“For five years, I was experiencing knee pain while running that persisted no matter what I did. I tried changing where I ran, how far, how fast. I tried several brands of running shoes, used orthotics, I even took six months off completely. I was hesitant to see a sports medicine physician since I never experienced an injury that would have caused my knee pain. I was sure my pain was because of wear and tear and I wasn't interested in someone suggesting I consider surgery. When I started to develop large painful knots in my shoulders from stress at work, I decided I really needed to make some changes. Running has been my preferred method of stress relief for ten years and not even regular yoga was helping to give me the relief I knew running could. I was only 26 and I was too young to feel the way I did.
As a nurse who was raised by a nurse who believed “Chiropractors aren’t real doctors”, I never thought I would end up going to one. However, I wanted a non-invasive way to help my knee heal so that I could go back to my favorite stress reliever. Dr. Katie had visited my place of work (offering free 15 minute massages--admittedly the only reason I stopped by) and this began the process of me becoming comfortable with the idea of chiropractic care. I decided I had nothing to lose by giving a chiropractor a try.
During my examination visit where any and all symptoms are reviewed, I described my knee pain and noted the headaches I had experienced my whole life. (I have allergies and my nasal passages are almost always occluded; I have always attributed my headaches to this and had learned to live with them.) When I returned to review my results and discuss a plan with Dr. Katie, I was shocked to learn that my cervical spine (which should be curved like a "C") was actually straight up! I also learned that my pelvis was not aligned properly, so it was as if my legs were different lengths, causing my left knee to bear undue stress while running. Not only was Dr. Katie confident she could help relieve my knee pain, but she was also confident that the frequency and severity of my headaches could be lessened by encouraging my cervical spine to return to its natural shape.
I felt immediate relief from my headaches and the tension in my shoulders after my first adjustment. My symptoms weren't completely gone, but they were certainly much better. After a couple of weeks (three adjustments per week), I realized I was picking up on scents I hadn't noticed before. One warm morning as my husband and I walked through the alley behind our apartment building headed to the park for a run, I noticed a heinous smell from the dumpster. My husband informed me it had always smelled that way. I thought, Why has it never smelled that terribly before?! During the next couple of days, I noticed new scents or smelled familiar scents more strongly. I was tasting my food in a new way, too. Turns out my nasal passages had opened up and I gained the sense of smell that I never had--an unexpected side effect of the realignment of my cervical spine!
I still have occasional knee pain when running, but it is limited to when I am tired and not in good form. My headaches are practically non-existent; I only experience them when the weather changes drastically in a short period of time. Since working with Dr. Katie, I feel more in tune with my body. At first, I couldn't help but feel a little guilty for allowing myself to get adjustments a few times a week for several weeks. (It felt so good it felt like a guilty pleasure!) Now I fully appreciate the value it adds to the way I feel and the quality of my life. My only regret is that I didn't seek chiropractic care and the expertise, encouragement, and kindness of Dr. Katie sooner!” -Lauren