It always comes as a surprise to me that some of my friends and family still don’t really know what I do at work. This is definitely a fail on my part to inform my dear companions about the joys of my occupation.
Being a chiropractor is actually more of a lifestyle. To enjoy it fully, you have to work on embodying this lifestyle. Preaching the healthy living sermon comes with living by those standards yourself. No one wants to be a hypocrite, right? I’m a work in constant progress but so many chiropractors that I know try to exercise regularly (still working on this one…), eat a little healthier everyday (moderation and balance!), embrace every opportunity to learn and grow, engage in regular conversations with other health care peers, volunteer and generally live a good life. A part of my mind space has permanently become dedicated to thinking about general health and all health-related topics. There’s a lot more to it than “cracking bones”. I’m a fully trained (it took a helluva loooong time!) diagnostician…. which means I can directly send for x-rays (the technical word for the picture produced is a radiograph), do all kinds of fun tests, and come up with a diagnosis for your issue…. all without a referral! It’s fun stuff, believe me.
Recently I was contacted by a former patient (whom I had previously help alleviate his long-term jaw pain) asking “Are you able to help with a low back pain?” …. Really??? I guess he was the rare patient who DIDN’T know that chiropractors treat your back, among other things. When he came into the clinic, he told me that he was under the impression that he should see his family doctor for an issue like this. And that Robaxacet was his main solution thus far. And that he was hoping it would go away if he just rested and stayed home from work for a while. Ouch. I had some explaining to do….
Here’s a quick run-down for those in the dark about what I actually do all day: Yes, I adjust/manipulate joints. But I also work on muscles, tendons, and ligaments. So I CAN help your injured shoulder or ankle. Happens all the time in my clinic. I treat patients with chronic headaches, jaw pain, nerve pain, foot pain, wrist pain, upper back and neck pain, low back pain (Really??? I’m still in shock that he didn’t know this!), rib pain…. all types of pain and even the lack of pain (I’m referring to numbness). I use many different techniques including that bright, stretchy tape that you saw all over the London 2012 Olympics’ athletes. I treat all ages. I DO make custom insoles for your shoes. I DO treat sports injuries. I’ll make you WORK (home exercises and stretches are part of the deal!). I DEFINITELY should be the first-line approach for your lower back pain. And I won’t lie- after my treatment, you’ll probably be sore. Even if I like you.