Must Run: A Visit to the Chiropractor - Salisbury Post

A long time ago I decided that I am invincible. Until it wasn’t me! It happened again this week.

As a runner, cyclist, or pretty much any other physical activity, I’ve had some incredible experiences and competitions. Sometimes I’m amazed at how easily these physical challenges were mastered. But a few times something just happened and I suffered a severe case of sciatica, or inflammation of the sciatic nerve. Sciatica is defined as pain caused by compression of a nerve root in the spine causing pain in the lower back, hip and down the leg. Usually it’s caused by lifting, twisting, or something odd like stepping into a hole.

I’ve had two major falls in my life, both during my peak running years. It’s typical for runners and other exercise enthusiasts to try to overcome any kind of discomfort in the hope that it will go away. Both times, instead of getting better, I started dragging the injured leg on my runs and those runs became miserable. I walked slower and slower and then more clumsily.

With the great help of my favorite physical therapists and chiropractors, and lots of stretches and ice, this discomfort and limited mobility became history. Gradually, I felt invincible again and I forgot too easily, which helped me to get better.

About a month ago I noticed a slightly different nerve problem in my right leg. Starting at the front of the right hip, down to the knee and usually including the lower ankle, I could not stand still for very long without discomfort. Some nights I would wake up with severe discomfort in this area. My runs got slower and slower until Thursday morning when I gave up my morning run and went home to see Dr. Visit Andy Jeter of Jeter Chiropractic.

Twenty years ago, Dr. Jeter on what I had to do to heal the worst case of sciatica I’ve ever had. He also helped with another smaller round of it about 10 years ago. A couple of our local runners got me started with chiropractic adjustments and they really helped me. But when someone feels invincible, it’s easy to believe that next week they’ll still be invincible. I haven’t done regular maintenance visits, and as I write this column, I’m not particularly proud of it.

Things like sprains, strains, foot problems and various traumas from sports injuries happen to runners, walkers and active people. Part of it is created by bending, lifting and twisting. Especially when weights are involved.

dr Jeter, one of the few chiropractors who work on extremities, says, “Listen to your body. Prevention is the key! I enjoy working with my patients as they try to return to their normal activities.” He credits regular maintenance visits with better fluidity, reduced joint resistance, increased joint lubrication, more energy, better sleep, better breathing, and a better sense of well-being .”

dr Jeter added: “I believe there is a wheel of health that we need to pay attention to. Most Americans spend more money on their teeth than on the rest of the body. Chiropractic needs to be a spoke of this wheel, along with hydration, proper nutrition, sleep, and exercise. Make sure your overall health is a priority.”

My problem this time is related to the sacroiliac joint and somehow I slipped it. Tonight, on my second day of care, the symptoms are slowly easing. I spent a lot of time standing today and the right leg was better. Hard to believe but I won’t be attempting to run tomorrow and probably a few days after to make an investment in a quicker return to normal activities. For now, I’ll limit the exercise to non-slap options.

Two races are imminent. The West Rowan Bible Teachers Association 5K is scheduled for April 2nd and the Ed Dupree 5k follows on April 9th. Look for these, the Beginning Runners Class and other upcoming events at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org.