I need a doctor! What kind?

Gentle Reader,

If you suffered trauma to your back, perhaps you would turn to a traditional medical practitioner. An orthopedist, a neurologist, at least your primary care physician. Surely, a medical problem like an excruciating pain in the lower back and the inability to walk unaided would send one to a regular doctor. I chose a chiropractor. Let me explain.

I grew up in a medical household. My father was an orthopedic surgeon and my mother, a nurse. After the Second World War, my father relocated us New York City people to Oklahoma. He wanted to start fresh and chose to do a year of specialty study with his fellow Naval officer, a professor at the University of Oklahoma Medical School. I was 10 years old when we moved to Muskogee, OK. It was 1947, only 40 years since statehood. The leading bone doctor in town had established himself during Indian Territory days.

I spent my summer evenings with my father, sitting on the hood of our station wagon watching rodeo riders crashing off bulls into the dust; stock car race drivers roaring into the barricades and each other; football players carried off on stretchers. He was waiting for the next injury, getting his Bone and Joint practice going. Youthful bodies he could put back together. A bone carpenter at work.

Back trouble was another thing. “People with back aches are no good malingering bums,” he would say. I now had back pain, unbelievably debilitating. As a high school student, I scrubbed in with him as he performed lumbar laminectomy surgery. I heard the stories of lengthy rehabilitation, set backs, never working again. Was my youthful athleticism going to end at age 42?

Our family lives in Seattle. I worked for a multi-national telecommunication company in outside sales. The office talk about stress often included reference to a chiropractor and the help she gives to tense neck and back pain. Three years earlier, on the eve of my daughter’s wedding, she woke up with a neck so tense she could not move it from side to side. On the advice of my co-workers, I decided to take her to a chiropractor. I embarrassed my daughter by grilling the doctor about the treatment she was about to perform. I could hear my father’s voice “charlatan, fraud” ringing in my ears. I was terrified. In 1986 neither Wikipedia, nor Google search engine was available. I wanted to learn more about the practice of chiropractic medicine. Briefly, chiropractic emphasizes diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, especially the spine. The hands-on manipulation of my daughter’s neck was successful.

The day after my angry early morning exercise session with Jack LaLanne and horrendous thrust of disc into the spinal nerve, Don drove me to my chiropractor. I knew her through my business-networking group. She had never treated me, but many in the group said wonderful things about her. The massage therapist who helped calm my muscles and spasms enough so I could get out of bed and into a car, referred clients to her. That visit and several more got me on my feet again.

Next steps: my chiropractor sent me to a physical therapist and to the leading sports medicine neurologist for the University of Washington Huskies. The physical therapist wired my thigh muscles, put me on a stationery bike and measured the power output. The left side functioned at about 75% capacity compared to the right. I had no reflex when they tapped below the left kneecap. The nerve down the shin was dead. No movement was comfortable, fluid, exhilarating. Were my running days over? Would I head for the mountains with a pack on my back again? What about the trip my daughters and I dreamed of, circumnavigating Mt. Rainier, the 95-mile Wonderland Trail?

Looking at my MRI results, my neurologist said my bones were not strong enough or dense enough for a laminectomy to be helpful. I had to build a strong structure of muscles to support the weaker skeletal frame. He suggested Feldenkrais.

What is Feldenkrais? Stay tuned for the process that taught me how to lie, sit, stand, walk and transition in and out of each of these positions and actions.

Tell me about your encounters with chiropractors? How did you come to embrace alternative medical practices? If you have not tried alternative healing methods, why not? Until next week,

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving!

Betsy

BetsyBell’s Health4U
206 933 1889
www.HiHohealth.com
www.TiredNoMore.com

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Published by betsyjbell

Hi Energy Grandma lives in Seattle, WA; Loves to write, hike, walk, garden and spend time with 15 grandchildren and their parents. Because of my Shaklee products and a healthy eating life style, I have excellent health at age 75. Because of my Shaklee business, I have the money I need to take trips to all the corners of the earth, spend my time as I wish.

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Pamela
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Pamela

Hi Betsy – Pamela, from Upaya here….from Montana, we are more or less the same age. I did try accupuncture to ease back pain way back in 1998 – it didn’t happen to help, but I do believe it is effective in many cases. I’ve seen chiropractors 3 times in my lifetime….recently in August, Sept for a neck that was out of place. I’m feeling 100% now, after five or so treatments. What has helped me is the practice of Iyengar style yoga, which stresses accurate body alignment – no jumping around from pose to pose in this style. My… Read more »

Prakash
Guest

My husband goes to a chcpirraotor for his back pain. He has a straightened spine which oddly enough so does my brother so they go to the same chcpirraotor its helps way more, they have both tried physical therapy its a waste of money. I went to the chcpirraotor when I had a worse time with my siatick nerve damage in my hip after a car accident he figured out I had a fractured disk in 3 minutes of my appointment plus they Pop your joints safely and it makes you feel so much better!!!!

Yaseen
Guest

I agree with this post, chiropractic care has a lot of advgntaaes that people can benefit from. is a proactive, non-invasive approach to enhance health and well-being by fine tuning the body so it works at its absolute peak. It is also a proven safe, gentle and effective approach not only for the relief of pain and discomfort but also enjoyed by millions of people every year to maximize health and well-being. Thanks for sharing valuable information about back pain treatment.

Jojo
Guest

My sister had wishlaph and she saw a physical therapist, i think she also may have taken one or two trips to a massage therapist and an acupunturist. A physical therapist will help you with adjusting your body’s alignment. The sessions will help and they can also give you exercises which will help speed up and let you be a part of the recovery

Zara
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