For the past three days, I’ve been having acute aches and tingling sensations on my upper back. I don’t recall doing anything out of the ordinary on Sunday, but I simply woke up one morning and went “YEOW!”. It felt like my head was hotglued to my body, making it difficult to turn my head without turning my torso. My friend recommended seeing the chiropractor at Michael Hall (UB’s student health center as seen above) and I was skeptical at first, but after two days of torture, I decided to make my first appointment. I’d have preferred to let the body heal itself.
After presenting a pleasant workshop on Wikis at ETC yesterday morning, I made my way down to South Campus for the appointment. There I saw other students, mostly girls, where I overheard them saying that they come twice a week. I have friends in the medical field who say that chiropractic is a load of B.S. It’s nothing more than hearsay and people generally use appointments with chiropractors to take leave from work. I was about to experience it for the first time, so I could judge for myself.
After staring hard at the wall of the waiting room, a resident chiropractor came in and gave me some paperwork. It was the usual… personal particulars, health history, pain diagram, and indemnity forms. When it came to signing the last form, he reassured me that it’s generally safe and I’ll be ok (erm, if you say so). Walking into his office, there were two other guys… a doctor who was overseeing his session, and an understudy who was shadowing the resident. Note that this treatment was essentially “free” since it was for students at the New York Chiropractic College to get practice. Being my first visit, the doctor explained who they were and what I’ll be going through, which was neat since I get to understand the treatment.
The resident chiropractor then got to work, testing my nerves by flexing my head and limbs to confirm where the pain lies. After that, I got to lie face down on the infamous chiropractic bed where he proceeded to press palm down descending my spine. Following that, he held each arm and I believe he pressed on my shoulder blade until I could hear the pop/crack between the joints. Having me lie on my side, I retracted my higher knee where he proceeded to twist my body until another pop was hear (once for each side). Grabbing my head, he started to tug on it away from my body (more pops). Finally, he pressed down hard on my upper back shoulder to soften what he described as tight and knotted muscles. It was a little sore after all this, but nothing anyone should be concerned about.
So did the chiropractor help with my problem?
Frankly speaking I still don’t know. It could be psychological for some, especially since you feel and hear the pops of air/fluid released from your joints. The ache isn’t as bad today, but it was already getting better before I saw the chiropractor. Before I left, he said that it would be more effective if I came back for a few more treatments, but I’ll think about it since I frankly haven’t felt the “day and night” difference that some friends mentioned before.
Aside: Take it with a pinch of salt, but I found this skeptic’s guide to the chiropractic practice which might be of use to you.