Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Back Crackin' Good Time

I saw the chiropractor a week ago.
I had never had an adjustment, but considering my shins, my knees, and my back were all killing me (oy), I figured that my body was more out of whack than that crooked man who lived in a crooked house with his crooked cat.  Dr. Bennett could only help get me standing tall (and upright) again.
The session was fascinating.
She asked me a great deal of questions about my running, my posture, my job (regarding the fact that I sit at a computer all day), whether I pronate or supinate (I pronate) and what corrective measures I have or have not taken.  She asked me about stretching and yoga.  She asked about how I sleep with my apnea mask (I should sleep on my back, but I'm still a stomach sleeper).
Fun fact: a chiropractor practices chiropractic; the noun is spelled the same as the adjective.
Not surprisingly, I needed lots of adjusting - my lower back, my upper back, my ankles, my pelvis, and everywhere else were adjusted back into the right positions.  It didn't hurt, and it sounded just like I was cracking all my knuckles at the same time.
After Dr. Bennett was finished, I felt great - looser, a little taller, and just... better.
Her recommendation was that I look at my gait during my next run and to take some epsom salt baths on evenings after I run to help reduce inflammation and improve recovery.
More relaxing baths?  Not a problem.
She further recommended a series of gentle stretches that are more like yoga exercises, designed to stretch the entire fascial system.  Way better than the traditional "stretch one muscle at a time" thing that we all did in high school track.
Mental note: before stretching after my next run, vacuum before stretching; there is dog fur EVERYWHERE.
Even though I felt great immediately after the session, I did have some soreness the next day, which is normal, considering I've been holding myself one - wrong - way, and now I'm back to holding myself properly.  An epsom salt bath - the doctor ordered it, after all - felt soooooo good.
So on Saturday, once it warmed up (seriously; it's been freezing here in the Valley of the Sun), Zooey and I stepped off for a light weekend run to see how the shins - and the rest of my body - were faring.
My gait felt MUCH more natural.  I know now that I'd been overcorrecting somehow, probably to try to keep the shin pain from becoming worse, which only made it...worse.  I had no pain, and even though we took it really easy, I am excited to start running more miles each week now that I'm healed.
I have a follow-up appointment with Dr. Bennett this week, and then I'll look to incorporate monthly adjustments into my regular routine as a part of preventive maintenance.
Now, my husband is suspicious of chiropractors, to say the least.  He seems to have them filed in the same category as snake oil salesmen.  It's not that he thinks they can't help, but he sees going to the doctor - any doctor, really - as a means to a specific end.  Get a sinus infection? Go get antibiotics.  Break your ankle?  Go get a cast.  In his mind, doctors are supposed to cure whatever ails you.  So he considers getting adjusted regularly something that is more of a scam than actual treatment.
However, I really don't see it that way.  I sit all day, and sometimes I slouch.  I don't always have the best posture, I wear high heels from time to time, and I don't sleep in a very proper position.  I will likely need to be adjusted fairly regularly.  Further, proper adjustment can keep me in better running form and better overall health, so I'm definitely a fan.  In my mind, getting adjusted regularly, like taking vitamins and eating my greens, can be a way to keep Bad, Icky Things like the flu and injuries at bay.
Now, if only I could find a massage therapist who also took my insurance.


  1. I've never been to a chiropractor, but I'm all about preventative medicine. Massage therapy and meditation are my mental health preventative medicines. :) Glad you're feeling better and back on the running track!

    1. Thanks, girl! I am loving the chiropractor so much that I am hoping to convince TH to go for his allergies!