Continuing from my last post about my back problems....
I went to Pace Family Chiropractic for my initial evaluation. She had me fill out a form and then we went downstairs to a room. She asked me a bunch of questions-when my pain started, what I do for a living, etc. Then she asked me a bunch of symptoms to see if I have any of them. Then I lay face down on a special bed and she felt along my spine. She could feel a few vertebrae that she could tell were out of place. Then she did something VERY important-she took an x-ray to confirm everything. (Folks-if you're seeing a chiropractor and they are not x-raying you first, DON'T have them touch you!). She took me upstairs and did my first ever adjustment and I was set to go home. She would see me in a few days to review my findings. Let me tell you, when I left after my first adjustment, it was the best my back has felt in as long as I could remember!
A few days later, I returned and we went over my x-rays. My lower back had something like a 40% increase in curve (basically it's over arched) and my neck had like a 57% decrease in curve (basically my neck is curving the wrong way!). Both of these percentages should be at or below 20%! So there's a lot of work to be done! Luckily I caught this now though because I'm still only in phase 1 of treatment-the worse things get, the higher the phase. Higher phases include things like bone spurs, fused vertebrae, etc....not good. So she set me up on a treatment plan-visiting her twice a week for about 6months then decreasing to once a week for the following 6. And I got the fees for it (insert sticker shock!). She adjusted me again before I left and I had some thinking to do.
I basically decided to keep going forward with treatment. It's a lot of money, but I paid for the year up front (for a hefty discount). With the way my back has been, I just can't live like that. At this point, anything is worth a shot in making my life better so I opted to continue.
So back in January I started going twice a week to her and having adjustments and traction done. The technique she uses is very rare-only one other doc in Rochester does the same technique and no one in the Buffalo area does it at all!! Apparently just adjusting someone isn't going to do much-it's the traction afterwards that re-trains your body/muscles to be in the correct position. I started at 1-2minutes of traction and have worked my way up to 12minutes currently.
I've been going almost 6 months now and do feel better! I will admit, the first month was rough and I did question my decision to keep going. I had a lot of side effects-dizziness, numbness in my arm/leg/foot, back pain in other places that weren't bothering me initially. I know a few others that also see the same doctor and I contacted them and they pretty much all said to give it more time. So I did and all of those things went away.
I had another set of x-rays done just last week...my back curve went from 40% down to around 24% and my neck curve went from 57% down to around 42%...so we're making progress which is great!
My back hasn't had very many spasms either-in the beginning it did but they have gradually decreased in frequency. I haven't had one in a few weeks now! I was also having migraines monthly before I went and I'm happy to say that I haven't had one since February now! Am I pain free? Not totally. My back is still sore a lot-it almost feels "tight" like I need to stretch it out a lot. Sometimes my neck is sore too, but not as much as my back. Now I can almost tell when my back is out of line though which is funny-because I never would have been able to before!
And learning more about chiropractic is very interesting-there are so many other things that can be helped from it which is really amazing-digestion, allergies, asthma, headaches, and even sensory processing issues (ADHD, etc)....it's really interesting! I've also learned that pretty much every person needs adjusting-with how much we use computers these days, it really takes a toll on your neck alignment! So if it's something you've been thinking of checking out, definitely give it a go...just make sure you see the right provider!