Money could go to better things than my own personal chiropractic care. Or so I kept telling myself. Other friends and family would disagree with my arguments.

Last Wednesday I ran to a nearby track and met up with some wonderful gals. We did some mile repeats and it was fun. At the end I felt tightness in my right knee. Once I got home, it was a mild hurt. I foam rolled and stretched. I ran less the next day. It was okay meaning no pain. I did two runs the Friday. I don't remember any pain per se but my pace was feeling slower. I wasn't overly concerned. I had run fast Wednesday and not just the mile repeats. My pace to the track was much faster than I anticipated. Dear hubby kept telling me it was because it was downhill. Saturday, my legs were lead. My mind wasn't into running. Darling daughter convinced me to give it another try. Afterwards when we were walking into the store my knee really hurt. I knew from the location it was my IT band. I knew it was tight from the foam rolling I do. I was scared. I didn't want to be knocked out of running for months.

I iced. I ran less. I even propped up my leg. Thing is, it wasn't responding the way I thought it should. I had a full feeling in my knee. Not pain. Just full. It also felt like it needed to be popped. One day walking to my car after work I noticed my gait felt funny. Kinda like I was limping but not. I knew all these things but wasn't putting two and two together to get four. Wednesday morning I ran before work and a proverbial light bulb went off. In my recent stretching I was noticing that my left hip felt tighter than my right. Okay, tight left hip flexor and tight right IT band. I was beginning to put two and two together properly. After my run, I looked at myself in the mirror. I mean really looked. I put my thumbs on my pelvic bones and looked at my hands. They were not even. I looked at my shoulders. They were not even. In fact, my right side was "taller" than my left side.

This made me feel stronger yesterday.
Chiropractic Care
I made an appointment as soon as possible. Thank goodness it was a day she was open. It was confirmed, my hips were out of alignment. I was sure to tell her about the tight IT band and associated knee pain. She checked my right knee. Yep, it was out of alignment too. She put me back in place. It hurt. I walked. The fullness in the knee was gone. My gait felt smoother. I was happy.

But all good things take time. For me, the days after a treatment can have some different aches and I attribute it to my muscles getting used to normal. And I think it is time to put me on the top of the list. I went over two months without a visit. I have been told, monthly. I skipped it and then wasn't really listening to my body as quickly as I should. It was telling me the same thing but in a different way. I am glad I went. For me, chiropractic care does help. It makes a HUGE difference. I will aim to make it a monthly ritual.

Does it work for everybody? I can't say so. My one friend, absolutely! My other, nope. Her issue wasn't one that could be treated with chiropractic care and our chiropractor was honest enough to state as such. And with any health related, always check with your doctor and get an opinion. I am not a doctor and can't not lead you down which road is right for you. This is just my honest description of my experiences. And please note, I had visited the traditional doctor many times and got lots of references before selecting a chiropractor. If you are on Maui and want to know who I see, feel free to contact me and ask!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the learning lessons in my life.
Daily Affirmation: I am in tune with my body and am striving to put two and two together with greater speed.

12 comments:

  1. I believe Chiropractors, at least a good one, can be beneficial. I haven't personally use one, but my family and friends have found the holistic approach is better than anti inflammatories and narcotics.

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  2. My sister loves her chiropractor. I love my physio. I think both have a role to play in healing and aligning our poor old bodies. I've been having issues with my hip and went to my physio. Got a few different exercises and already I'm feeling so much better. As long as the person you see knows what they're doing and you follow their advice, you should get results.

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  3. I go a couple of times a year. I would go more often if I could afford it. I usually go when I feel like my lower back and or hips are out again.

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  4. Hmmm....sounds like I'm a character in your story! I have experienced all of those aches and pains. Did/do all of those treatments too. BUT I found a massage (and the physical therap.) the best, with icing and stretching. It gets ridiculously expensive!! I agree with Christy. So after I run, stetch...pop an advil/aleve (NOT often), into the ice bath I go.

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  5. sally7:08 AM

    the downhill and track are both bad for the IT band. switch directions (clockwise and counterclockwise) next time you are on the track. and email me who your chiro is so I can recommend when people want instead of PT. Chiros come in wide variety and yours sounds decent. :-) take it easy!!

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  6. My story is JUST LIKE YOURS! I found a great chiropractor this summer and was going 3 times a week for a few weeks, then twice a week, then once....then uhhhh the school years started and I had NO time?! I went back this past Monday and have felt so much better. I constantly crack my hips (pre arthritic) and need them aligned once a week. Once my 20 visits run out it's $40 a visit. Ouch. $40 vs headaches and achy hips/hamstrings/IT bands...it seems like a no brainer, but getting there and actually doing it is so low on the to do list!

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  7. I can’t blame you for not going to a chiropractic care at first. There are instances that you feel skeptical and terrified of the unknown. But all thanks to that reliable recommendations, you decided to give it a try. It may be a little costly, but it will be a good investment in the long run. Anyway, suffering from pain for about a year is really unimaginable, but I’m glad you’re getting better now. I hope you recover soon, and be able to run without worrying about the pain.

    Shan Salas

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  8. You're not the only one who has the "Fear of the unknown", but positive recommendations and suggestions can turn your skepticism away from chiropractors. I'm glad, that despite of your doubts, you still gave it a shot. Now, you personally experienced that they do work, so finding a licensed and good chiropractor is very important. I hope that you're doing better now! :)

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  9. I was as hesitant to see a chiropractor as you, Erica! But after finally going to see one with all my aches and pains, I have to say that it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I actually had to go see 2 different chiropractors because one technique wasn't working as well as we had initially hoped. This is why I find it important to find a good one who really focuses on a patient's personal needs rather than applying the same technique on everyone.

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  10. Chiropractic care was developed over a century ago and remains as one of the best approaches to problems with the skeletal and nervous systems. It employs a drug-free and surgery free approach to achieving optimal health for patients. perimeter spine and rehabilitation center reviews

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  11. Glad your chiropractic sessions proved beneficial. It’s true, sometimes, your pain will not go away after one session, that's why it takes patience. It’s nice to hear that you’re fully committed to improving your overall health.

    Alan Siegel

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  12. I am a true believer now but I used to be like you. I was very scared of chiropractors. I mean they are manipulating spines. It even sounds scary but, drugs and surgery are even worse. I had headaches and backaches from whiplash. At first I went 3 times a week but, now I go once a month.

    Michale Heim @ Burke Chiropractic

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