Sunday, March 9, 2014

Oh What a Relief It Is!

by Leann

When I moved from Texas to South Carolina in August of 2012, I left the best chiropractor I'd ever gone to. Because I have many old whiplash injuries as well as fibromyalgia, my back and neck hurt quite often. Working at a computer for hours a day doesn't help. But did I find a new
chiropractor as soon as we moved here? No. I thought the best ones would be in the closest large city, Greenville, and that's an hour away. Driving two hours for an adjustment that could be wiped out just by the long drive home held me back. Or that's what I told myself. Looking back, I was just worried about adding another new health care provider. Good ones are hard to come by!

Then, as the clumsy oaf I tend to be, I fell in January. It was a quick jarring fall and I felt my whole spine tingle from the bottom up to my neck
even though I fell on my knees. (By the way, there was a drain pipe in the sidewalk that shouldn't have been there, so this time it wasn't totally my fault! Really. It wasn't.) I was sore, yes, and tried to ignore the aches and pains in the following days. But my neck just kept hurting until it became absolute unrelenting pain. No amount of medicine, ice, heat, Traumeel cream, changes in pillows, sitting positions or stretching helped.

Finally, I talked to my hair stylist. If anyone knows the "best" people for just about any job, ask the ladies and gentlemen who work in a salon. She recommended a woman and I made my first appointment. The x-rays
weren't pretty. My too-straight neck now has a reverse curve. In other words, in the year and a half since I last saw my last chiropractor, my bones have rebelled. She confirmed the old whiplash injuries caused this when my spine went untreated.

It has been a slow recovery, but finally, medicine works again. I have hours where I feel no pain and Dr. Shana is an absolute sweetheart. I am still going three times a week, but adjustments, electrical stimulation and traction are working. Oh what a
relief it is indeed. And I have learned my lesson. Chiropractic can work very well for people with fibromyalgia. And for the clumsy folks in the world!

Ever been to a chiropractor? Did it help? From my experience, you definitely have to find the right one for you. So hurry to the salon and ask for the best!

22 comments:

Lynda Turpin said...

I suffered for years with intense stomach pains. I had a gazillion tests they didn't find anything. It didn't matter what I ate or when I ate it. When it was acting up, I could not lay down, sit, kneel or even stand - I had to walk - sometimes for over 8 hours. One day a friend told me that while he was at his chiropractor he was reading some "testimonials" from people who thanked him for helping with their stomach pains. He asked about that and was told that because the stomach muscles lay against the spine, if your back is out of alignment it can cause stomach pains. I thought back to the time I started having issues (I had been sitting for hours on the floor wraping packages), and when it flaired up (when I was sitting akwardly or for long periods). It still took me over a year to get up the nerve to go to the chiropractor, but I am so glad I did. Using heat and adjusting my spine, I was finally able to control the problem. I still occasionally have to go in for an adjustment, but I know the signs now and don't wait for it to get bad.

When I finally decided to go to the chiropractor, I decided on one my niece had been too because after he had been working with her for quite awhile, he told her that he had pretty much done what he could for her and that she would just be wasting her money to keep coming back - she needed to check with her Dr. to see about other options. I figured that someone who was honest enough to tell someone he didn't want them to waste their money by coming to him was probably pretty trustworthy. It turns out that he was amazing and I'm so glad I finally went to see him.

I'm glad you finally found someone that can help you. Take care....

Aurian said...

I am glad you found a good one Leann. I am lucky never to have needed one. I have only used a Chinese masseur when I had a very stiff neck. It helped with the stiffness, but my neck and shoulders were sore for a week after by being massaged so harshly.

mary kennedy said...

Leann, I am so glad you found relief, there is nothing worse than chronic pain. It's so debilitating, both physically and mentally. I think your post offers a lot of encouragement to people with chronic conditions, and the message is: never give up! Happy you found the right solution.

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Lynda. I am so glad you found out what your problem was! After I started with my chiro in Texas there was one nagging pain that would not respond to adjustment (for about 2 years!) Turns out it was my inflamed gall bladder! So, it can go the other way, too. Our bodies talk to us in unique ways, but we should always listen!

Leann Sweeney said...

I think massage therapists can be helpful or not--depending on the chiro. I cannot tolerate deep tissue massage but a nice Swedish massage with a light touch? Magic!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Mary. It has taken me years to come to terms with the fact that I will always be in pain--but there are ways to make life so much easier. I had a lapse after I moved here but I won't ever do that again! There are great helpers right here in my small town!

Jeannie D. said...

When I was young, my whole family went to the best chiropractor in Northern Kentucky. Dr. Herbert R. Reaver, Jr. (His father was the most arrested chiropractor for practicing without a license, becauce back then they would not license them as being real doctors.) Reaver, Jr. moved to Georgia, and passed away at 52 from a heart ailment he had been born with. I have tried in vain to find another that I am comfortable with. So, I have alot of back problems. Glad you could find a good one. They definately work wonders.

Leann Sweeney said...

It's good you had a great chiro but gosh, I wish you could find another one! In Texas, my wonderful chiropractor was the 4th one I tried in a year. This time, I got a good recommendation and it worked out immediately.

Karen in Ohio said...

Leann, the only better than a good chiropractor is a good acupuncturist. I had an accident in the mid-70's with whiplash that has caused nearly constant pain since, exacerbated by another accident in 1993 that also resulted in whiplash (neither was my fault). After the second accident a neighbor, a massage therapist who came over the next night to treat me and my daughters who were also in the car, suggested calling her chiropractor.

I've been managing my pain that way ever since, but still had a constant ache in the middle of the back between the shoulder blades. An acupuncturist friend from across the country suggested that I try that method of managing another health issue, and the very first time I had treatment the mid-back pain vanished. One treatment, after 35 years of pain. So you might look into finding a good one. Look for someone who has a degree in acupuncture, and not a medical doctor who took some a course or two.

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Karen. It would be great to find a good one. I have had acupuncture before and it just didn't work, but that could be it wasn't the right person. And whiplash injuries are hardly ever the fault of the person who sustains it! I was rear-ended three times in one year! (Houston traffic is horrendous). I was also struck over the back of the head by one of my psych patients. She used one of the heavy metal plates they used to put under patients' meal plate to keep it warm. (these days all they use is paper stuff) She wanted to steal my keys and then escape the ward. Didn't work. Just made me furious and all the training in subduing violent patients worked just fine. She was pretty sorry she messed with all 5'2" 110 pound me!! LOL. But all those injuries took a toll coming one right after the other. But I was young then and thought I'd rebounded. But the spine was permanently damaged and I didn't even know it. Just kept on with the job and taking care of my family. No time to be in pain! Or so I told myself. Women are like that. We tend to put others before ourselves. I don't do that anymore. I can't. I am so glad you are managing your pain and I feel optimistic again now that I have found Dr. Shana!

Karen in Ohio said...

Geez, no wonder you're in pain!

You might ask Dr. Shana about a local acupuncturist. Nontraditional practitioners often know one another.

Here's a good place to start (my first acupuncturist is listed on this site): http://www.nccaom.org/fap

And some facts on licensing vs. certified: http://www.medicalacupuncturefacts.com/2008/11/23/licensed-vs-certified-acupuncturists/

I apologize if this is a highjack of your post.

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks so much, Karen--and you certainly did NOT hijack my post. All help is greatly appreciated. :-)

Diane P said...

My friend has fibromyalgia and has set up weekly chiropractic appointments. She gets neck pain so bad that they go into a migraine. She has found a massage therapist, tried several, who has also helped with some of the spots of pain in her legs. She will go aqua-jogging with me to help move some of the fluid in her legs-non-impact. I had to try different acupuncturists to find one that helped with my back. Hope you feel better soon.

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Diane. I was going every week in Texas and will end up that way once this acute pain is gone and I can "hold" my adjustments. That is the trouble right now. I am okay for a day or two and then it flares up again. AND I have learned my lesson! if something works, do not stop doing it!!

Mary Jane Maffini said...

So glad you found someone. Hope it works for you. All the stress of the move cannot be a help to you, but almost done. XOXOX

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks MJ! Almost there!

Rachelle21 said...

I went to a Chiropractor and we disagreed on too many things. I am not sure if it helped or not. I do have a good acupuncturist and need to see her again. If you have trust in your practitioner, then their treatments work for you.

Leann Sweeney said...

That's so true, Rachelle. I never thought I'd need a chiropractor and it was only when nothing else worked that I gave it a try. And I have come to know how important healing touch is--something you do not get from your medical doctor. (And I like my medical doctor, but I need all the help I can get! LOL)

Susan L. @ Full Happy Muffin and Mama said...

After a hit-and-run accident (the police did catch the man that evening), my back was in bad shape. We did involve an attorney in the process (more out of an unhealthy need for retribution against a repeat offender who always manages to skitter away from facing responsibility for his actions than for any other reason) who was a family friend and who sent both my husband and me to a chiropractor. I have never felt so safe or cared for as when I was in the chiropractor's office; I cried the day of my last session. I wish (at least monthly) that I was still going regularly because the people working there had become friends almost. I was lucky enough to be sent to one that did a lot to heal me emotionally in addition to physically. Needless to say, I'm very pro-chiropractor.

Leann Sweeney said...

I know exactly what you mean, Susan. There's something about hands on treatment and genuine care that is such a big part of the healing process. But I am so sorry about your injuries. Back pain is not for sissies!

Kristopher Edwards said...

“From my experience, you definitely have to find the right one for you.” – I agree! It’s important to find a chiropractor who you can rely on. It’s easier to relax yourself when you know that your chiropractor is doing his best in making you feel better. Anyway, I hope you won’t deal with more body pains in the next days. Don’t ever hesitate to visit your chiropractor in times of need. :)

Kristopher Edwards

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Kristopher. My new chiropractor was pretty clear that with the reverse curve in my cervical spine that I cannot afford to miss regular chiropractor care. It has helped me so much now and in the past and I am taking that advice from here forward!