Chiropractors are mostly known for their treatment of back pain. Of course, for this reason, we get many people arriving for help with this and our treatment is highly successful whether it is acute and severe or a long-term problem. We also have many patients with lumbar and cervical disc herniations which take a bit longer to heal, but which again, mostly have successful outcomes with our treatment. Below are some of the more unusual cases that pop in my mind when asked what a chiropractor does!
I recently treated a 76 year old lady with foot pain, which she had for the past three months. An examination revealed that she had plantar fasciitis aggravated by poorly fitting orthotics, which were pressing tightly against her instep. I have to confess that I was just hoping to give her enough relief to be able to sleep. It was so bad she could neither sleep not walk. I had 6 days to help her only as she needed to leave on a special trip. Already after the first treatment she was in only half the pain. After another 2 treatments of combined chiropractic and physical therapy she could walk with very little pain. She spoke no English but her joy was obvious. It made my week.
Young people sometimes surprise me in how fast they can recover. A young lady at sweet 16 had recently injured her shoulder in an exercise class and could not do any arm movement without severe pain. Within 3 treatments, she had no pain in any movement but tender muscles when I examined her shoulder. She is now expected to recover by her own natural healing processes and will get a check up in three weeks time.
One of my deaf patients also had a blood disease which meant she could not take medicines for pain. She had crippling arthritis of the hands, which she could not open. She lived alone at 74 years of age and had great difficulty even dressing herself. Her orthopedic doctor had told her there was nothing he could do for her. Sadly he had never heard of chiropractic. Luckily, although it was after 2 years of suffering, she heard about my treatments through my friends mother. At the first consultation, she said that she had hardly slept from the pain for 4 months. I applied all the chiropractic knowledge and techniques which I felt appropriate and showed her how to do a self massage every night before sleeping. I only treated her arms and forearms. At her next visit, two days later, she had already slept well from the first night after treatment and was overjoyed. Four treatments later, she had no pain, her hands were open and mobile. She proudly showed me how she could button her shirt and told me she was so happy that she could now do her old hobby “uncinetto”, Italian for crochet.
The same week that I saw the older patient with hand problems, a young pregnant mum to be came to me with carpal tunnel syndrome. Another case where pain killers could not be taken. She was in tears and not able to sleep. Doctors had told her all she could do was wait till the baby was born as the problem would subside then. She was in her 7th month and that is a long time to be in such pain. Different condition, slightly different treatment but the effect was the same. Some pain during the treatment, but immediately she could sleep and enjoy the rest of her pregnancy. That week I was very frustrated with the lack of knowledge of chiropractic among the medical community of our town back in Italy. It galvanized us into informing and educating local doctors about what we can do. We mostly asked our own patients to take our leaflets to their doctors surgeries and tell them about their treatment with us. Initially, there was a mixed reaction, but gradually, over a number of years we became respected by many of the Italian medical community, who readily sent their patients to us.