Yesterday, I had my first appointment with a sports chiropractor. I chose the Chiropractic Performance Center initially because I was impressed with their website. I know that sounds silly, but I feel like if they take the time to let people do research online by keeping an up-to-date website, that’s a big thing for me. I hate calling around to places for information. When they have all their info front and center online I view that as a big plus.
I was able to see that they took my insurance, had hours that would work for me without having to take any time out of work and they did the trifecta of treatments that people have recommended to me (ART, Graston and Kinesio Taping – which I’ve tried to do myself before). I was sold, so I made an appointment and was able to get in just over a week from the day I called.
I was a little nervous getting there because her office is in Providence and while it’s not a big city, it’s still a city nonetheless and I am not a city driving girl. Luckily, it was fairly close to the highway and traffic wasn’t bad since it was still early in the rush hour. I even got there about 15 minutes early.
Upon entering the office, I immediately thought of how cozy it was. It was a smaller office and it had a warm atmosphere, nice rugs and comfy leather chairs to wait in. I checked in and chit chatted with the receptionist, who is super nice. I ran down the hall to change out of work clothes into something I could move in better and before I knew it the doc finished up her first appointment and came down to get me.
We went back into another very cozy room with some nice classical music playing on her computer. She took some basic info about why I was there and what I was looking for. Besides the obvious running injuries I wanted help with, I also filled her in on my back problems. You see, there is a (not so) funny story there that I don’t think I’ve ever really touched on, on the blog.
Back probably 10-11 years ago, I was renting a small house by myself. The very first morning I woke up there, I had stepped out on to my little porch early in the morning before work for some reason. I can’t remember why at this point in time, but I was only in my pajamas and bare feet. Little did I know, when I went outside and shut the door behind me it was locked. I panicked because I didn’t know my neighbors and didn’t want to knock on some stranger’s door at like 6:00am. I walked around the outside of the house and noticed my landlord had a ladder lying next to the shed in the backyard. Did I mention it was summer? That meant I had just put my air conditioner in my kitchen window (it was a tiny house – it was the only window that worked). I had the bright idea to climb up the ladder, pop the A/C unit out and climb in that way. Well…it was a heavy A/C and I was on a ladder. In bare feet. And not very strong. Long story short, I did something to my back carrying it down the ladder and never went to a doctor for it. I’ve had issues with it ever since, particularly if you push in just the right spot.
To get back to my visit – after typing up some notes about my history, she started the physical exams. Stand up straight, bend this way, bend that way…then she measured my feet, which I thought was really weird and funny. I wear a size 8 shoe. However, she said that there is no way I should be. She said I had narrow feet, but not only that, when I put my shoe back on for her to check, she told me that I didn’t have enough room in front of my toes for my foot to flatten out while moving. She said my arches were super tight and that the bone on the side of my foot shouldn’t stick out the way it does (which I’ve had pain with before but no one ever figured that out). She said I should probably get a FULL size bigger, but in narrow width and then they wouldn’t slip off my heels (which is always a problem I have when trying on shoes). Now I’ll have to order online because the only running store in my state doesn’t carry narrow width shoes. Major bummer!
After the discussion about shoes, we went back to more exams and various stretching/flexibility measurements, this time lying on the table. She could definitely pinpoint the spot of my back that hurt. On one other little tangent, I should tell you I also see a rheumatologist. I’ve been going to her for a couple of years now. My NP sent me because of all the general aches and pains I constantly have thinking maybe fibromyalgia or arthritis or some silly business like that. When I initially met with her, she did some blood labs to check for various things as well as a physical exam. She didn’t think I have fibro but the labs came back with a positive test for Lyme disease. Now, I had no idea when I had been bitten by a tick and never noticed any target bite or anything so we had no clue when I could have gotten it (but my NP says lab work done previously never indicated it in their office). She erred on the side of caution and prescribed me a course of antibiotics for a month which is how I guess they typically would treat it after an initial bite. The chiro did ask if she ever did any follow-up testing on it (which she didn’t) and wondered why she never did any X-rays. The rheumatologist pretty much diagnosed me with “chronic myofascial pain”. On a side note before moving on with my story, since I’ve been more active the last few years it’s gotten better, but I still deal with basically daily pain.
The chiropractor said it’s partially posture (which I figured) but then she also ordered X-rays of my back so she could make sure there wasn’t anything else going on before she figures out a plan of action in terms of adjustments and whatnot. Basically, she seemed to describe my body to me as this (in my own words): the parts of me that should be stable aren’t and the parts that should move well don’t. She said they’re kind of opposite almost. She also told me to stop all the PT exercises I had been doing, especially bridges, because of my back. She has an in house CES that she said will work with me as well on what I should be doing that will incorporate everything going on instead of just focusing on one injury at at time (like just my hip, or just my IT band).
Overall, I’m very pleased with my choice of chiros. She listened to my long boring ramble, took plenty of notes (both of which are important to me) and then I felt like she was very thorough in her exam. I’m looking forward to going back and seeing the results of the Xray and finding out my plan of attack. It’ll be expensive, but maybe I can finally start moving in a pain-free direction!