I was hoping Joe might be able to help me. He is currently in chiropractor school in his 6th of 13 quarters, and they are studying extremities. Unfortunately, the lower extremities are later in the quarter. No luck there!
Then, he suggested I go see his friend at the student clinic. Once they reach 9th quarter in school, the students become interns at the clinic. They work under doctors and have to bring in 50 new patients for exams and care.
Having never been to a chiropractor before (officially), I was a bit skeptical. I was nervous to have a student work on me (even though I know that Joe's friend is very smart and will make a great doctor). I was also nervous because of the adjustments that Joe has done on me. He does a good job, but the maneuvers are a bit scary (like same-motion-as-snapping-the-neck type stuff).
|Image Source--also good article about neck adjustments|
I had my first appointment on Tuesday afternoon. I had lots of paperwork to fill out, then I met up with Rachel for the appointment. She started out going over my paperwork and reviewing my pain and my medical history. After that, she started an all-over physical exam to see what all I needed done.
Before looking at my knee, she checked my neck and spine (of course the chiropractor will check those things!). As I expected, my neck was very tight, especially in the muscles between my neck and my right shoulder. I also had something out of line in my mid-back.
Then, she got to my knee. At first, she was afraid it was the joint space in the knee. But then, she told me the pain was coming from my hamstring insertion (medical term: semimembranosus) which connects to the knee exactly where my pain was coming from.
"Graston Technique® is an innovative, patented form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions. The technique utilizes specially designed stainless steel instruments to specifically detect and effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation.
Originally developed by athletes, Graston Technique® is an interdisciplinary treatment used by more than 16,000 clinicians worldwide—including physical and occupational therapists, hand therapists, chiropractors, and athletic trainers."
Basically, they take these tools and rub them over the effected area in order to break up scar tissue and fasica that are keeping the muscles from gliding over each other as they're supposed to.
First, they used the tool on the bottom right to identify the problem areas. What was weird was in the areas that were painful, it felt like there was gravel underneath my skin! In the other areas, it felt smooth. I guess I was feeling the fascia and scar tissue that were around my muscles.
Then, they used the "handlebar" (long tool on the top) to break up the scar tissue and fascia. It was a little painful, but I was warned about that beforehand. When they were finished, they iced my knee and encouraged me to do so later in the evening.
It was AMAZING though. I stood up to leave, and my knee DID NOT HURT AT ALL! I was given some instructions before my next appointment and told to come in twice a week for a few weeks.
I was afraid my knee would start hurting again on Wednesday. But, other than being a little sore (as they warned me it would be), but the pain was not the same as before. I was told I could still exercise, but I took an active rest day by just taking the dog for a long walk. I also iced in the evening, and the knee is feeling good.
I have another appointment on Friday, so I'll keep you posted on the progress of my treatment! So far, though, I must say: if you're a runner and you have an injury you just can't kick, try to see a chiropractor. Check to make sure they have a Graston certification, or that they specialize in sports injuries before you make an appointment. Some chiropractors are very specific about what techniques they use, but most should be pretty well-rounded.
Question for you: Have you ever seen a chiropractor? If so, what do you think? If not, what's kept you from seeing one?
Disclaimer: I am in no way a medical professional. I am just speaking from an experience I had recently that seems to work for me. For sound medical advice, please see a professional in the health field!