Confessions of a Chiropractic Skeptic
By Will Forrester

I’ll never forget my first appointment with Dr. Ranicki. As I’ve mentioned before, I came in with severe sciatic pain. I was hurting and I was desperate for help. And I was a chiropractic skeptic

I had internal defenses up a mile high in my mind. It was like I was looking for something to not go well, for someone to say something I disagreed with so that I could say, “See, this chiropractic care is nonsense. It’s a rip off.” Instead, the office was pleasantly decorated, and the staff was out of this world. The place had a very calm, soothing feel. They offered me a bottle of water, had me sit down to watch a video with some information about chiropractic, and asked me to fill out an intake questionnaire. 

As I’m watching the video, I’m still skeptical. Then at some point, they ask me what my goals are for my chiropractic care. Do I want to have Good Health, Great Health, or Optimum Health? Now my skepticism really rises up. Now I see they’re plan. They’re trying to manipulate me into signing up for some regimen that I don’t need or want. What person is going to honestly say they only want to settle for good or great health? Of course I’m going to say “optimum,” and then they’re going to sell me on some long term commitment I’ll never get out of. Right? 

But there was no manipulation. Yes, I admitted I wanted optimum health, and Dr. Ranicki explained what type of care I might need (and also what lifestyle changes I would need to consider as well). I didn’t feel pressure, but I did sense that Dr. Ranicki genuinely cared that I get the very best health and wellness care I could possibly get. 

It took some time for my mind to absorb the difference that chiropractic care could make for me. How it wasn’t just about cracking bones but about improving my central nervous system and removing subluxations. How it was designed to help with more than just leg, neck, and back pain. I didn’t become sold on the program overnight. But I’m so thankful today that my leg pain was worse than my skepticism and hesitancy. Pain can be a great motivator, and it pushed me to at least come back for a few visits and see if this deal could work. 

Why do I bring up how skeptical I was at my first visit do Ranicki Chiropractic? When I was looking for any exit I could find to get out of there? I bring it up because it’s been more than two years now, and while I’m not sure I’ve hit optimal health just yet, I think I’m pretty close. I feel so great most of the time now! This skeptic has become a regular. I still see Dr. Ranicki regularly as part of my ongoing care so that I stay healthy rather than get sick and in chronic pain again. I wouldn’t think of missing my appointment each week so that I stay healthy and feel energized and alive. 

But if you are a skeptic like I was—if you’ve clicked over to this blog and are considering your options but are just unsure—it’s okay. Be skeptical. It’s a good thing to use your mind, toweigh the facts, to consider what path is best. Just don’t be so skeptical that you don’t do your own investigation. Maybe you’ve heard this quote from Herbert Spencer, which definitely applied to me before giving chiropractic care a fair hearing: "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation."

If you’re in need of help with your back, neck, sciatic pain, whatever – why not give chiropractic care an honest evaluation? Come in for an assessment and see if Dr. Ranicki and his team can’t 
take you to better health. Maybe even optimum health.
 
4 Ways You Can Get Rid of Back Pain… without injections or surgery! Part 2

I hope you tried out the suggestions for helping your back pain in the previous post. Those are just two suggestions, and no, I imagine they haven’t completely taken away your pain yet, but I do hope you’ve given them both a sustained, honest effort. To get long term relief from back pain, you must, must, MUST become less sedentary and reduce chemical stress on your body. Now for two more great suggestions that will help you get rid of back pain without surgery:

3. Let pain do its job. 
One very simple way to help get rid of your back pain is to actually feel your back pain. Stop ignoring it, and for goodness’ sake stop numbing it. Pain is an important gift. Pain is not “weakness leaving the body.” Pain is your body telling you what should be obvious: Something is wrong! Stop. If it hurts to stand or sit that way, then move around. Get up. Adjust. If it hurts to walk that fast, slow down a bit, but keep walking. We live in a stressed out culture, and we also live in an attention-deficitculture. We have all been trained to multitask and run around like crazy people, trying to do too much. You may have too much on your plate and there’s nothing you can do about that for now. But if you’re going to get rid of your back pain, you are going to have to start paying attention to your pain. Notice it. Feel it. Listen to your body. 

If you’re taking a lot of pain medicine or anti-inflammatories, I am going to make a counterintuitive suggestion. Cut back or quit taking that stuff entirely. If you can’t feel the pain, that doesn’t mean that your back is fine. It just means you can’t feel it. So it means you’re probably further aggravating theproblematic areas. So then the next day you take more medicine. Instead of numbing it out, I challenge you to allow your pain to do its job for two weeks. Your body has the ability to make adjustments if you will just give it the chance. 

4. Get an evaluation from a chiropractor. 
While all of the above is very good and necessary, if you have serious back problems, your back may be in a position where it will not be able to simple correct itself. Months or years to too much sitting, slouching, bad sleep habits, carrying too much weight, and add to that a few tweaks here and there take their toll. But there really is great, wonderful news. For decades now chiropractors have been offering a method of bringing the spine into alignment which is documented to bring significant and often total relief to back pain of all kinds. 

Sadly, many people believe that traiditional medicine is the only route to getting help for back pain. So they follow the trajectory of taking medicine, then steroid injections, and then they begin having surgeries. Many people who take steroid injections or have had costly and sometimes ineffective surgeries are shocked when the learn that the problematic sites in their back could have been relieved by regular chiropractic care. 

If you are facing taking injections or are considering back surgery, do your own homework for sure, but please stop by Ranicki Chiropractic and Wellness Center, or if you’re not in our area, give us a call and we’ll gladly help you find a quality chiropractor or tell you what to look for. I know you are tired of the pain. It really is possible to get healing and relief for the pain, to feel yourself again, and to work and play the way you want to. Before you go under the knife, why not give us a call or stop by and make an appointment for an evaluation.
 
4 Ways You Can Get Rid of Back Pain… Without injections or surgery!

Most people at some point battle back pain at some point, whether it’s for a short period of time or something chronic. Back pain makes people miserable. It makes work less fun, and even worse, it can make play less fun! 

Maybe you’ve tried taking pain killers or anti-inflammatories with little to no results, and you’re wondering if getting an injection will help. Maybe it’s even so bad you’re actually considering surgery. I get it. We just want the pain to go away. 

The problem, which I’ve written about before, is that medicine and injections only serve to numb pain 
from problematic sites in the back. The really, really great news is that there are simple, (relatively) easy ways to actually get rid of your back pain… without medicine. Without injections. Without surgery. 

1. Stand more, sit less. 
If you’re battling back pain, I dare you to try this for one week. Just quit sitting so much. Being sedentary puts enormous amounts of stress on your back which you were not designed to bear. Thousands of years ago our ancestors would have rarely sat the way we do. They would have walked most of the time, and they likely squatted when they ate their meals. Now, I am not suggesting you necessarily take up squatting at your next dinner function! But think about it: How much of your day do you spend sitting? Most people sit after waking up, enjoying their breakfast or coffee. Then they get in their car and sit while they head to work or school. Then they sit behind a desk or in front of a screen all day. Then they sit in their car on the way home. Then they come home and do what? Sit. 

If a good portion of your day is done sitting, take a minute to think about how you might be able to change those patterns. Could you walk during your lunch break instead of sitting the whole hour? Could you get a cordless phone for work and walk while you talk, if your work allows that? If not, could you take more frequent “standing breaks” right at your desk? Our bodies were not meant to be sedentary. We were made to move! If you’ll resolve to become a person who stands and moves and walks more, you’ll be amazed at how your back will begin to say, “Thank you!” 

2. Stop drinking soda. 

What does soda have to do with back pain? Do those fuzzy bubbles get lodged in there somehow? Well, no, not really. It’s not the bubbles that are the problem. It’s the chemicals. Back pain happens 
because there is stress on your back. But there are all sorts of stressors that affect our body. One way to give your body a chance to heal and repair itself so you’ll feel less back pain is by removing unneeded stress from your life. Have you ever had just a bad, emotionally stressful day? Ever felt back pain because of it? Because stress is stress. Mental and emotional stress can cause physical stress on the system. 

When you eat or drink stuff that let’s be honest more than likely came from a chemical lab than from the good earth, you are putting stuff in your body that your body was not designed to process. So when you consume lots of chemicals, that is a form of stress on your body which your body then has to deal with. If you’re hurting bad enough to read this far, wouldn’t it be worth it to give your body a break? Maybe you can’t just make the stress from your family or your job go away overnight, but you know what you can do? You can start drinking more water and less stuff with chemicals in it. We live in one of the most stressed out cultures in human history.


If you’re going to get better, you have got to be your body’s best friend and start removing chemical stressors from your system. A wonderful side benefit to cutting out soda or other artificial food and drink is that you will likely lose some weight which will also help your back pain tremendously! I was going to make this post FIVE things you can do to help back pain and make one of them “Lose Weight,” but none of us wants to be told to lose weight, right? So forget about losing weight for now. Just cut out the soda and see what happens. 
 
Getting Bent Out of Shape 

by Will Forrester

I was zipping along the interstate when I saw the brake lights ahead. It was nighttime, and the traffic was pretty heavy. I could tell we were going to be stopping quickly—probably a wreck up ahead. But when I looked in my rear-view mirror to see if the people behind me were going to stop, I had a split second to recognize I was about to be in a wreck myself. A big one. I could tell it was a heavy duty pickup truck barreling behind me. Turns out they were hauling a heavy trailer and there was no way they could have stopped in time. They creamed me and then I hit the car in front of me, and off we went. It was a miracle nobody was hurt, especially me. My car was barely recognizable, but the front and rear ends smashed in. 

The next day I had a friend drive me to the lot where my car had been taken so I could retrieve a few things I had missed the night before. I was unbelievably sore—I felt like I had new muscles I was not previously aware of all acting like I’d done a major workout. But everything seemed to be working fine. My friend was shocked to see the terrible damage. She even noticed that the driver’s seat was bent. You could easily see that the frame of the seat in which I was sitting had been bent. But I was fine. I never even bothered to go to a doctor. And I was young at the time, in my early twenties. I used to just bounce back from everything. So, no, I don’t have any hard evidence that the car accident that had enough force to bend the seat in which I was sitting didn’t manage to do any major damage to my bodily structure as well. But how I do wish I had gotten things checked out at the time. I was a long way from considering chiropractic at that time. 

I guess it was about eight years later when severe sciatic pain drove me to make an appointment with Dr. Ranicki in Pooler, and when I came back to get the results of my initial evaluation, the results were not good. Even with my untrained eyes, I could easily see that my spine had major problems. Again, the problematic places in my lower back and in my neck could have come from any number of causes. I was overweight, I slouched when sitting, I didn’t stretch much, and I used to crack my neck and back on my own in ways that likely weren’t helpful. But I have to wonder if that severe impact from that car accident so many years earlier hadn’t caused lasting damage that, if addressed early, could have prevent years of gradual and increasing pain. 

If you’re in the Pooler area and have had a car accident lately (or not so recently) and are experiencing neck or back problems, whether it’s pain, stiffness, numbness, tingling, or any combination of those symptoms, I want to urge you not to make the same mistake I did. I know we’ve all seen the jokes about people who make a big deal about neck and back problems after accidents just to try to scam people out of money, and I’m sure we’ve had enough of those personal injury lawyer commercials. But don’t let people who take advantage of car accidents for personal gain deter you from making sure you are okay after an accident. It’s not about money, it’s about your long-term health, which of course will have financial repercussions. 

The force of even a minor car accident can cause major problems in the spine which can definitely be helped by chiropractic care. If left untreated, the damage can become more problematic over time, so why not schedule an evaluation today! If your car is bent out of shape, chances are you’re going to at least get it fixed enough so it can run, or else you’ll get a new one. Shouldn’t you give at least as good care to your physical body as you would your auto body? Stop by Ranicki Chiropractic in Pooler or give us a call and schedule an appointment.
 
We all want to give that perfect gift for that special someone, right? Okay, maybe you have someone who is “hard to buy for.” They say thank you, but you can tell they are trying hard not to roll their eyes at one more “attempt” to get them something they really, truly want. Maybe you’ve become a bit of a Grinch over the years because you don’t think you can really afford something that will make that special someone beam when they open your gift. 

What if I were to tell you that we have a gift idea that will serve as a DOUBLE GIFT. It will make their day when they open it, and then it will make their day on another day when they redeem it. This, my friends, is called a double win! 

What is this clever gift idea, you ask? Why, a massage of course! Maybe you yourself have never gotten one, maybe you think it’s a little bit self-indulgent or silly or a waste of money. Well, trust me, it’s none of those things. A massage is an incredibly healthy way to reduce stress, bring that body, mind and spirit back into alignment, and do something that folks seem to have a harder and harder time doing these days… RELAX. 

If you’ve never even thought about getting a massage, check out our website to see the incredible packages we have – all sorts of great deals this time of year. But even if this is just for someone else, I guarantee that you will not get one of those looks when they open the present this time. They won’t have to shrug and say to themselves, “Well, it’s the thought that counts.” And this won’t be one of those gift cards that just lies in a drawer collecting dust, either! 

That’s when this gift becomes a double gift. You’ll make their day when you give it, and you’ll really 
make their day when they come and enjoy that incredible massages offered by Skylar at Dr. Ranicki’s 
Creating Wellness Center. As hectic and crazy as life can be, can you think of a better gift than literally taking some stress away from a special person in your life? This really is a gift that will keep on giving.
 
Don’t Crack Your Own Neck In Front of Your Chiropractor
by Will Forrester

I’m not gonna lie, I love the feeling of that “pop” when my neck or my back “cracks.” I can still remember cracking my own back for the first time. In high school, I had this friend who started cracking his own back, and I thought it looked bizarre, but like most teenagers, I figured if someone else was doing it, I’d better try, too, right? So I did. Thus began a habit of cracking my own back which lasted for years. 

I remember the back thing, but I can’t recall when I started cracking my own neck. But talk about a great feeling! Honestly, as I’m typing this post, I’m now having to resist the urge to just reach up under my chin and twist to get that nice pop that will relieve some of that tension. Did I mention it’s been a stressful day and it’s late in the afternoon? 

After I’d been seeing Dr. Ranicki for a few weeks, one day right after he had finished my adjustment, I got up from the table and stood up. As Dr. Ranicki was making notes on my chart, I casually cracked my own neck. RIGHT in front of him. He looked up at me and said, alarmingly, “What are you doing???”

Here’s the funny thing – I had developed such an unconscious habit that I honestly didn’t even realize I had done it. I said, “What are you talking about?” 

“You just cracked your own neck right after I got finished adjusting you. You’re basically undoing the work I just did. Don’t do that.” 

I think my first thought was, “What’s the difference between you adjusting it and me cracking it just a bit?” Thankfully, before I could utter those words out loud, Dr. Ranicki explained, “Listen, if you had a toothache, would you buy your own drill set and fix your own cavity? I wouldn’t recommend you or 
anyone I cared about do their own dental work. In the same way, I wouldn’t recommend you adjusting your own neck. Trust me, this is why you are coming to me.”

A chiropractor like Dr. Ranicki has the training and skill to isolate just the problem areas and give just
the right amount of pressure needed to correct any subluxations that exist. When you or I just—on our own—casually give our neck a good crack, we are almost assuredly overextending ligaments and, over time, doing great damage to the health and stability of the neck. If you are feeling stress and wanting to relieve some tension, check out this great video Dr. Rancki posted about how to get some relief without doing the dangerous cracking. And obviously, nothing will help you more with overall neck health (not to mention the health benefits associated) than stopping by for an evaluation from Dr. Ranicki.
 
More Than Just Backs and Necks

by Will Forrester

The other day I was having lunch with two dear friends, and one of them asked me if I was still going to see Dr. Ranicki. I enthusiastically said that yes indeed I was. This prompted the other one to ask me why I was still going. I simply said that I have never felt better, and continuing to go seems to help me stay near optimum health as far as I can tell. 

I said, “For instance, I used to battle sinus problems on a near constant basis. I was always taking Sudafed or Clairitin D or something for sinus headaches. And then periodically I would get sinus infections. Since I have been going to Dr. Ranicki those problems are basically gone.”

I could tell that she didn’t quite follow me. I could tell she was wondering what in the world spinal adjustments would have to do with sinus problems. So I elaborated. I didn’t begin going to Dr. Ranicki for help with my sinuses. As I’ve written about before, I was battling some very painful sciatica. Whenever you go see Dr. Ranicki for an adjustment, he always asks how you are doing and has a conversation with you while he is doing the adjustment. During that time he offers a world of helpful health and wellness advice. During the course of one of my visits—this was after my sciatica had begun to improve some and I was beginning to really believe in the value of chiropractic care, Dr. Ranicki unlocked a key for understanding chiropractic for me. 

He said, “Will, you were experiencing severe pain in your leg, but you understand that actually there was nothing actually wrong with your leg. The problem was in your lower back, where your spine was being pinched. Even though the actual problem was in your back, it caused your leg to become extremely tight, so much so that the muscles would not even work properly.

“If a problem in your spine can make it where leg muscles do not respond and work as they should, wouldn’t it logically follow that other parts of your body could also be harmed if they were not communicating well with the central nervous system? What if, instead of the nerves going to your leg that were not working well, what if they were nerves to your kidneys or to your heart or to your lungs? Can you see how spinal adjustments can have an affect on all sorts of organs of the body, more than just the mechanical structure?” I don’t know why, but on that day it dawned on me how chiropractic might serve to help all sorts of health problems one might experience. 

I think more than anything else, this is why for the past two years I have just felt so very much better than I had the previous thirty-four years of my life. It’s not just that I experience less lower back or leg pain. I have fewer headaches. I threw all my sinus medicine away. I don’t need it anymore. Do I get a sniffle from time to time? Sure. But it sure doesn’t seem to linger on, and I have absolutely no interest in hitting the medicine aisle anytime soon.
 
Knock on Wood

by Will Forrester 

The other day I was driving down the road with a friend who clearly is experiencing a lot of lower back pain. As I’ve written before, I used to battle frequent lower back pain, but have been relieved from it through chiropractic care. So I asked him what he was doing to try to relieve his pain. He was wearing a back support brace, taking some pain medicine, and doing some back exercises someone had recommended for him. And he was getting to the point of considering surgery. 

I really felt bad for him, because he was clearly in a lot of pain. I told him about my sciatica (see link) and how it had driven me to seek chiropractic care. About how a critical turning point in me getting better was when I *stopped* taking pain medicine and instead began letting my body, through pain, tell me when I was pushing too hard, needing to stand up or sit down or whatever. I tried to ever-so-delicately ask if he thought taking pain medicine might be allowing him to further aggravate his back injury. 

I could tell he was completely following the logic of what I was saying. But he didn’t really want to accept it. 

“But what if I want to go fishing and do things with my kids? Isn’t it better to take the pain 
medicine so I could do those things?” 

I wanted to say, “And if your back keeps getting worse, do you really think there will be enough medicine to allow you to move around at all?” 

But before I could make another attempt at getting him to consider chiropractic for himself, he asked me, “So how has your back been? Does it ever bother you?” 

“Nope, I feel great,” I replied. 

“Knock on wood, right?” He said. 

In other words, my friend was suggesting that what I was doing and the fact that my back feels terrific amounted to luck. I know many, many people resist investigating chiropractic care for a number of reasons. But honestly, whatever barriers you might have to getting your lower back pain, or neck pain, or whatever checked out, can you at least follow the logic my friend adamantly refused to admit to seeing? If you just take pain medicine, you are only masking the pain. If you do steroid injections, again, you are not solving the problem that is causing the pain or numbness or whatever, you are simply making it possible to continue to do physical activities that will ultimately continue to aggravate and worsen the site causing the problems. 

It reminds me of one this quote: “Successful people are the luckiest people in the world. Just ask any failure.” Of course, if you ask a successful person, he will probably admit to experiencing some luck, but most success is dependent upon a lot of hard work and good decisions. If you’re seriously hurting, you have got to know that just one good night’s sleep is not going to be enough. You won’t “get lucky” and start feeling better. But you can get better, maybe even completely better. Without meds. Without surgery. 

You know what? As good as I feel, I do feel like the lucky one. But I know it wasn’t just luck.
 
Neck Pain Relief: The Results Speak For Themselves 

Many people remain skeptical of chiropractic care for a variety of reasons. One rationale that is often raised against chiropractic is that it is not scientifically verified or verifiable, or that there’s just no evidence-based proof. This just is not true. Because when you have neck pain, what you are looking for is RESULTS. 

So check out these results from a study done by members of the medical research community themselves (published in The Annals of Internal Medicine):1 Chiropractic care achieves far better results for relieving neck pain than using medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, or even narcotics. 

Dr. Gert Bronfort, an author of the study and research professor at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Minnesota had this to say about the “surprising” results from this neck pain research study: “The people in the medication group kept on using a higher amount of medication more frequently throughout the follow-up period, up to a year later… If you’re taking medication over a long time, then we’re running into more systemic side effects like gastrointestinal problems.”


2
If you’re experiencing neck pain, whether it is something that has just started bothering you or 
something you’ve tried for months or even years to deal with, why not give chiropractic care a try first (or even second or third if you’ve already tried other, less effective avenues)? Increasingly when research is done, the results are showing that chiropractic works and the side effects are that you even feel better in other ways you didn’t anticipate! With medicine, well, you can read the fine print to read about the proven side effects from those options – and we are learning about more and more side effects all the time. (Hey men, you might want to check out this latest known side effect from taking Advil.) 

So do the research and see if you think chiropractic will help you with your neck pain. 
But we all know the best results we are all looking for when we are in pain. Feeling better. Those 
are the kind of results that speak for themselves, and that’s what we are all about at Ranicki 
Chiropractic and Wellness. Give us a call to set up an appointment to see how we can help you feel better. 

 

1
 http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1033256
2
 http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/for-neck-pain-chiropractic-and-exercise-are-better-than-drugs/