• Lori Goodsell

When you bend over and can’t stand up

It is a bad day when you bend over and can’t stand up. Sadly, with my new patients it happens too often. The signs of a problem have frequently been coming on for a long time. Often a person has had back pain for years and has regular spasms. It often is picking up something very small; a pen, a bar of soap, a book.  They unsuspectingly bend over and can’t stand up again. Typically this results in session rolling on the floor, gasping and uttering four letter words. Then they throw a heat pack on it which makes it WORSE.

Repeat after me, ice is nice! I don’t care what your co-workers wife who’s a nurse told you, or the emergency room doctor, or your kids football coach told you, do NOT put heat on these. Not hot tubs, not heated car seats, not ever. Ice. Always ice no matter how good the hot pack temporarily feels. Why? Your muscles weren’t contracting enough to support your frame when you bent over and originally hurt yourself. The fact those muscles weren’t firing enough is exactly why you are in pain, please don’t shut them off further with a hot pack. If your doctor recommends this, find a new doctor.

On top of this, make sure you start moving. When your back hurts, a person’s natural first reaction is to lay on the couch and not get up. This will cause you to spasm and stiffen up more. Start by walking to the end of your drive way and back and then do it again. Typically when my patients are in acute spasm, I tell them to do four 15 minute walks a day. They look at me like I am torturing them. It tough love, trust me. I want you to feel better.  The more you sit, the more you will stiffen up, I promise.

The next thing they do is call every chiropractor in the book until they find one the first one who will fit them in immediately. First, just because someone sees you immediately does not make them the best choice for you. Research a trusted quality chiropractor and wait until they can see you. The biggest fallacy people have when they schedule their first appointment with me is that they will skip out the door feeling normal again after a fifteen minute appointment. This rarely happens. If it has happened to you before, consider yourself lucky, it is unlikely to happen again.

Seeing a chiropractor for the first time requires the chiropractor having time to get to know your spine and learning how to adjust you in positions you aren’t used to. It also means that you need to be able to relax for the chiropractor and to do that, you need to learn to trust.  It doesn’t happen in a 15 minute session. Do your research, check online reviews and ask for referrals, then ice and walk until you can get an appointment with someone you trust.

As you start a series of chiropractic adjustments, you may experience some temporary pain with your first few chiropractic adjustments. This is normal. In fact it often means that the chiropractor found the exact source of the problem and you will be on the mend soon. Give chiropractic time to work. While your back spasm that brought you in to my chiropractic office came on suddenly, the problem that caused your back spasm did not. Give the chiropractor time to help change how your spine functions with the chiropractic adjustments. As long as you are seeing someone competent, the more frequently you see the chiropractor for an extended period of time, the longer term result you will get. Make sure you take problems like this as a warning sign that you have a big problem that will drastically affect your quality of life.   If you are not willing to take the steps to resolve it, it will slow you down for a long time.  But! There is hope.  If you have a back problem like this, please call me so I can help.

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