It all began with an innocent yoga injury. I remember how enthusiastically I dove into bikram yoga, learning and completing a variety of poses in a 105 degree room. The challenge, heat, and novelty were infectious, and I began to attend classes two or three times a week over a period of several months. I came home from yoga one night with a pain in my low back that turned into a week of agony, sleepless nights, and the beginning of this long road. Looking back, I believe I was not supporting my back properly in several of the poses and simultaneously pushing myself to progress faster than I should have.
Thankfully, at that time, my back pain slowly faded away, with the injury lingering in the form of intermittent and intense burning, itching, and tingling sensations in my right thigh. I didn’t go to the doctor, and after about a month of rest I only experienced pain when bending forward or when I attempted to revisit the poses that originally injured me. I quit yoga and continued on with life, but I am convinced this incident put my back in a vulnerable place, setting the stage for what was to come.
Fast-forward about a year later when I began seeing a chiropractor for stress-related upper back and neck pain. Since I was already there, she also began adjusting my lower back. I was making progress with my chiropractor until one day, without notice, she informed me that she would be transitioning to more administrative duties. On the spot, she introduced me to a new chiropractor who would take over my care, a chiropractor I knew nothing about.
Even in the moment, I greatly disliked that this was sprung on me, and I had no chance or time to process and make a decision about moving forward with someone I did not know. My new chiropractor appeared kind and genuine, but she was also clearly young and inexperienced, just out of school. Several visits passed uneventfully until the day my back was changed forever.
For my low back adjustment, I would lie on my stomach with a drop table underneath me that would fall at the force of the chiropractor pushing down on my sacrum/lower back. The drop table was adjustable based on the weight of the patient, and in that fact was my downfall. The day I was injured, the patient just prior to me was a large man weighing upwards of 250 pounds. The chiropractor forgot to readjust the drop table for me (a slender 5’2″ and 105 pounds) and the same force was exerted on me for the table to drop as needed for a much larger person. I am explaining that as best I can, so hopefully you get the picture.
The pain was sharp and immediate, and I instantly knew something was seriously wrong. I should have followed my gut instinct which told me to run and get other help, but I naively followed the advice of my chiropractor who said everything was fine. I continued to be adjusted in the same way for the next few weeks, likely perpetrating the injury each time.
This is where I look back and realize my foolishness and naivety to blindly follow advice simply because it came from a medical professional. Every day I regret not following my gut instinct that something was wrong. When I finally realized my error, the chiropractor and her supervisor denied any part in my injury, and I moved on to find other care.
I am curious if anyone else has been injured or worsened by a chiropractor? I know they do amazing things for so many people, but for me they were the beginning of my journey with chronic pain.