Why Did You Become A Baltimore Chiropractor?
I spent a great weekend at the Maryland Chiropractic Association’s Spring Convention over this past weekend. Along with approximately 80 other Maryland licensed Chiropractors I was able to collect about 12 continuing education credits while listening to some of the best speakers across the nation.
We had the pleasure of attending a lecture by Dr. Fabrizio Mancini, the president emeritus of Parker University in Texas. He has gone on to to become an international best seller, motivational speaker, and guest on “The Doctors”. He shared with us the story of how he became a Chiropractor and then offered each provider in the room an opportunity to share their story of why they became a chiropractor. He challenged us not to forget why we set out on this path to heal the sick and injured in spite of insurance hurdles and daily gripes that we face each day. Unfortunately I got back from the bathroom break too late to share my story, so I figured I would share it here for all those that are interested.
I was about 19 years old and was just getting into weight lifting with some friends. Like most amateurs I thought that if some weight was good on an exercise, that more would be better. I was naturally strong but I decided to “push it” one day. I was performing an inclined leg press with about 700 pounds on the rack. I had done about 2 or 3 repetitions and on the final one the weight fell back onto me, compressing me like an accordion. I did not take proper precautions and have a spotter to help me. I had to wiggle my way out from underneath the weights. Too embarassed to admit that I was over-doing it, I just took some weight off the machine and continued.
That night I couldn’t sleep. I had tremendous back pain and I started to feel some burning pain into my right hip. I was PANICKED! This was the time before we had internet access at my house (I know I am dating myself with that reference). I decided to do what most people do – I took about 3 weeks off from the gym and the pain worsened. Only now I started to feel some tingling down my leg. Again panicked, I spoke to my “expert” on all health matters, my father. I use the term expert in quotations because my father is not knowledgeable about health and he is not a doctor, he is just my father. He told me that I had to travel about 50 miles by train to get an appointment with an orthopedic specialist at NYU.
It took me another month to get the appointment. I met the provider for approximately four minutes and he did the most cursory exam before declaring that I can take some medications for the rest of my life to help with the pain or I can have surgery. I was dumb founded. I couldn’t believe that one dumb mistake for a minute could cause me to either take medications for the rest of my life or to have sugery. I was just a kid! I asked if there was anything else he could offer me. He recommended that I try 6 weeks of physical therapy (again, 50 miles from my house three times a week). I agreed to that since it seemed like a less invasive approach.
Like so many before me, I committed to everything that the PTs recommended and I did not improve. That’s not to say that I don’t like physical therapy but my condition did not improve with care. I went home distraught and spoke with my parents about it. I told them that according to my orthopedist, I now have to choose between taking pain medications or having surgery at only 19 years old!
Sheepishly my mother chimed in that I should see her chiropractor. I still remember this conversation to this day. My exact response was “I’m not going to see one of your crazy witch doctors!” and I dismissed it. I decided to start a course of pain medications daily. I lasted about three days before I had to stop due to side effects – it made me sweat profusely and gave me bowel problems that I care not to share.
At my whits and and with no else to turn, I decided to go with my mother to her chiropractor. I had exactly zero expectations to feel better but I figured I could not possibly feel any worse. The Chiropractor recommended that I present for treatment 3x/week for two weeks and that he would reassess me.
By the end of the third visit (first week) I was feeling 90 percent better. It was as if a lightbulb went off in my head. How was it possible that I was feeling this good and yet everyone was telling me to get surgery or take pills? Why did no one recommend that I try a Chiropractor?
I am an inquisitive person by nature. I went to my local library (remember those?) and read everything I could about Chiropractors and chiropractic care. I spent evenings and weekends palling around with my chiropractor and I was obsessed from the beginning.
From that moment forward I wanted to help others the way I had been helped. I wanted to make sure that people don’t needlessly take drugs or have surgery. It became my mission and it still is after approximately 8 years in clinical practice. I am able to see this lightbulb go off in some of my patients each day and it drives me to continue to help and tell the chiropractic story. Each day I want to know how many future chiropractors that I will be able to inspire.
If you, or someone else you know, has general questions about Chiropractic care, please contact Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic at (443) 842-5500. We would be happy to help!
BY: Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab
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