My First Trip to the Chiropractor

In high school, I injured my back. I’m not sure what I did specifically, but I know that when I went to lay on the ground after dance class one day, my pelvis would not go onto the floor. Instead, my spine held my hips and legs in the air. Finally, with a deep breath, it all came crashing down. There was a pop to the left, a pop to the right, and a pop in the center.

After that, I noticed odd sensations on the top outside quarter of my left thigh. When I ran my finger over my thigh, some areas were fine, some had no feeling, and some felt like I was sticking myself with pins. My mom took me to my pediatrician who thought I was crazy. With a roll of her eyes, she recommended I see a neurologist if things were so bad.

I went to the neurologist. She told me that I had damaged my lateral femoral nerve and ordered an ultrasound. There was nothing remarkable about the ultrasound results. No organs were pushing into my spine. The official results were a shoulder shrug and an official-sounding name for my pain.

For the next 6 years, I lived with the pain. I noticed that if I kept my left knee bent and upright when I slept, my leg felt better, so I tried to do that as often as possible. It wasn’t until I was just out of college and working that anyone even mentioned chiropractic treatment.

I was getting a massage and my masseuse nonchalantly asked, “Oh, so have you ever seen a chiropractor about this?” No, I hadn’t even thought of it.

For months, I came once a week and found relief from her massages. Over time, we became friends. Finally, one time I was getting a massage and she stopped. “This is ridiculous! You have to do to a chiropractor! I know someone.”

She was pretty adamant about me going, and I knew she would quit giving me massages if I didn’t. I called the number on the card and set up an appointment.

Meeting the Chiropractor

The office was a big open space with many identical tables lining the walls. On the walls above the tables were baseball bats. As I looked closer, they were autographed. This guy really has a thing for baseball, I thought.

As it turns out, he was the official chiropractor for the Texas Rangers.

Instead of meeting me out in the big room, he brought me into his office. It was a much smaller room, but it was still big enough for his desk and chairs and, of course, one adjusting table.

We talked about my issues. He told me that he had success treating people with similar nerve impingements. In many cases, 70% of the normal feeling was regained in a year. I was elated! He asked if I was interested in proceeding, and I said yes.

My First Chiropractic Session

chiropractorI got onto the table so he could begin muscle testing. I’m sure he did several uninteresting tests that produced normal results. However, those aren’t the tests I remember.

For the test that I best remember, I was on my back with my right leg straight and my left leg out to the side. “I’m going to press against your leg. You resist,” he said.

No problem, I thought. After years of dance, I would knock this out of the park. Instead, he pressed on my leg and, with leg extended, I rolled off of the table.

“Oh. Uh. Well. … Let’s just say that you weren’t ready, and we’ll try it again.”

Resist, resist, resist, I thought as he pressed on my leg. I rolled off the table again!

“Yeah, well, I’d say you have an issue here.”

After a couple of standard tests that produced possibly more normal results, he began making adjustments. I don’t remember what exactly he did, but I do remember that the lumbar (low back) adjustment that I was needing was toward the end of our session.

Results

With a pop of my back, I felt a rush of warmth and energy into the outside of my left thigh. After all the adjustments, he helped me stand up. He told me that it might be months before I felt any results, but I knew before he started talking that the adjustments were already helping me.

Politely, I waited for him to finish speaking. “No, actually, I already notice an improvement.”

“Really? How much?”

I ran my fingertip all along the quadrant of my leg that previously felt like a minefield of numbness and pain. There were no sharp pains anywhere and many of the numb spots were replaced with tingling. Roughly, I would estimate that the one adjustment restored 70% of the normal feeling.

Through the years, all the normal sensation has been restored to my thigh. When my low back starts to go out, I can tell because my left thigh starts to feel tingly. As soon as I can, I go to my chiropractor to have my spine realigned.

If you have read some of my other articles, you know that I am a firm believer in proper alignment. Because of this, it makes sense that I advocate for chiropractic visits to correctly realign your spine as needed. However, when people ask me about going to a chiropractor, I don’t tell them about the alignment of the spine and how crucial spinal alignment is to your happiness. Instead, I tell them about my experience and the different ways through the years that my team of chiropractors have helped me heal.

Do you go or have you gone to the chiropractor? What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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Sarah Stockett is STOTT certified in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, Injuries & Special Populations, and CORE; a Yoga Alliance RYT-200; and has studied Active Isolated Stretching. When she is not trying to discover the best exercises to get rid of pain, she likes watching movies and travelling with her family.

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