Thursday, October 28, 2010

In which I see a chiropractor, and this guy is AWESOME.

So I mentioned that at the race expo I met this chiropractor.  I didn't know anything about chiropractors nor did I know that they are all alternative-mediciney--I thought they were regular mainstream medical doctors.

I've wondered about my back because when I was a kid and they did those scoliosis screenings in school they'd always call me back for a second and third check and say I was deformed or something (it was humiliating) but since that time I've never really noticed that my back is weird.  But when I did this guy's little diagnostic thing for posture he found that I stand with 16 extra pounds on one foot vs. the other (which is 13% of my body weight... so a really big number).  He does free consultations so I went in just to see because he was talking confidently like he could make my hip not hurt and could potentially tune up my running form, prevent future injuries, etc.  (all of which of course I'm really into).

So I went in, he examined me and did an xray, I discovered my health insurance covers this, so what the heck?  I went back... we looked at the xray.  My spine slants a little to one side and one femur is a little higher in the socket than the other--he said that part could just be a tight muscle.  On the opposite side, the top of my pelvis was slightly higher than on the other (not that significant).  But the spine thing he said we could fix and it would help with the hip thing and other things as well.  And he was super open about me being vegan, asked a lot of nutrition and general wellness questions as a part of his examination, and I discovered that he isn't all into medications and whatnot--instead he recommends supplements if he feels you need them.  And all of his supplements are ethically sourced and organic.  He's so alternative mediciney that it blows my mind.  And even though he does spines he can also fix leg things... he immediately poked at the outside of my knee that was sore after the marathon and said it's an IT band thing.   Basically the guy is all-around awesome.  He's about my age and really nice and knowledgeable and its the first time I have ever trusted a doctor (literally).

So last time he adjusted my back and neck in a few places while I was lying on my stomach and then I got electricity stimulation on my lower back which felt freaking amazing.  I went back this morning and he spent a lot of time with me... he examined my back again (basically you just lay there fully clothed on your stomach and he pushes and pokes at it a bit) and then he adjusted me again (this time body-slam style... I laid on my back and hugged myself with my arms, and then I did like a partial sit-up and he cracked my back... it was kind of awesome).  And I had more electricity stimulation, and he explained to me like what exactly happens in your body from these "adjustments" and how your body gets used to the new position of your bones.  And he poked around at my sore hip--I haven't posted about this yet, but post-marathon I've only run twice:  4 miles on Saturday (about 6 days after the race) and 4.5 this Monday.  I haven't run more because my hip has been freaking KILLING me.  Well, he thinks it's my piriformis muscle.  The good news, he says, is that it's easy to fix if it's that... the bad news is that it's painful to fix.  He did friction massage on it and it was like.... teeth-grittingly tough.  It felt pretty good after that though, at least temporarily.  He also worked on my ankles and feet a little bit.

And he said these words when I asked if it would still be ok to run given my hip: "There are very few instances when I would ever suggest that you not run."  How awesome is that??  He's a triathlete himself and he understands.  I'm so happy that he will work on running injuries and soreness without being all "no running for x time" and without being all "here's a bunch of pain medication" and he actually listens to what I have to say rather than treating me like an idiot like all other doctors I've met.

AND THEN he knows that I'm interested in nutrition so he gave me this amazingly long nutrition survey.  It's like a homeopathic questionnaire that I've done online before with various indications for things, grouped into categories, really detailed, like "crave candy or coffee in afternoons," etc.  I'm so excited about this--you have no idea.  He said next time we'll go over the ones I rate as moderate or severe symptoms and he can see if there are any trends or whatnot and see if he will recommend dietary changes or supplements.

My level of being stoked about this chiropractor:  like 1 million.  I can go to him a lot of times because of my insurance, and if I ever get hurt while running he can help me.  And what he's doing for me is going to help my overall wellness so much if he can give me some nutritional guidance and if my spine straightens out and it helps with my form.  I have one slightly compressing disc in my back--nothing bad enough to be concerned about--but making my spine straight will make sure that marathoning doesn't wear down one side of it more than the other and cause potential issues with it.

Also, his office is in my neighborhood.  It's all too perfect, really.  I'm so stoked that I fell into this.  I can't wait to hear what he says about nutrition.  And I can't believe I've finally found a doctor who's into alternative treatments and prevention.  PREVENTION!  when do doctors ever care about that?? They just always want to treat problems you already have.

If you are in Columbus and interested in a chiropractor LEAVE A COMMENT and i'll give you his info,  because this guy is my new hero.


  1. I'd love his info...I'm going to stop into OSU Sports Med this week about my hip but I've also been having some weird cramping in my feet that's either normal (from running) or could be something worse. My back has also been kind of messed up the last couple of months. AHH my body is falling apart!

    Also, we need to catch up soon.

  2. This sounds amazing . . . I wish I was still in C-bus. I have horrible back pain that I'm sure is due to something I'm doing or some way that my body is out of line. I know that my right leg is longer than my left, and I feel like that's part of it. When I saw the regular doctor about it, they just prescribed me muscle relaxers. I don't want to put toxic chemicals in my body to temporarily fix a long-term problem! I thought they'd tell me about exercises I could do or something. I had to figure out the shin splints thing myself because doctors were just like, oh, if you lost weight, you wouldn't have that problem. And how am I supposed to lose weight when it's excruciating to exercise?! Anyway, they were wrong, because I solved the shin splint problem this summer, when I was at my highest weight ever. The more I go to regular doctors, the less I trust them. I will have to do some research on chiropractors in Chicago.

  3. A good chiro guy is hard to come by. I am jealous

  4. This is really interesting, I was talking to someone the other day about the different between physios, osteopaths and chiropractors -- now I know! I think finding someone who you trust is the most important thing, and especially if he's supportive re. the nutrition. I'm pretty happy just seeing a regular sports physio for my injury, but I do feel like having someone to talk to about vegan nutrition would be helpful. The advice I've had so far basically takes a meat-eating model and then suggests replacing things depending on what's available for vegetarians / vegans. But that just doesn't really work. Even just moving from a veggie to a vegan diet I've noticed changes in my hunger and other signals. Reading this had made me consider trying to find someone who deals with this. I'll follow what goes on with you in the first instance, and see what your dude says.

    Most of all though it's hard not to be excited for you reading this -- you're practically jumping out of the computer with energy, it's great! (And great that your insurance covers it too -- I didn't realise there were ever happy stories on that front!)

  5. One of the most common causes of neck pain, and sometimes headaches, is poor posture. It's easy to get into bad posture habits without even realizing it - even an activity as "innocent" as reading in bed can ultimately lead to pain, headaches, and more serious problems.
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