Years ago, the first time my back went out on an Easter Sunday -- as in bent-over-so-I-couldn't-stand-up out -- I made two phone calls on Monday. The first was to an orthopod at Northwestern. The other was to a chiropractor whose name I got from a dentist who raved about him. The dentist said his back went out and he couldn't work again until he started going to the chiropractor.
I could choose the dentist's recommendation or wait to see the
orthopods at NU who were team physicians for one of Chicago's pro
I had been carrying around the
chiro's phone number for four years and never called him for my nagging
back. Mainly because I'd never been to a chiropod before. My dad was a
doc so we were raised that chiros were quacks. It wasn't until I
had several friends who were elite athletes and spent at least one or
two days a week at their chiropractor's office that I began to
understand the good those "quacks" could do.
So when my back finally went WAY
out I made the two calls. And decided I would go to see the doc who
could see me first. The orthopod didn't have any time for me until the
end of the month. I made the appointment just in case.
The chiro could fit me in that day. I couldn't drive, so I actually
called a limo and rode to his office lying on the backseat like a
hooker on her way home. Hey, sitting up was out of the question.
The chiro took x-rays, then showed
me where the disk was thinning and had probably slipped. He even said
he wasn't sure he could help me. If I had nerve involvement down my
leg, he was going to recommend waiting to see the orthopod.
My lower back was so torqued out of line it looked like a question
mark. But no sciatic pain. So, three times a week for a month, he
slowly worked the disk back into place, literally separating the
vertebra with his fingers and hands. Then I had fifteen minutes of
electrical stimulation to reduce the spasms. He never did one of those
jerky chiro moves you see and hear about. By the end of the month I was
back to normal.
I still had an appointment with the orthopod. So, even though I was
back to normal, or my version of it, I went. He looked at the painful
x-rays and said he thought I had a birth deformity. I said, no my
back was curved in the x-ray because the muscles were in spasm when it
was taken. He didn't believe me until he actually looked at my back,
which was now straight. He also did a whole bunch of tests to see if
the nerves were okay and decided everything really was back to normal.
I told him I'd been to a chiropractor during the month I was waiting to
see him. I thought he'd be annoyed or arrogant at least, invoking the
gods of orthopods and spewing lots of invective.
He just smiled and said he went to a chiropractor too.