Eight weeks ago I injured my ankle. Four weeks ago I was diagnosed with Peroneal Tendonitis and three weeks ago I saw a Physical Therapist (still seeing the PT).
A few days ago, I had my first chiropractic visit. Wait, what??
It was time. Not only was she highly recommended by three wonderful ladies at work (thanks girls!), but the pain in my left hip returned when I injured my ankle. Unfortunately, I was limping severely because the right ankle hurt, which increased the pain in the left hip. UGH! It hurt to stand and walk. I was literally singing “the right ankle is connected to the right knee. the right hip is connected to the left hip. The left hip hurts like a M#$!&*#@ FFFFFF!!!”
PT just wasn’t going to be enough. How did I know this? I have incredible insight. JUST KIDDING…sort of…. The truth is that it wasn’t enough after my hip PT and I’ve always wanted to try chiropractic therapy since I was originally diagnosed…16 years ago. However, Dr. Rheumy in Colorado didn’t recommend it…AT ALL.
So what was a girl to do? Ask her new Dr. Rheumy in Massachusetts (look, Mama, I spelled the state I now live in correctly!). Although he wasn’t super thrilled with the idea, he realized that I’ve exhausted all other options. So, what did I think?
It took over 6 weeks to see her since my first initial appointment was to be an hour long…not the typical 15 minutes. However, Dr. Chiro (to keep consistent with the theme of naming my doctors) really evaluated my health story. She was extremely fascinated with my ankylosing spondylitis disease and how it hasn’t progressed as badly as it should of. She asked me several questions about my daily routine including exercise and eating habits. And I’m pleased to say she was impressed with my running achievement and couldn’t believe my flexibility.
So, what happened? She examined my body. Stand up. Sit down. FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT. Sorry, high school marching band song kicked-in.
No, but really, she made me stand up, sit down, rotate right, rotate left. She even made me lay down on the weird table. DO NOT BE AFRAID of the weird table; it’s surprisingly comfortable.
So, what was the conclusion of my examination? My left hip was rotated inward (toward the inside of my body) and upward (towards my chest) by about 25-30 percent and my right hip was outward (toward the outside of my body) and down (towards my feet) by 10-15 percent. Similar to this…
Except WAY worse than this picture. WAY, WAY WORSE. They didn’t match (which they should) but it was affecting my height! MY 5’2” body doesn’t need to be affected like this. Not because I’m short stature, but all thanks to my ankylosing spondylitis. I got enough spinal problems I can handle THANK YOU VERY MUCH. This out-of-alignment was starting to affect my lower back, which is why I’ve been experiencing an increase in pain. She also said that my hips were so out of alignment that after a few treatments, I should see a difference in my running pace.
MY RUNNING PACE SHOULD INCREASE!
Not only did she make some adjustment, she also massaged my left hip to relax the muscles. Now, when I picture a chiropractor doing an adjustment, I picture a torture chamber and loud cracking sounds going on. Cracking like Fireworks. BANG, CRACK, BOOM, POP. Or Rice Krispies in milk…SNAP, CRACKLE, POP. In reality, it felt like a pretzel massage. Lifting my legs and arms into position and lightly rotating it into place.
Dr. Chiro mentioned I could possibly experience a flare because some of her other arthritis patients have experienced one, which apparently is somewhat normal. Normal because your body reacts to the adjustment and the muscles are having to work a little harder to the new “normal”.
Dr. Chiro requested the x-ray and MRI report of my hip so she could have a deeper understanding what I’ve gone through. MAJOR in my book and a good sign she’s thinking of the whole body.
So, would I recommend a Chiropractor to someone who has arthritis? Well, yes and no. Here are my stipulations for your first appointment:
- You must get approval by your rheumatologist
- You haven’t experienced a flare within the last month
- Willing to try it and risk a flare for an adjustment
- Exhausted other options first
- Would like to expand your medical support (for me, not only do I see Dr. Rheumy, Dr. Ortho, PT, but also a Massage Therapist (Massage Envy!!) once a month and now Dr. Chiro)
- Received at least a minimum of two personal recommendations to see a particular Chiropractor. I definitely wouldn’t find one on the internet.
- Personally, if they have a website, friendly staff and clean facility you’re more than likely in good hands.
- Will see you for an hour for your first appointment.
I’m no expert, believe me, so please be sure to talk to your doctors first. These are just 8 things I kept in mind when I pursued chiropractic therapy into my medical support.
I’ll keep you posted as things develop. :)
Have you ever visited a Chiropractor? What would you add to the list?