I am always inspired by patient success stories – from the professionalism of our staff and doctors to the patient. I love the hard work and dedication from the patients who want to get stronger, healthier and subsequently truly changing their quality of life.
What has inspired me to share this story, while being very HIPAA complaint, is the COVID-19 pandemic, a contagion that has totally altered everyone’s way of life.
This is a story about Steffanie. While that is not her real name, it was the first one to come to me. Steffanie is a 29-year-old female nurse whose life has drastically changed from the 2-year, neurosurgical position she was hired for to the express detour to the “front line”: the emergency room.
We are bombarded by images from the media of doctors and nurses tirelessly fighting what sometimes seems a losing battle. However, these images are merely “snap shots” of extended hours, days, weeks and now months of prolonged periods of constant standing, weight-bearing PPE on an already tired body and the pressure of performing extreme physical activities to ultimately save lives!
Last week, Steffanie presented with a more than usual amount of neck pain and stiffness. Her work schedule did not allow her to get into the office sooner nor did it allow her to take any type of pain-relieving medication as she was on call 24/7! I was struck by emotions of both empathy and happiness being able to see her enjoy a few moments of rest on the adjusting table.
Based on her evaluation that day, we used physical therapy modalities, dry needling (that bent needles due to her extreme muscular rigidity), manual therapy and spinal manipulation to help her achieve greater ranges of motion, reduced muscle spasms and ultimately less reported pain. When she got off the table, the look in her eyes said it all, relief! Relief that she later told us allowed her to move easier and finally sleep better with the limited time she had.
I equate this to the professional athletes we work with in the office and on the field. You can’t say to a pro athlete, “Don’t play because you might get hit and hurt yourself.” That is part of the game; part of their job. However, you can help provide them the means to improve their function, increase effective ranges of motion and lessen any discomfort. Doing these things allow people to focus more on the task at hand. In this case, it is the patients that they work with.
That is just one part of one story. Are Doctors of Chiropractic essential? Ask Steffanie.
Please be safe everyone…