My Chiropractic Story
Thank you to Dr. Frank of Lopez Health Center for providing this fantastic story about his life and chiropractic. To see more from Dr. Frank, go to his site: www.lopezhealthcenter.com
My apologies in advance for my less than admirable grammar, or writing style. I was asked to write about my chiropractic story, and I obviously could not have someone else write it for me.
Regardless, my chiropractic story began when I was 14 years old. I began to experience mild, occasional lower back pain which, over time became moderate to severe almost on a daily basis. The pain was so severe, I could not sit still in class or concentrate. I would have to lay on my stomach near the edge of my bed and place my books on the floor in order to study. Oftentimes, it would take me an average of 2 hours of tossing and turning before I could fall asleep due to pain my back. Back in those days when gym class was still a requirement, exercise did help alleviate the pain but it always came back a day later. My grades fell from A’s to B’s or C’s! Yes, believe it or not, I was quite the student (except when it came to English, not my strong suit).
So my parents took me to our family doctor, Dr. Harvey. He had been my doctor since age 6 when we first emigrated to Canada. Very nice man, imagine a slimmer Santa Clause or shorter Gandalf due to his white hair and beard. He had been practicing for 20+ years up until that point. Anyways, after his examination, he said my back was as crooked as a politician and diagnosed me with scoliosis. He recommended I see his friend Dr. Pustina, a chiropractor. To which I replied,
“What’s a chiropractor?”
Dr. Harvey said he was a doctor that could straighten out my back through chiropractic adjustments.
Shortly thereafter, my parents and I met Dr. Pustina and I received my first ever chiropractic adjustment. Anyone who remembers their first chiropractic adjustment can probably relate to me when I said,
I felt great, plain and simple. I felt looser, taller, and no pain! Dr. Pustina went on to explain that the pain would probably come back but it would be less intense and less frequent. So I continued to receive treatment, and sure enough he was right. Over a period of 2 months, I was on a treatment plan that tapered off near the end. During those months, he discussed diet changes, and exercises. With these lifestyle changes, I became healthier. I participated in sports including Tae Kwon Do, weightlifting, and amateur boxing up until college.
The idea that we can facilitate the body to heal itself (through chiropractic adjustments) appealed to me so much that I decided to pursue a career in chiropractic. That is my chiropractic story. No miracles were performed, just a simple adjustment and some lifestyle changes. I love that story and I continue to share it with patients because I think a lot of people can relate. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states,
“About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days. In a large survey, more than a quarter of adults reported experiencing low back pain during the past 3 months.”
And the American Chiropractic Association states,
“Low-back pain costs Americans at least $50 billion in health care costs each year—add in lost wages and decreased productivity and that figure easily rises to more than $100 billion.”
I was fortunate enough to receive chiropractic care at a young age for the condition I had. The issue was resolved in a matter of a few weeks. But during my career I have met so many patients who present to me in the advanced stages of their condition. Disc pathologies that could have been treated during its infancy, are now challenging to the point where they may have to live with their pain for the rest of their lives even after surgery. Sometimes it’s not even the patients fault. They may have tried various forms of treatment, but with little to no success. And here’s the kicker…According to the US Department of Health and Human Services,
“8.4% of U.S adults (19.4 million) use chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation.”
The profession has been around since 1895, and I am glad other professions are finally recognizing chiropractic as a reputable alternative for their patients. But we obviously have a long way to go still.
I don’t know where I would be without chiropractic care. It has helped me get through 3 part time jobs while going to school full time, a car accident, boxing (for 2 years). Now I enjoy softball and biking because of regular chiropractic adjustments. I encourage any of you reading this to seek out treatment for you and your loved ones. No one likes hospitals or clinics. But think of the potential upside. What are your hobbies? What is your passion? What about your family? If your health is keeping you from enjoying all that life has to offer, do something about it. I did, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
Dr. Frank Lopez, DC
Lopez Health Center