Chiropractic for Injuries

Published April 18th, 2017 by Dr. Tokar

Many people ask me if I only see babies and expectant mommies. The answer is no, and I want to share an example of the types of people I do see. 

But first, for those of you who don't know, I want to share a health issue I had in the fall. Unfortunately it was preceded by an injury I sustained doing a yoga pose (one that I typically don't recommend anyone do unless they're thoroughly trained and/or have assistance from an instructor) in the Spring of 2015. After the dreaded yoga pose and class, I didn't feel anything until I woke up the next morning and could barely move my neck and had immense pain. I've had 2 flares up since it originally happened, the most recent in the Fall of 2016, lasting almost 4 months in duration. 

After the initial injury, I took some time off yoga as I was taking advantage of every tool my practice has to offer to help me get better. Of course of the utmost important, getting adjusted frequently to allow my spine and irritated nerves to heal. The proper alignment is key to begin allowing for proper function and nerve communication. I added in some frequent ice and muscle therapy and even a few sessions of acupuncture and I was finally good as new after about a week and a half of major self care and caution in my daily routine. 

Six months later, I slept funny and had a flare up just like the first injury for another 1-2 weeks. Same combo of treatments, finally felt like myself again after the proper self care. 

Then I had my second son last summer and started putting all of that additional "new mom" stress on my neck and shoulders from holding him and feeding him and barely sleeping. The third flare up came after a 3 day weekend of holding him for hours at a time in Disney, unable to wear him in a carrier due to the temperatures outside. When I returned from the trip I was sore and tired but relatively ok. Two days later I did a round of push ups in my circuit training exercise class and by the end of the day my shoulders were up to my ears, my traps & shoulders in full spasm and my discs in full flare up. This started at the beginning of October and by November I was ready to get a cervical MRI to see what was going on. It turns out I have 2 bulging discs with tears in them and 1 herniated disc. More than I imagined but at least I finally had an answer to the frustrating question of why I was in so much pain this time and for so long. 

I repeated the care I had received in the prior two flare ups and added in spinal decompression for a month. I had to avoid any type of upper body exercise as to prevent another exacerbation of this flare up. Unfortunately this flare up made it extremely difficult for me to hold my baby for any length of time longer than 30 minutes before feeling shooting pain and muscle spasms in my neck and shoulders. It was very frustrating and upsetting knowing I had to have a time limit on how long I could hold my baby if we were out somewhere... I would either have to put him down in a stroller or have someone else hold him. This is not how I imagined our time together would have to be spent so early in his life. 

Finally, after a few months of care, I slowly but surely started feeling better. The combination of everything I was doing at the office AND at home was finally working! I actually realized one day in February that I was going through most of my day without pain. And then I had a few days without pain, which turned into weeks and then a month.  I've had little twinges more than once, so I know I need to be careful. It has been humbling to say the least to be the patient for this type of injury. I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone!

It's not only failed yoga poses that can cause injured discs. It can be a car accident, which happens often in South Florida. It can be an athletic injury from sports or working out (I see Zumba, OTF, Cross Fit, and golf flare ups a lot in the office ). It can happen from years of wear and tear on your body (physical, chemical and emotional) and then one day you sneeze too hard or bend down the wrong way and flare up a disc.

Chiropractic can help all of this. It's important to understand some basic aspects of what's going on with your body and the anatomy so you can see what steps (yes I said steps) and commitments (yes I said commitments) it takes to get better. The additional self care and lifestyle choices you make will aid in the healing process. 

So why am I telling you all of this? Do I want pity? Absolutely not. I'd rather you pity my lack of sleep and bring me a coffee (just kidding!). You'd be shocked to know how many people deal with this issue in some shape or form and self medicate (with risk of side effects or long term organ damage) or opt for (what can be) risky surgery. I'm not going to lie and say I didn't take any Advil during this last 4 month flare up. I did, but I knew it wouldn't get to the root of the problem and I wanted to work hard to let my body heal, not just mask the pain and then overdo it because the symptoms were dulled with meds. Many people just deal and suffer time after time until they hit a breaking point and have to do something for relief. What is so amazing about chiropractic is that there's a very good chance it can help you avoid something more invasive. It's also rewarding to play an active role in your recovery and having the option be proactive, rather than reactive in the future of your spinal health & physical well-being. 

Listen, if your spine was on your face you would take better care of it. Because it's not and it can take a long time to recover from an injury, isn't it important to be informed about your options AND be in good, supportive hands?

I do everything I can to help my patients get well while they're at the office and encourage them to add to their self care outside of the office. My advice comes from personal and professional experience. Please give me a call if you have any questions. Please share my name if you know anyone who has injured themselves and needs help. 

And yes, I love babies and preggos! But I love helping EVERYONE get well naturally and/or recover from an injury that is affecting their everyday quality of life. 

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