John: Identifying Issues & Learning

John came to see us after being treated by another chiropractor, 2 times a week for 9 months.  He went to see the chiropractor for low back pain, and pain in the left hip.  He was referred to massage and none of the treatments offered any long-term relief.  

On our first visit, I identified a left leg weakness in the smaller muscles around the foot, weakness through his gluteal region and hamstring muscles.  He had indicated that there were times he would get pain down the back of his leg to his foot, but it wasn’t constant.  Most of his pain was in his left buttock, caused him pain with sitting, sleeping, walking and most daily activities.  The low back was also painful, more on the left than right.

What was shocking to me was that John’s left leg weakness was identified quite easily, and if he had been re-evaluated during his treatments, this should have been caught.  I sent him for an MRI, which came back with a lumbar disc herniation to the left (which is what I suspected), putting pressure on the left L4-5 nerve roots, most likely the source of his pain.  Now that we had a specific diagnosis, we had a clear path as to how to treat this.

We started with basic prone extension to mechanically push the disc back into place, known as the McKenzie Method.  Then, we added core awareness exercises, starting carefully to not aggravate this injury.  Over a period of several weeks, his low back pain started reducing, and his left hip pain was becoming less constant.  His pain now is in his low back, not constant, and not nearly as bad.  His left hip pain is also much better, and comes and goes with much less disturbance to his daily activities.  He is trending upward, recovering, learning about what to do right to protect and preserve his low back.  

I forgot to mention that he also had chronic neck and mid-back stiffness that was a daily, constant issue with working on computers every day, and this issue we took care of long ago!!

Why do I tell a glory story??  Not to make me look good, but to illustrate the difference in the type of care most patients see.  Most get a lot of chiropractic care without a lot of teaching, exercises, or direction if the problem continues.  My obligation to my patients is to teach you, help you and get you back to life functioning with the best chance of limiting future injuries and pain.  

Tell a few friends what we do.  We appreciate referrals!

If you read this story to the end, call and say you read the “Patient Story of the month”, and receive $10 off towards your next wellness massage, if scheduled in the next month!

Becky: Learning Physical Awareness

9 months ago, Becky came to see us with recurrent neck pain, shoulder and mid-back stiffness, as well as lower, left back and hip issues. Unsurprisingly, she wanted relief.  

Initially, we worked with her to relieve her discomfort, then started applying behavior modifications, exercise and promoting body awareness. Within 2-3 weeks, her discomfort was under control, and we started working on behavior modifications.   

Becky works at a computer 40 hours a week. Having her aware of her sitting postures, where her monitor is, how often she gets up and down, how her neck and head are in relation to the rest of her body, were all questions that called for more personal awareness and change.  She began to work on these issues and her chronic discomfort started to become more intermittent.  

Next, we asked what she was doing for exercise?  Yoga was the answer.  While I love that people do yoga, hyper-flexibility can lead to overstressing certain joints and regions of the body, so we talked about strength training with Crossfit.  She tried a boot camp and loved it!  She started getting stronger and feeling her body was more capable of the static behaviors of sitting for work.  

Lastly, we worked on refining her behaviors, not needing to see her for care more than once a week, then moving down to once every two weeks.  After a bit, she had a spell of not seeing us for 3 weeks, but she started to feel tight, stiff, achy, and more bound up through her mid back and neck, and a stiff low back.  One adjustment and she was back on track.  

For Becky, she finds that every two to three weeks is a great time frame to get adjusted, because she FEELS is makes the quality of her life better with work and daily function.

So there’s a pattern here. Do you see it? Instead of taking the “you have to do chiropractic the rest of your life, all the time” routine that most people hear, we have a clear plan:

  • –  Remove the pain. Nothing can be done to the body until the pain is removed.  End of story.   Sometimes it’s fast and sometimes it’s slow.
  • –  Create awareness. Personal responsibility of your daily activities that are repetitive or cumulative is critical for identifying patterns then CHANGING them.
  • –  Add positive stimulus. The right exercise, treatment, rehab, etc. at the right time will build new, correct patterns in the body, to reduce and remove the repetitive stressors.
  • –  Build on the positive changes. Continue to challenge the system in the right ways to grow and change will help improve your function even more.
  • –  Maintain. Knowing that a chiropractic visit every month, three months is good, allowing the spine and body to reset, is amazing for overall health.

Our goals are to get you better and keep you functioning well. I want you to learn, and grow, and become your best. If you know anyone who needs care, or wants to be better than they are, have them give us a call.

Have a great summer!!

Jenny: An MVA Recovery Story

This month, we would like to share a success story of a patient we will call Jenny.  We were approached by Jenny to care for her injuries sustained in a not-at-fault motor vehicle accident (MVA), where she was hit from the left side while traveling in her car.  She was the passenger and saw the accident coming.  After the collision, her injuries consisted of right greater than left neck pain, headaches, right shoulder pain, mid back and low back pain and aching in the left hip that was constant, and daily affecting her ability to work and perform necessary activities.  
 
While she was slowly improving on her own, she didn’t feel that she was improving well enough to say she felt back to 100%.  After our initial assessment, it was clear she had suffered neck, mid back and low back sprain/strain injuries that are consistent with MVA’s.  We started treating her several times a week and two times a week massage for a month to start.  A lot of people ask at this point, why so much care?  
 
When your body is injured in an MVA, your brain can’t keep up with stabilizing the spine, which is whipped and jarred in a manner that your body can’t control.  Ligaments, tendons, muscles are stretched and damaged.  So what is the after effect?  Spasm, tightness, unrelenting discomfort of the muscles that are being told to hold on tight, and don’t let the spine become unstable again.  Our job as the chiropractor is to get the joints moving again, repetitively, so that brain can relax, and see that normal motion is ok.  When the brain senses natural movement, it allows tissues to recover, and symptoms begin to resolve.  As the adjustments continue, and the massage is helping the tight muscles relax, we then begin to implement exercises and postural awareness to promote the restoration of healthy muscle and joint function.  Our last step is to get people back to normal, daily activities, and to function without pain or discomfort.   
 
Jenny immediately started to have fewer headaches, and within 3-4 weeks, they were down to 2-3 per week, instead of daily and constant.  Her low back pain and mid back pain, within two months, were all but gone, and we only had her right neck and occasional headaches to deal with.  As she progressed with her symptoms, we didn’t need to do as much care, so we backed off to 1-2 times per week chiropractic and once a week massage.  Over this next month of care of this pattern, her headaches are non-existent, and having very mild right sided neck stiffness and discomfort, still aggravated with certain movements.  
 
Within three months, we have helped Jenny get back to near pre-injury status from this MVA.  She has learned tools to manage her daily body positions to alleviate stress through her neck and mid back, and she is back to being more active and healthy!  
 
Motor vehicle accidents and symptoms from them are commonly ignored, but the changes to your body, your brain and how your body continues to function can last a lifetime if left untreated.  You only get one body to live in, and we can help you or anyone you know that has suffered from an MVA, get back to a better, healthier, functional life.  Don’t settle for living in pain or discomfort, see if chiropractic care with us can help you live a more healthy, pain-free life!!