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Once You Go To A Chiropractor You Always Have To Go

Posted by terrepruitt on March 17, 2012

When I was younger I remember many people saying that “once you go to a chiropractor you always have to go”. Maybe you have heard that. I still hear people say that. Back when I was young I don’t think a lot of thought was given to that statement. I know I didn’t think about it much, I just had heard it so often I believed it was true. At one point in my life back then I considered myself to “have a bad back”. Being in so much pain once I found myself at a chiropractor. This was all a very long time ago so I don’t remember all the details. I guess they did SOMETHING to make me feel better because I left and must have felt ok. But before I left he prescribed something outrageous like I would need to visit him three or four times a week in order to take care of it. Again, fuzzy on the details, but I know I never went back to that guy. I do remember having medical insurance at the time that would pay for a portion of my visits if I visited a doctor on their list. So, I found one, I believe he was on the verge of retiring and was not interested in seeing people more than he really felt was necessary and he did not think I needed to be seen more than once a week. But I do remember that by the time my next appointment came around I was ready. I think my issue was, and still is, stress or tension.  I don’t have a “bad back”. I hold my stress in my upper back. Well, after I had seen a chiropractor I came to believe the saying “once you go to a chiropractor you always have to go” is true. It is because that once you go and you get relief then you always want to feel that good so you “have to go”. But now I also know that there are a lot of things we can do ourselves to either bring relief or make sure we don’t get in a state where we need it in the first place.

One of the things I was doing back then was holding the phone in the crook of my neck and shoulder when talking on the phone.  I worked in the mortgage business and like many businesses when you get a phone call you don’t stop working, you keep working because you are having to look at information while talking. After I had been to the doctor I decided I was not going to hold the phone like that any longer and every place I worked after that I got a headset. Ever since then I’ve had had headsets for my home phone, too.  That ONE thing alone brought HUGE changes in my back.  I never hold the phone in the crook of my neck and shoulder.

But occasionally I still allow the tension to rest in my back. I have been fortunate enough to have someone help me with my back when she is available, but she is not always available and so I try to work on it myself. As I said, I believe a lot of it is making sure we don’t allow our bodies to get into a state where it needs work, but that is not always possible, but there are still things we can do. If you have read a few of my posts you know I have a tendency to scrunch my shoulders up towards my ears. That is a major thing that causes my back to hurt, so I really work on keeping my shoulders down. Also, I work at sitting up straight, which is not easy for me because I like to sit on a leg folded under me.

Aside from plain ol’ not doing things that cause issues I have been doing some things that tend to help my back by keeping the muscles loose and the vertebrae lengthened and relaxed. Often the floorplay in Nia helps with keeping my back loose, but the Nia routine that I have been doing the past few weeks does not have that type of floorplay in it so I am doing other things.  My old friend the Downward Facing Dog is a great help for opening the back and releasing the spine. Doing the Downward Facing Dog at least a dozen times as part of a sequence is a great help in keeping my back loose.

Also the Pyramid Pose/Intense Stretch Pose (Parsvottanasana), which I mentioned in my Muscles Used In Nia During Yoga-like Sequence post. When stretching the crown of the head out and over it really does a great job of creating space in the spine. Since my discomfort seems to manifest in my upper back, moves or poses that have me hanging over do a fantastic job of opening my cervical and thoracic spine.

Another “hanging” pose that I feel does a nice job of relaxing my joints and muscles is the simple fold. Just folding over and letting the body hang. Either the ragdoll or the forward fold. Doing both types of hangs, with a relaxed back and a straight back, works to create the sensation that I want – space, space, space, and more space in my spine. The space in my spine helps to relax the muscles that hold the tension.

As I was doing some side bends today, I actually heard my back crack. On each side I heard it crack. While I am not a fan of hearing my body snap, crackle, and pop, I take my back making that noise as the vertebrae getting back into place. When I can move my bones back into place and not have someone else do it, that makes me happy. It is what I have come to think of as self-healing. One of the side bends I have been doing consist of bending to the side while holding my arms over my head with my hands clasps. The other is holding my wrist as I bend.

So I am excited that I am working on my back myself. I have to say that I have not had back pain, tension, or even discomfort in the last two weeks. Yay. I know that I am not the only one that holds stress and tension in the back. So I was hoping sharing some of the things I have been doing to give me relief might help you too.

Do you have issues with your back? Do you hold stress in your back? What do you do to bring yourself and your back relief from your discomfort?

11 Responses to “Once You Go To A Chiropractor You Always Have To Go”

  1. Becky said

    Yes… The ones that create space in my back help me too. I went to a chiropractor when I had a back injury about 15 years ago or so. I told him I didn’t want him to “crack” any part of me and that if he couldn’t help me with a different process then I was leaving. He had me lie on this table face down and he bent my legs down (the table moved with my legs). It felt so good and I’ve never been back, but in yoga… I hold those hanging poses a long time to stretch out my spine (my right leg is a good inch 1/2 shorter then my left so it creates a lot of hip and lower back pain if I don’t “hang”.
    Thank you Terre!

    Like

    • Aaaah. Having a back injury is a good reason to go to a professional! I, however, have since learned a bit and would not go to a “regular” chiropractor. I would seek the assistance of an Osteopathic Maunual Therapist. Sounds like the chiropractor you went to was good. He listened to you and was stil able to help you.

      I think yoga is awesome for adjustments and alignment.

      Thanks for being here, Dear B!

      Like

  2. I have had major issues with my upper back since a car accident in 2009 and my broken wrist. I am too afraid to go to a Chiro for the reason you state above. I have been doing a few yoga poses and stretching to help. 🙂 It’s good to know I am on the right path. 🙂

    Like

    • Oh, with pain as a result of an injury it is a good reason to go to a professional. But a professional doesn’t have to be a chiropractor. I think that there are better ways to adjust the body than to crack/force/push harshly back into place. There are many, many people that do adjustments without the cracking. But at the same time, there are many chiropractors that know exactly what they are doing and can “safely crack” the back.

      I was remembering what I will call “old school” chiropractic practices, just like old school medicine. Ya know? Things have changed. Just the other day a chiropractic office started following me on Twitter. When people follow me, I go to their profile and/or website and check them out. I was surprise at the stuff on the site. The site showed OTHER types of therapies and HOLISTIC treatments on it. So it could be that this might be a different type of chiropractor.

      For ME, I am enjoying the benefits of yoga. You know I have a disclaimer on my site, right? The ol’ “this is information cannot be taken as medical advice and blah, blah, blah . . . ” 🙂 I don’t know that Yoga and stretching is the right path for you. But I am happy if it helps you.

      I am also so, so, so very happy to see you here. Thank you so much.

      Like

  3. As a chiropractor I find your comments insightful as to how people perceive what it is that we do. I am aware that there are many differences between each chiropractor and the recommendations that they give, but I truly believe that it should be a conversation between the patient and chiropractor. What I mean by that is: are your health goals to patch up the damage i.e. quick fix and then do nothing until next health crisis or do you want to rehabilitate and treat the issue properly? In my practice I come across both and it always astounds me when people just want a quick fix and not the rehabilitation. At the end of the day, my job is to give my patients my best recommendations and to help them understand what the problem is and then treat it accordingly. In my experience once my patients are starting to feel better, move with ease and have less pain etc. they want to continue feeling better, hence they continue with the care for rehabilitation. Once the spine has been rehabilitated I recommend a maintenance care plan to keep those health benefits gained during the rehabilitation. It has been my observation that the patients who stop care prematurely return in a worse condition and will have to start all over again from square one. If anyone is interested to learn more I have a free eBook that you can get by going to this link: http://www.peakpotentialbulleen.com.au/free-e-book/

    Like

    • Dr. Lindback,

      Thank you for reading and for commenting. I think you’ve touched upon a key aspect with questions you ask your patients! But OF COURSE people want a quick fix!!! That is why the pharmaceutical industry is so profitable! A large portion of the population just wants to FEEL better. Our society is in such a rush and with that comes the impatience of things having to be done NOW (well, at least Americans – in my opinion) . Even just a common cold gets masked over with medicine so that people “can keep going”. So of course a large portion of people just want to feel better and get along their way. You have to be familiar with the question people ask when someone has hurt their back, “What did you do?” As a doctor I imagine when you ask that you are curious as to what immediate action brought them to your office, but then you also get more history as to what they do (lifestyle). But in the context of what I am saying, many people think it is ONE thing that injured a back (body), but most often it is a lifestyle. The back is strong and amazing and unless there is a huge trauma it just keeps going, but after so many years of “abuse” it starts to show signs of wear. The example I was given was a butter knife on a rope. It won’t do a lot of damage at first, but if you keep hitting the rope with it the damage will happen.

      Whenever anyone states to me that they are in pain, but don’t want to go to a chiropractor because “they will have to keep going” I say, “But of course.” And I explain how I believe our lifestyles are not posture friendly so once you get adjusted back into comfort of course you are going to want to keep going. I hadn’t thought about it before, but thanks to you, I will add that many chiropractors will work with you to see what it is you are doing to cause the misalignment and prescribe a treatment plan to help keep you healthy!

      Thank you again for your time!

      Like

  4. Michele said

    Oh how I miss my chiropractor! I used to go every 6 or 8 weeks when I was still in CA. He used a method called the Pro-Adjuster with me. He also was a very forward thinking chiropractor and had many other methods as well. We talked about the many things that I could do to stop going to him but with two little kids and a busy life I did the best I could with stretching and the like – but boy when that 6th or 8th week would roll around I was so happy because I continued to harm my back by my lifestyle…picking up a child, constantly peering down at my 3 and 4 foot munchkins is hard on the neck…multi-tasking in the kitchen and certainly not making the time for the proper excercise at home. Thank you Terre for the reminder of all the things I can be doing right now without my beloved Chiropractor!!!

    Like

    • There you go! As I mentioned in one of my replies to a comment, I was really talking “old school”. It seems as if there are a lot of chiropractors that have many different methods now. I am not familiar with them or their names (as in “Pro-Adjuster”). And you are saying EXACTLY what Dr. Lindback (the comment before yours) is saying. He discusses treatments plans with his patience to help them keep their bodies rehabilitated. And as you stated – it is our lifestyles that cause the issues. And also as you stated – it is difficult to change our lifestyles and the way we move – a lot of people probably have jobs, as you do, that affect them.

      I bet “multi-tasking” is one of the biggest culprits. I know that I have allowed my posture to suffer greatly just so I could carry more than I should/do two things at once, etc.

      Thank you for reading and best to you in your quest to DO the things you were reminded of! Maybe we should Facetime a yoga hour? Ha! Oh, speaking of which . . . . I’m gonna send you an e-mail.

      Like

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    Like

    • Yes, probably. WordPress has stated over and over that IE has many, many issues and WordPress blogs should not be written nor read in Internet Explorer and they recommend FireFox or Chrome. I hear a lot of people say that IE is just “issue” ridden and should be avoided. As a user/blogger, I don’t think there is anything I could do that would be time efficient. 🙂

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  6. This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found somethng which helped me.
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    Like

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