The Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment - Why I Prefer Chiropractors to M.D.'s.
I'm Gonna Be Honest....
I haven't had the best relationships with doctors. But hear me out! They are good if you have a cold, or need antibiotics. Do they get it right 100% of the time? No, and we accept that, because we can describe symptoms to them, but they're not feeling what we're feeling, and they can get it wrong. We describe a stabbing sensation as a pinch accidentally and that turns strep throat into the flu, or... well, maybe not exactly, but you get the idea.
However. I once went to the doctor (I believe I was somewhere between the ages of 14-16) because I couldn't put pressure on my left foot one day, and I couldn't figure out why. He did x-rays, had me limp into his office, looked me over, and said "Well, it's not broken and I can't SEE any soft tissue damage from the x-ray, so... what, did you want some narcotics for it?"
Yes. He offered a teenager a bottle of pills.
To which I responded, "No, I'd like to be able to use my foot, not get doped up." And promptly left the office.
I had never been to a chiropractor for myself before, but I knew both of my parents had - so my mom dragged me to the chiropractor, with me asking what can he do that a doctor can't, and she said to just wait and see what he said.
Within two days I could put pressure on the foot again without screaming in pain. I had a muscle or tendon in the arch of my foot that was causing problems, didn't feel good, and he knew exactly what to do for it, and why it hurt all the way up to my knee - and he told me what was going on with my skeleton structure and muscles every step of the way, and how to cure it. Even where to go to buy the little arch supports for my shoes.
My chiropractor fixed my foot. My doctor offered a teenager a bottle of narcotics and shrugged his shoulders at it.
My Own Personal Go-To-Guy
Yes, I'm 27, going on 28, and I've seen the chiropractor more times than most eighty-year-olds. I've come to terms with this.
Throughout the years, I've had my back go out on me in several ways, had each hip go out, my shoulder is an ongoing charity case, and had wrist tendon problems. For every single one of these, I know without a doubt a doctor would either have insisted on surgery, a long, painful recovery process, and drugs, or would have told me there's nothing they can do for it.
My chiropractor back in Los Angeles became a very dear friend of mine because of this - usually within two sessions of seeing him, I never had a problem in the same area twice. Since I've moved to the middle of Nowhere Missouri and had to get a new chiropractor (I offered to bring the old one with me, but he declined), I know that is not always the case, but a chiropractor is still a great thing to have on my phone's contact list.
My chiropractor has saved me a lot of aches, pains, time, and money. And that's not to mention the headache cure he insists on giving me every time I visit him even if I'm not giving headaches, the advice he was able to give me on lactose intolerance, what he told me when I broke my nose at work, and the plethora of information on my falling-apart self.
With my old chiropractor in LA, it was an ongoing joke - "What did you do now that you couldn't possibly have done unless you're a circus performer and not telling me?". I came in with vertebrae poking IN instead of being OUT of place one time (that hurt like crazy). I had bursitis in my hip. I injured my rotator cuff (which I still have problems with, I just don't have the money to see the guy out here right now). I got recurring tendonitis in my right hand because my dad pissed me off while we were bowling and I threw the ball wrong while it stuck to my hand. My lower back locks up all the time. Yeah, I'm a mess.
But my chiropractor, here or in LA, is never for want of a funny story or work, and they're almost always available to help me when I'm whining and aching.
What Do Chiropractors Do?
Chiropractors manipulate and manage anything to do with the bones, joints, and soft tissues of the body. This includes, but is not limited to, hips, knees, spinal columns, necks, shoulders, hands, wrists, feet, tendons, muscles, bursa (ball parts of your joints), ligaments, and everything connected to them.
Usually when something's out of place, it's painful. That degree of pain depends on where it is, what nerve it's pushing on, how far out of place it is, what kind of bloodflow is it restricting, and so on.
Chiropractors use a combination of techniques to get things back into place so that you can function like a reasonably well-adjusted (your body at least) human being.
For example, the Bursitis in my Hip. I could barely walk. The bursa, or ball part of the top of my leg bone that fit into the socket in my hip, went out of place. This caused pinched nerves, swelling of the sinovial sack (the lubricant in your hip joint so you don't kill yourself taking a step forward), pain like crazy. That also meant restricted bloodflow to the area, so it couldn't heal properly. Well, he put it back into place with adjustments, and then used other treatments - he used an ultrasound machine without any video to use sound waves to break up the swelling and any scar tissue that may have been forming, so that my hip could go into place better.
Massage was also on the menu, because when something's out, it's going to be putting extra strain on the muscles around it. When I went home, I was to ice for fifteen minutes, leave off of it for twenty to thirty minutes, ice again for fifteen, and repeat. He gave me gentle stretches to do at home, and scheduled another appointment, before telling me to stay off the hip for as long as I could - I was not to sit or walk, but lay down or stand up as straight as I could, because moving that hip joint was just going to cause more swelling and scarring. If I HAD to go somewhere, I had to go somewhere, but he told me what to do when I didn't have to be on it so that I didn't exacerbate the situation. For example, I had no idea that just the simple act of sitting puts more pressure on that joint than laying flat out or even just standing straight up.
Within two weeks I was almost back to normal (well, my hip was that is), and I haven't had a problem with it since.
Why do I Prefer and Recommend Chiropractors over MD's?
It's quite simple really - I don't like putting disgusting things into my body. That includes drugs, opiates and narcotics, and surgical tools. Surgery is painful, dangerous, and often unneccesary when someone can do the same thing in a non-invasive manner with none of the risks.
Chiropractors can realign things in that manner - it's highly non-invasive. You go in, take off your shoes, lay on a table, and let them do all the work. Occasionally you have to put a gown on so they can see a certain area or massage it better. But not always. That's the most invasive it gets. That and telling them when the level of the ultrasound machine is high enough that you feel a gentle tingle so they can treat you with it without hurting you.
Drugs? Take an advil or an excedrine if you have to. Something light. But you shouldn't have to. If you do have to, come see me again because that means I missed something or it went right back out -- that's what a chiropractor will say about medication.
Sounds easy, right? So why don't more people do it?
Chiropractors are considered either "alternative medicine" or a "new treatment option" - which is not true. Either of them. They've been a staple of many cultures for over a hundred years. Yes, if "alternative" to you means not using invasive, painful, and potentially fatal methods, then they are exactly that. Personally, I think that surgery should be the alternative to chiropractic treatment - if you can't cure it with a chiropractor first, then it needs surgery. Not the other way around..
I highly, highly recommend that everybody find themselves a good chiropractor in their area, no matter what your beliefs about them are - they can help your body where doctors can't. They can help things from arthritis to migraines to back aches, to sore feet, and they do it at a fraction of the cost in most cases.
GO. FIND. A. CHIROPRACTOR. TODAY. And hug him/her. :)