Heal Thyself: Chiropractic

Confession time:  I frequently recommend chiropractic to my patients because so many of my patients swear by it, but I was secretly afraid to go myself thanks to the one time I actually had to serve on a jury during a chiropractic malpractice case.  Despite finding in favor of the chiropractor, I was still worried that I would have some underlying issue that I didn’t know about that would wind me up in surgery after a routine adjustment.  However, with Maril’s endorsement and all the testimonials from my (pregnant) patients, I decided it was probably safe enough.

This led me to Dr. Patrick Montgomery at Health Options Clinic, where they serve cookies and coffee in the lobby.  He primarily uses a tool, called an activator, to make adjustments, but I know he also does manual adjustments and he has a few other tricks up his sleeve as well.  Chiropractic takes a few sessions to work – usually I end up feeling a little sore, or about the same after the first session, but after the second session, I’m typically pain free.  When I was going weekly, I would notice results after just one session.  Sessions are about 15 minutes and Dr. Montgomery does more than just bone and joint adjustments; he also works on trigger points and soft tissue, which is awesome.  And they take insurance or offer cash discounts.

Through my visits with Dr. M, I learned something really important and kind of amazing about my body:  My joints are healthy.  They all have good range of motion and seem to do all the things they are supposed to do.  Knowing this is a) reassuring, because even though a lot of my pain manifests itself around my joints, there’s nothing wrong with the joints themselves, and b) good information, because now I know my problems are all soft-tissue related.  It had been suggested to me by someone over a year ago that I should stop lifting weights because my joint problems were actually overdeveloped muscles pulling my joints out of place.  The second part of this turned out to be true – my left knee and ankle pain is now gone, thanks to several trigger point treatments down the side of my left leg that allowed those muscles to let go and stop pulling my knee and ankle out of place.  My hip and low back pain are easily alleviated by adjusting my SI joint and working out my piriformis.  The things that didn’t seem to get better were my shoulders, despite several different types of adjustments and even some time with something that resembled a TENS machine.  Based on my symptoms (hot pain radiating from my anterior shoulder down to my elbow), Dr. M thought it might be some sort of tendinitis.  The last time I had a tendon/ligament issue, I saw an acupuncturist (Circus Doctor Charlie down in Tucson – we called him the “Circus Doctor,” because none of us circus folk had health insurance and, in addition to being a Traditional Chines Medicine doctor, Charlie is also a Sports Medicine doctor, so we all went to him for our myriad of circus-induced injuries) and he fixed me right up.  This led me to my next body work adventure.

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