When I was 23, back in 1973, I was driving to work in four inches of almost untracked snow. The car toward me started skidding. I thought the driver would correct but he didn’t and the car was coming toward me sideways in my lane. I swerved to avoid him, going over a six foot embankment. The tail end of both cars collided first.
Both cars were totaled. Mine was 10 years old, his was brand new. He was a young driver who had never driven in snow. He got a ticket for failure to keep control of his vehicle.
There was no blood and guts, but the next day my neck hurt – a lot. I decided to go to a chiropractor, I had no idea what they cost, but hey, his insurance would pay for it.
I’d never been to a chiropractor. My brother called them quacks. But I was hurting, and besides I had always had a bad back and scoliosis, and knew it.
Well I went to see this wonderful old guy (the only reference I had was the Yellow Pages). Everything in his office was old. I lay face down on his exam table as he touched different spots on my neck and upper back and said, “It hurts here doesn’t it?” I was impressed.
Then he used ultrasound for 15 minutes to loosen up my muscles. Then he twisted me like a pretzel a couple of ways. I felt like I was that kid in “The Exorcist” as he manipulated my neck.
When he got done I would have paid him anything. I had been living with pain I didn’t even know I had until it was gone. He charged six bucks, which was very cheap even then.
Had I gone to a General Practitioner I probably would have just gotten pain pills. Had I gone to the emergency room, they might have given me a neck brace — very bad, because it would have done little or nothing to correct the alignment while allowing the muscles to get weaker.
At the same time I had a friend who was going to a chiropractor who was going every single week and did not get the results that I got in one session. That is because this old chiropractor took the time to get my back muscles loosened up through ultrasound so the muscles were relaxed and allow the adjustment to last.
Looking back, I have no idea how Dr. Featherstone was able to make a living. He did his job so well.
While I am now a firm believer in chiropractors, not all chiropractors are equal. Being a massage therapist I am a definite believer in massage, but there are a lot of massage therapists who really aren’t that good in providing much more than relaxation. And while there are many great physicians, there are also ones whose only solution is prescription medicine because it is the only solution they have been taught. I lucked out using the Yellow Pages, but word of mouth recommendation is usually better.
In the majority of cases it is best to try the least invasive (which will also be the least costly) approaches first.