My Experience With Chiropractic Care
Some people swear by them. Others may swear more about them.
I first heard of Chiropractors when I was about 10 years old. It was after a car accident my family and I were in. My parents saw a chiropractor for a while because both my parents had neck problems from the accident. I remember their first exam. Every inch of their spine was touched. Vertebrae by vertebrae .
At first the chiropractor also adjusted us kids. But it was only a handful of times. My younger brother, aged 7 at the time found it fascinating how he got our necks to crack. One time he tried to mimic it at home (TERRIBLE IDEA). Thankfully he never tried again after getting a lecture. Most days though my brothers and I just waited in the office watching cartoons while my parents got adjusted.
After a year or so though and the practice switching hands a few times my parents fell disenchanted with the idea. Although they lacked the appreciation they had at first for it they did return to it once or twice more over the years. We moved many times since the first time I heard of it. I never formed my own opinion of it though. To me it was still a mystery.
But I always remembered it.
Years later and many injuries later my mother in-law brought it to the forefront of my attention again. Although she herself was a bit obsessed I did not let that put me off of it. I knew it had done good for my parents in the past. So I watched some videos and did some research. It all seemed very logical. I wondered if it would help me. But I could not afford it at the time.
A few years later after some job changes and raises my boss brought it to my attention again. She recommended we go to her Chiropractor since my neck would hurt so bad that by 3pm I would have to lay my head on my desk or take an ibuprofen. And at one point I was going through a whole bottle every month just to cope with the pain.
Months later she comes to me with a special deal her chiropractor was running “GO!” She said.
So I called and scheduled a consultation for the same week.
The office, Chiropractor, and staff themselves are all wonderful people. Very nice and very professional. But the point of this post is not to give them a review. But rather, to give you my personal experience with this type of care.
Since I had been aquatinted with chiropractic care from a young age I did not think of it as any different than seeing your general practitioner. But I quickly got the sense that it had a stigma. Although extremely professional in his manner he kindly made an effort to ease any misconceptions we might of had.
After explaining my symptoms and possible causes of my issues. Issues like neck pain that I have had since age 12, sciatica since age 14, shooting nerve pain in my toes for the last few years and more. He carefully touched each vertebrae down my spine. One or two in my neck were very tender to the touch as I expected from experience. Anytime anyone touched my neck or shoulder since age 12 would send shooting and dull pain in my neck. I did not however expect to flinch when he got to my lower back. Although I am extremely protective of my lower back after several “hard knocks” I still didn’t expect that reaction from myself. We ended our examination by taking x-rays. But before leaving he stopped me and in what seemed like an I wanna warn you but not alarm you tone told me that we would probably see a curve in my lower back.
Interestingly just the month before, we visited my grandparents and my grandmother told me she has scoliosis and even had to be braced for it when she was younger. She kept telling me that I should get checked for it. After hearing the chiropractor “warn me”?? about a possible curve in my spine it popped into my mind. I asked my mom about it and she informed me that my uncle has it bad too and I should mention the family history to my chiropractor.
A few days, and a lot of research later. We met the chiropractor again to go over our x-rays (if you haven’t noticed by now my husband and I do most things together because we are both anxious millennials and struggle to adult properly lol). He immediately put my x-rays up to the light and viola! Behold the curve...
To be honest though it’s really not that bad. It’s only 15 degrees. That’s a mild case of scoliosis. But apparently even mild cases still cause enough trouble to cause pain and other issues. Also my neck is too straight or even slightly S curved rather than C curved and my upper back has a little issue too.
Also to make things a little more interesting my brother and I had been betting for a while that whenever I finally got my long time wish of a back x-ray granted (because I wanted to know if there was something causing my pain) that one of two thing would happen. One, according to him my “spine would be backwards”. Or two, my theory “nothing is wrong, it’s all in my head”. So these x-rays were a HUGE relief. I’m not crazy!
The chiropractor also brought back an OLD childhood memory when he told me my left hip is about a half inch lower than the right and that my left leg is shorter than the other. But we don’t know which causes which. I remember laying on the couch when I was about 5 and my cousins teasing me because they noticed one leg shorter than the other. No one else seemed to notice though.
After so much already starting to make sense I had no hesitation and signed up for 3 months of treatment.
3 months later
This time it’s me and my husband betting. How many degrees will my back of improved? I said 3. He said 4.
Today we were shown the x-rays. 5.
I know its hard to tell the difference so here's a side by side of before and after.
Doc had a huge smile and told me “Five degrees in just 12 sessions is extremely impressive. Your responding great!”. To be honest I'm still pretty astonished that years of this going on improved so much. It went from 15 to 10 degrees in just 3 months. At that rate, in another month I won’t fall into the scoliosis category anymore! And to top things off, my neck is starting to form a C curve.
The x-rays also revealed that my pelvis being uneven is caused by my leg being shorter not vice-versa. So I’ll be getting a small shoe insert to even it out a bit.
Once we left we contemplated when the last time we had any of our severe symptoms? Matthew has not had any MAJOR allergy attacks, or nauseating headaches since we started. I’ve only had nerve pain in my toes once. I haven’t taken any ibuprofen for my neck or back since we started.
How did it effect my riding?• Better use of my right leg (It used to feel dead and lock up)
• More even weight in seat bones
• More stability and strength in my legs
In my lessons prior I could barely keep my leg quiet while trotting let alone a tiny 2’ jump. After just 2 weeks of care I had a steady leg at the canter and could hold myself over a 3’ jump.
It may not be a bed of roses. This is just my experience. I know some people don't agree with Chiropractic care. But for me it's been somewhat life changing. I still have improvements to make. So I will continue my appointments and see just how much better I can get both in daily life and in my riding.
As always, thank you for reading!