“So, what brings you in to see the Doctor today?”, I ask as the young lady walks into the treatment room and hands me her paperwork to peruse.
“I hurt my back lifting some boxes. Denise told me you were the best so here I am.”, she says
I say, “Oh yes, Denise. Good lady.” I continue saying, “So your birthday is Nov 13, 1982 and you have two children?”
“Yes” she responds.
“Have you ever broken any bones anywhere in your body?”, I ask.
She says, “Nope”
“Any surgery ever?”, I ask and continue “Were the children born natural?”
She says, “Yep, both natural, 8 and 10 years ago”
“Do you take any medications for anything?”, I ask.
“Just Advil for the pain in my back,”, she says
“No birth control?” I ask
“Nope”, she responds
“Has this ever happened before for you, hurt your back like this?” I ask
“Yeah”, she says, “It’s been a problem for years”
I watched her walk in, bent over slightly with the back pain. She tends to come down heavy on her heels and as she stands she locks her knees. Both of these habits will lead to back, hip and knee problems as she ages. The body needs to be flexing whenever possible. I just notice the postures at this point and say,
“Please, have a seat, you don’t have to stand for now. It looks like you hurt”
“Thank you” she says and sits down in the conventional chair. There are two kinds of chairs in the room, one standard cushioned chair and one Balans, knee chair that keeps your knees lower than your pelvis and allows your low back to stay as curved as it needs to be.
She points to the Balans chair and says, “What kind of chair of that?”
I explain, “I don’t like to sit much myself, That’s my stand up desk over there and this chair is an ergonomic back friendly chair from Sweden”
“Oh”, she says, “Maybe I oughta try it”
“Go ahead,”, I say
I continue, “You put on your paperwork that you have had x-rays done of your low back 5 years ago. Did you get a diagnosis and treatment for that?”
“Yeah,” She says, “Another Chiropractor treated me a lot for all that and the pain has come back. He sold all kinds of supplements that maybe helped”
“Yeah, I’m not so much into the pills and potions. I figure it’s more what is eating you than what you eat that gets us twisted up”, I say and continue, “We are all body mind and spirit wrapped up into one”
Then I add, “How about your parents, how is their health?”
She says, “They’re okay, Dad’s got diabetes and high blood pressure and Mom is fine. No back troubles with them though”
I continue, “How’s your husband doing and the kids?”
“He disappeared a few years ago, ran off with some bimbo” she says.
I say, “Bummer”
She says, “Yeah well, shit happens”
“Is he paying his fair share?” I ask
“Not so far, but I am doing okay, Got a good job. He never helped much when he was here anyway” She says.
And she continues, “I hurt my goddamned back packing up his shit to take to Goodwill, as a matter of fact”
“Hmmm”, I say, “Yeah, that’s the kind of thing that eats at ya. Does he see the kids at all?”
“No”, she says, “A real deadbeat Dad this one”
“Sorry about that”, I say and add “Can you lie on the table, face down for a time so I can see and feelwhat needs to be done here?”
“Sure”, she says, “That position actually feels better”
“Take off your shoes only,” I say, “And get comfortable here” As I indicate the table.
“Does it hurt when you cough or sneeze?”, I ask
“Nope”, she says,
“Wake you up at night?”, I ask
“Not so much,” she says.
“Any pain shooting down your hips or legs?”, I ask.
“Only when I bend over too far”, she adds
“Do you smoke or drink?” I continue….
“Only casually”, she says
“Okay”, I continue, “Smoking casually like nicotine or marijuana?”
‘Only grass sometimes”, she adds.
I gently move my hands and thumbs down her spine with some pressure on her low back. I say, “If anything I do hurts you, speak up and I will stop. This should all only feel good.”
She says, “Okay, thanks”
“How do the kids deal with the Dad gone?” I ask
She lifts her head to respond and starts to cry.