Tires or Alignment?
Last August, I was fortunate to spend some time with a couple of hockey teammates on a drive up to Vancouver for a tournament we were scheduled to compete in. We had all been acquaintances for the past few years, but truly didn’t know much about each other.
As a Chiropractor, I have a tendency to notice the subtle and obvious abnormalities of a persons posture, gate, and even overall health. These senses kicked into high gear as Carlo sat into the passengers seat next to me, and fumbled with a plastic custom made achilles/calf/leg contraption. This led to the story behind the contraption, and shed light into the mystery that was Carlo’s life up to that point.
Carlo had been one of the most prominent distance and cross country runners going into high school. He had been running a 4:19 minute mile, which is spectacular for anyone, let alone an 8th grader. This led to an opportunity to run at a prominent college on an athletic scholarship. During his freshman year he started to have pain in the achilles tendon on his left leg. This turned into a derailed college career, with unmet expectations, chronic pain, and an eventual surgery to shorten the achilles tendon.
With the achilles on the mend, and a college transfer in the works, it would be a new start for Carlo at a new school. Unfortunately, his right achilles had other plans. This was now 5 years ago, and he has been wearing this leg brace ever since…well only when he sits for longer then an hour, or when he sleeps, or has pain.
I asked Carlo if he had ever seen a chiropractor, as most universites have them available to athletes. Carlo’s response surprised me when he replied, “I have seen every specialist there is, and nobody mentioned a chiropractor. What could a chiropractor do?” I thought about explaining the biomechanics of the body, when a fantastic analogy for his situation came to me.
I asked Carlo, and our other friend, what would be the first thing we would have checked out if we purchased new tires for our car, and they started to wear out within 3-6 months of use? Would we buy new tires, or would we check the alignment?
This instantly clicked with Carlo, as he started to understand that the problem might not have anything to do with his achilles, but an alignment issue with his hips and pelvis. Unlike a car, however, we only have one set of shocks, struts, brake, and tires to utilize for our entire lives. Replacing these similar parts on our body once or multiple times just isn’t a viable option. Yet, here Carlo is with one blown tire, and the second one on its way.
Carlo remained skeptical throughout the drive, as it just seemed that my answer was too good to be true. I checked his alignment when we arrived in Vancouver, and adjusted him appropriately so the balance and integrity of his pelvis, knees, achilles, and feet could be restored.
I saw Carlos the next day, and he was in disbelief. It was the first time in five years that he slept without pain or a brace strapped to his leg. The chiropractic adjustment was really that effective and simple of a solution. With a continued conservative chiropractic care plan, it has been possible to help Carlo rid himself of the brace, and continue life and running pain free.
It is difficult to fathom the number of surgeries that could be avoided by simply having your spinal and pelvic alignment checked by a chiropractor. How many people’s degenerated knees, hips, ankles, achilles, could be prevented and saved if their alignment is corrected early enough.
This premise doesn’t just apply to high end athletes or competitive runners, it applies to everyone. If we maintain our bodies as well as we do our cars, there is a great chance we will never have to replace any parts.