Wednesday evening I fell badly onto my back while running in the fells. A muddy patch and wham - flat onto my pelvis, bumped my head, hurt my wrists from landing - and onto a flat stone in the middle of my back. There was a stiffness in my back and it felt unnaturally flat, missing the curve between the shoulder blades. "Not good", I thought to myself. Amidst friendly abuse from my comrades in the fell running club I got up and started to gingerly run again. Soon my back began to seize up, inhaling deeply became difficult, pain began to set in and my back felt out of line. With images of what structures could be damaged flashing across my mind I considered driving straight to A&E to get x-rayed even before going home. No social drink after the run for me that evening!
At home Rachael examined me, then gave me chiropractic Network care while I was curled on my front and seated (no way could I lie flat on my front). I began to feel my body release tension from the first contact - oh Basic care can be heaven! Two ice packs later I went to bed and slept for ten hours.
Or rather I wanted to. It took me several painful minutes to manoeuvre myself onto my back so that I could sleep somehow. I lay there flat on my back like inside a sarcophagus, straight, unable to turn or lie on my side without agony. I never sleep on my back and there I was lying right on my battered spine. The only position I could lie in at all.
Then, half way through the night, I felt my spine self-adjust, joints popping themselves free. Joints around my sternum and ribs in front also began to free themselves. I began to be able to turn onto my side and sleep better. I had heard these miracle stories about other people in car accidents who'd had years of Network care and who recovered faster and more fully than the surgeons ever predicted but I had not experienced anything like it myself.
The following morning I awoke, still feeling tender yet able to move my upper body in every direction, able to breathe deeply and able to take care of patients again in the afternoon. Rachael kindly covered my morning shift.
I tell my practice members that their body will re-organize and become more efficient at self-repairing. Here I am experiencing this powerfully myself. I write this two days after my fall and the rate of recovery has been astounding. I feel tender but fine, and not broken. What a miracle the body can be!
It also reminds me how much in pain patients can be when they first come under care. It's been a while since I was in significant pain. Nothing like a good reminder! I'll be more careful running next time.
Olaf Frank, Chiropractor and grateful receiver of Network Spinal Analysis Chiropractic