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Health September 2013

Quit Whining and See a Chiropractor!

By Jim Cotsana

After listening to enough of my complaining, they said “Quit your whining and see a chiropractor!” Being very strong-headed at times, along with bias resulting from ignorance, I didn’t have much faith in someone pushing, prodding, twisting, or massaging my body. I can twist and stretch on my own.

About two years ago, as I bent over to pick up my dog’s water bowl, it felt like I was hit in the back with a sledge hammer. The pain drove from my left lower back all the way down to my foot. However, being 63 years old, I supposed this came with the territory. I felt the best way to deal with this, in my not so smart opinion, was to run it off. I got my running clothes on, did a few gingerly stretches at the front of my drive and off I went. I don’t think I got more than 10 feet before the pain got so severe, I didn’t think I’d be able to make it back home.

No matter how much I tried, the pain would not go away if I tried to run. For the next month or so, I walked my normal running route but was cantankerous the entire time because I wasn’t getting the workout I was accustomed to.

I did finally get back into running (jogging would be more accurate) but the pain was still there. However, it was uncomfortable and more of an annoyance than anything else. Being a former Marine officer, we had a saying; “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” However, in my case, the pain wasn’t leaving but instead moved in and found a home.

A number of my friends have routinely seen chiropractors for a number of years and truly believe they have helped considerably. After listening to enough of my complaining, they said “Quit your whining and see a chiropractor!” Being very strong-headed at times, along with bias resulting from ignorance, I didn’t have much faith in someone pushing, prodding, twisting, or massaging my body. I can twist and stretch on my own. In any event, I put my preconceived notions aside and made an appointment with a chiropractor they recommended. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much to come of it but decided to give it a try.

After filling out the requisite paper work concerning past medical history, she asked me what the problem was and how it first started. I went through my explanation of when it occurred and she asked why I waited so long. I told her I thought it would get better on its own not willing to reveal my misgivings about the science of chiropractic.

Anyway, she had me touch my toes, walk on the heels of my feet and then on my toes, bend back and forth and then side to side (I could have done this at home). Then she had me lay front-first on some contraption where she prodded and massaged the muscles in my lower back, bent my knees, and twisted my neck. While still lying on my stomach, there was a part of a machine against my belly that popped up as she pushed down. This was done a couple of times.

When I got up, I felt rather different. She told me that my pelvis was out of whack along with the 4th lumbar (whatever this is). In addition to agreeing to another appointment the following week, she gave me some stretching exercises to do. On my drive home, I noticed that the pain in my lower back was gone but the real test would come the next day during my 3-mile run.

I got off to my normal slow start to get my rhythm and breathing at a comfortable rate and gradually picked up the pace along the way. To my surprise, I estimate that 75% of the pain was gone. The only real discomfort was in the muscle in my lower left back where she did most of the hard probing.

I guess there comes a time when an “Old Marine” has to surrender to the pain and reach outside of his comfort zone and put aside certain misgivings and biases. The pain that made its home in my back got its eviction notice and is gradually moving out. To ensure it doesn’t have any thoughts of moving back in, I think I’ll go back for periodic tune-ups just in case.

 

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