Body Slammed

Body SlammedWith all of the great fluctuations in temperatures in the past few weeks, we now have a lot of ice that has formed on walking paths, trails and sidewalks. In a public setting, I was recently approached by a husband who knows that I am a chiropractor, and he asked me if I could take a look at his wife who had just recently slipped on the ice and fell hard on her side. He was concerned for his wife, and was wondering how serious her injuries were, not knowing if he should take her to an emergency department. I agreed, and confirmed that she was not needing a trip to the ER.

As I questioned her about her injuries, I discovered that she and her husband both see a chiropractor, so I encouraged her to see her chiropractor ASAP. I also warned her how sore she would likely be in the morning because of the inflammation that was already in process. She now wanted to know what she should do, so we started on a whole new conversation.

This is the part that I thought was something everyone here should know. I began with the premise that chiropractic is founded upon, we are all self-healing and self-regulating organisms, it is just how we were created. Whenever we get injured, no matter how bad or slight the injury is to our bodies, our brain becomes alerted, and we automatically go into a healing mode. At the cellular level a whole cascade of events immediately happens. Which is summed up with the term inflammation, which is characterized by 4 hallmarks signs, redness, heat, pain and swelling. The reason they happen is because when tissues are damaged, cells that clean up the damaged tissues have to come in and do their job, then cells that repair the damaged tissues have to do their job. They travel through our circulating blood. The two parts of inflammation that we don’t like are pain and swelling, but they are an important part of the process. Pain prevents us from further damaging the injured site, and swelling limits mobility temporarily while the tissues are being repaired.

Now knowing this, what should we do? Take anti-inflammatories? Ice? Heat? Traditionally, the acronym R.I.C.E. rest, ice, compress, elevate are the actions that are taught to be applied in the first 24 hours of an acute injury. Personally, I rarely, if ever do this for myself. I find it to be ineffective and much more or a problem after the first 24 hours.

Sunday evening my daughter and I went out for a walk on the trails behind our house. I had already hiked these trails every day for the past 3 days, so I knew how icy they were, but on our way back to the house about 150 yards from the house I took a fast hard fall on my side, smashing my left hip, shoulder and elbow on the ice. The pain was immediate, I paused, squinted my eyes shut and took a mental inventory of what I was feeling. I slowly moved, and felt what areas took the worst of it. I realized nothing was broken, and I carefully got up and began to hobble. As I walked back to the house, I noticed with every step my gait improved and the pain began to dissipate. My daughter said, “that looked like it hurt!”

Instead of pulling out the ice and decreasing the blood to the injured sites, I instead promoted circulation by keeping everything in motion. Why, because this works with the healing process instead of trying to treat it, in effect slowing it down. Motion is life, is a phrase that is repeated over and over again in chiropractic colleges. It is a simple truth that is often forgotten and pushed to the side, and replaced with an educated treatment that attempts to out perform what innately has worked perfectly for our entire existence. When we lose motion, we lose function. The more locked up you become, the more ability you give up. Movement, mobility, flexibility, and strength are all key components to healing, health and longevity. This is one of the reasons why chiropractic care is good for everyone of all ages because it helps to restore and promote healthy movement patterns. This in turn, works with the innate wisdom of the body, instead of trying to out think it, out-smart it, or override it for a short- term feeling of comfort. Life is not meant to be comfortable; it is meant to be lived with all of its sensations fully experienced.


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Lombardi Chiropractic
1116 Upper Lenox Avenue
Oneida, NY 13421
(315) 363-4114

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