The time spent on the couch being adjusted is really only part of the process for most patients. A big part of chiropractic care for me is getting patients to think about how they move and how they use their bodies day to day. So many of the aches and pains we have are related to repetitive type activities and imbalanced movement patterns which place stress on our bodies.
As I’m sitting here typing this on my phone, with one thumb, scrolling up and down and flicking between different apps I can feel the ache in my thumb. As a student at Chiropractic College I was drilled to look after my posture, to ensure our technique was correct and to work from both sides of the bench. Chiropractic college can teach so much, but it is experience that places conviction behind the messages we give to our patient. I learned from experience, and pain, that if I spend all day leaning over my patients from one side of the bench, it’s quite likely I will develop a twist in my spine. I recently started to experience and ache in my right forearm, towards my elbow with associated pain and weakness when closing my hand to make a fist. A case of lateral epicondylitis, commonly know as tennis elbow. It often has nothing to do with tennis but is associated with repetitive types of movement involving the forearm. One of the adjustments I regularly use on my patients called a toggle torque recoil is the most likely culprit. Most patients have between 5 and 20 of these adjustments in a session, so in an average working day my hands could be delivering between 50 and 200 of these adjustments. Highly repetitive and imbalanced, especially when you become lazy and let your technique slip. A quick revision and a conscious effort to improve my technique has show an immediate reduction in symptoms . It reminded me... again... how impactful day to day activities can be for our bodies. Hairdresser’s, painters, builders, typists, smartphone users and yes tennis players take note!