“What do you love most about being a chiropractor?” It’s a very simple question that I have recently been asking other chiropractors. For me, that’s a very easy question to answer, but chiropractors often don’t see eye-to-eye, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
To my surprise, pretty much everyone had the same answer that I did…what they love the most about being a chiropractor is the stories. Chiropractors have been helping people for over 100 years, and every chiropractor has chiropractic success stories. Often times, those stories start with the chiropractor’s own story.
The vast majority of chiropractors decided that they wanted to become a chiropractor after they were helped by another chiropractor. I know that was the case with me. My first chiropractic experience changed my life. To be honest, I didn’t even want to go. But I was in a lot of pain, and that made me willing to try something different.
I’m forever thankful that I was willing to give chiropractic a try. Not only did I get relief from my headaches, but the whole experience changed my career path. I remember thinking that I wanted to become a chiropractor because I wanted to help other people the way that my chiropractor had helped me.
So that’s what I did, and looking back over the 9 years I was in practice, I was able to help a wide variety of people. It often wasn’t as straightforward as we all would have liked. Some people got results quickly. Some people got results over time. Sometimes taking care of people was easy, and other times it was really difficult.
Over the years, I have accumulated so many patient stories that make me smile. It’s those stories that make being a chiropractor so great, and I wanted to take a minute to share some of them with you. My purpose is to inspire you and give you hope as you go along in your chiropractic journey.(names have been changed for privacy purposes)
My Dad: OK…so this is the one exception. I didn’t change my dad’s name because I’m sure he wouldn’t care. With that said, the fact that I was able to help my dad is one of the greatest privileges of my life.
My dad started chiropractic care because of his chronic back pain. That was pretty straightforward. I was able to help him find relief and keep doing the things he wanted to do. But that’s not the best part of the story.
My dad also suffered from numbness and tingling in his hands and feet. He had been dealing with it for over 20 years, and the medical doctors told him it would always be that way. Turns out, the medical doctors were wrong. I was able to help him with numbness and tingling, and it made a huge difference in his life.
Matt: Matt was one of my very first patients. He was in a lot of pain, and he had severe muscle spasming that caused his neck to jerk uncontrollably. As a result, he had lost his license to drive a car, he was unable to work, and he was living with relatives because he couldn’t make ends meet. In short, he was a hot mess.
Matt’s story is a long one. He was a patient of mine for years. He had lots of ups and downs. Just when we started making progress, he would have a setback. At times, it was frustrating for him and I both, but in the end, he got better.
Today, he’s out of pain. His muscle spasms are gone. He finally got his drivers license back, and he’s back to work. Oh…and to make it even a better story…he met a nice girl, got married, and they have their first child together. Overall, his life has experienced such a huge change.
Beverly: Let’s be honest…it stinks to be in pain. It REALLY stinks to be in chronic pain. I remember when Beverly came to see me the first time. She was suffering from chronic pain all over her entire body. What stood out to me is that she had been dealing with the problem for 41 years. That’s right…41 years!
I would love to say that I discovered some secret that the rest of her doctors missed, but I didn’t. I did my normal evaluation, and I started treating her the best that I knew how. Given her history, my intention was to help her manage her pain.
To my surprise, her pain went away. It completely went away. She thought I was some sort of miracle worker, but I really wasn’t. It was more of a testament to the power of chiropractic when it is done well. I remember her jokingly asking me, “Where were you 41 years ago?” It was funny because I wasn’t even 41 years old. So when her pain started, I wasn’t even born yet. I’m just glad that she did so well and that I had the opportunity to help.
Baby Laine: A lot of people don’t know that chiropractors can help kids, but they can. Chiropractic care for kids is very gentle and is nothing like what the average person first pictures when they think of a chiropractor adjusting a kid.
Laine’s mom had been a patient of mine throughout the course of her pregnancy because of pregnancy-related back pain. Any woman who has been pregnant knows exactly what that’s like. After Laine was born, her mom and dad were dealing with the fact that she was a very fussy baby. She never seemed to stop crying.
Eventually, at their wits’ end, they brought Laine in to see me. I’m happy to report that after a few gentle adjustments, Laine settled down and became a much happier baby. Mom and dad were thrilled. Actually, it’s been almost 10 years now and if I ever run into mom or dad, they still talk about how thankful they were.
Trisha: Trisha was a really odd story. She was in her 30’s, but she would have random hip pain and instability that would either force her to walk with a cane or prevent her from walking altogether. The doctors didn’t know what was wrong with her. She would just have to manage the problem until it went away. Sometimes it would take weeks. Sometimes it would take months. Crazy!
Trisha’s aunt was a patient of mine, and she asked me if I thought I could help her. I was always up for a challenge, so I had Trisha come in for an evaluation. After talking with her and doing my exam, I felt confident that I could help her manage her episodes, but I wasn’t expecting any miracles.
Turns out, my expectations were way off. What happened with Trisha was nothing short of miraculous. Anytime I adjusted her, her body acted like I flipped a switch. To be honest, I’ve never seen anything like it. She would walk in using a walker or a cane, and she would walk out carrying it. It was incredible.
I realize that’s what everyone who goes to the chiropractor wants. They want to come in, get one adjustment, and be 100% better. I can tell you from years of experience, that’s NOT usually what happens.
Trisha was the exception. There was a drastic and almost immediate change in her after getting an adjustment. The bouts of pain/instability became few and far between. If she did have an episode, one or two adjustments and she was back to normal again. She was always so thankful and would go around telling people about me.
I remember a time when Trisha was in my office for a checkup. One of my brand new patients struck up a conversation with her asking about her experience with me. (I think the new patient was a little nervous so she was looking for an affirmation that she was in the right place.) I heard Trisha say to her, “I used to be in a wheelchair.” It made me smile, but I had to add some context to that conversation. (Otherwise my new patient’s expectations were going to be all out of whack.) Trisha was a unique case…an exception to the rule. I’m just glad I was able to help her. I know she was really frustrated.
Debra: The last story I want to tell you about is Debra. She was another one of my patients who was suffering from chronic pain. If I’m being 100% transparent, I didn’t really like her very much. She wasn’t a very nice person to deal with, but I always tried to cut people some slack when they were in pain. When I’m hurting, I’m not a very pleasant person to deal with either.
Debra was a patient of mine for a long time. Her progress was super slow, and it was frustrating for her and I both. There were many times when we sat down together and talked about how things were going. I would ask her if she still wanted to continue care or if she wanted to try something else.
She was really frustrated with her body. In fact, the day she got her first adjustment she cried in my office. No, it wasn’t because I adjusted her. It was because she felt like she had been everywhere and tried everything without getting any better. She was afraid to get her hopes up again, only to be disappointed.
Even though things were going slow, she felt like there was a glimmer of hope with what I was doing. So she continued care. Eventually, things took a turn. After months of very little progress, she started feeling better…much better. The change was drastic.
I even remember the first day I saw her after it had happened. She came into my office, and I heard her talking with my front desk staff. There was a pleasant sound to her voice. She almost sounded…happy. Who is this?!?! She was like a different person. Turns out she was a really great person who I really enjoyed being around…but that person had been buried under years of chronic pain. What a shame.
Now, there’s a little more to this story that I was questioning whether I should share or not. But it makes the story better, so I’m going to go ahead and do it. When people are hurting and in pain, it’s not just about them. It affects the person’s whole life, including their family.
Debra’s husband was probably just as thankful as she was that she was feeling better. The obvious reason is that she was a much nicer person when she wasn’t in pain. No one likes living with a cranky person. Debra’s husband was no exception to that rule.
There was another reason that Debra’s husband was thankful she was doing better, and I didn’t know about it until later. It has to do with something that is near and dear to most guys…sex. Not only are people cranky when they are in chronic pain, but they also aren’t interested in having sex. That means that Debra and her husband had not been physical with each other in a long time. She hurt too much. When she started feeling better, that all changed. Needless to say, I’m her husband’s hero.
That’s still not all. Debra’s teenage daughter was also a patient of mine. I remember her coming in and telling me how much she appreciated me helping her mom. That was nice of her to say, but the statement that I will never forget is when she said, “Mom doesn’t yell at me anymore.” Wow.
In hindsight, Debra was one of my most difficult patients. We had a lot of ups and downs. There was a lot of frustration on both parts, but the end of the story made it all worth it. A lot of people would have given up. I’m glad she didn’t.
Final Thoughts: I hope that the stories in this article have inspired you and given you hope for your own health journey. Each of these stories is true, and the people who are in them experienced both ups and downs before they finally found the relief they were looking for.
For over 100 years, chiropractors all around the world have been helping people heal naturally without drugs and surgery. If you have never gone to a chiropractor before, I want to encourage you to go. If you are currently going to a chiropractor, I want to encourage you to embrace the process. Learn as much as you can about how your body heals, and you will heal more quickly and stay better longer.
Every chiropractor has success stories about people that they have helped and lives that they have impacted. If you are one of those stories, please make sure your chiropractor knows how much he/she has helped you. If you want to take it a step further, share your story with others either in person or online. Your chiropractor will appreciate it, and hearing/reading your story may very well be the starting point for someone else’s chiropractic story.