Staying in the Game: At times, an adjustment gets it done

“I have not been able to workout for over a month.” She has not been able to play golf. It is very difficult for her to sit at her desk and work.

Her girlfriend told her she is walking funny. Summer is going by and she wants to be outside enjoying herself.

The pain started while on vacation in the islands. She noticed carrying her purse and luggage was uncomfortable. The pain got worse on the plane. Over the next several days she was miserable.

She tells me the pain is in her lower back going into her buttocks. She also has pain in her mid back, between her shoulder blades. She has no previous history of back pain or injuries.

She did everything she could think of to avoid seeing a doctor. She took over-the-counter drugs for inflammation and pain. She used heat and ice at home. Her friends gave her their unused prescription medications for the pain and muscle spasms.

She was a former worker’s compensation adjuster and had frequently denied chiropractic treatment. Her friend recommended she make an appointment with me for an evaluation. She was skeptical.

She told me she was worried about the cost of care for her condition. She is a self-employed single mother of two. She has to purchase her own health insurance. She has a $10,000 deductible.

My examination reveals a woman that appears much younger than her stated age. She seems to be very fit. Her gait and posture are compromised. She had to swing her hip and leg around to step forward.

There is muscle spasm in her left buttocks, lumbar spine and between her shoulder blades. There is tenderness to palpation over a rib attachment between her mid back and her shoulder blade.

I tested her range of motion. Side bending of her lower back is restricted and she has lost motion in her left sacroiliac. Her reflexes and motor strength are normal. She is not pinching her sciatic nerve.

My diagnosis is mechanical lower back and mid back pain from joint dysfunction in her pelvis, lumbar and thoracic spine. Imaging studies did not appear appropriate at this time.

I recommended a short trial series of chiropractic spinal adjustments. She agreed.

This was her first time to a chiropractor. She was a little nervous and concerned that the manipulation would be uncomfortable. She tolerated my procedures very well.

She scheduled a follow-up appointment in four days.

She was so excited on her next visit.

Her pain was almost gone and she was functioning at a much higher level. “I wish I had come in to see you sooner.”

My examination revealed a significant reduction in her muscle spasm and tenderness. Her joint dysfunction and range of motion returned to normal.

I discharged her from active care with a few simple exercises.

I gave her the green light to return to all her normal activities including golf and going to the gym.

She was also surprised at how affordable the care was that she received. The high deducible for her insurance caused her to delay care and treat the condition herself.

I highly discourage patients from taking drugs that have not been prescribed specifically for them. This can be dangerous.

Many times patients just need a high-touch, low-technology approach to restore their health.