Debbie’s Chiropractic Success Story: Real Pain Relief

We all want to stay young and healthy, but things happen in our lives that cause our bodies to wear down faster than they should.  Maybe you’re in pain and can’t stay active. Maybe you’re masking your pain with medications, and maybe those meds are causing even more health problems. If you think you’ve tried everything and aren’t feeling any better, healthier, or any younger, you’ve got to check out Debbie’s chiropractic success story to hear about her journey. It may be like yours, except for the ending:

“I would not be living the joyous life that I am today without Dr. Gerstin and his team.  He has helped me understand what is going on with my body, how serious some of the damage has been, and how any pain and discomfort can best be handled.”

Check out what she has gone through and what she has done to feel young and vibrant again.

Debbie’s Story

Debbie was the kind of kid that was picked first for every team, the fastest 50-yard dash time, she ruled the four-square court, and could swing from the monkey bars at an alarming rate…Until she wasn’t. 

About a week before she left for college, there was a moment that changed Debbie’s life.

She and her friends decided to take a trip before going off to college and went to a rock and cascading waterfall, where kids of all ages came to have fun at their own risk. They’d climb slippery rocks, jump down into the water, and basically do anything parents would deem unsafe. 

As a last rite of passage before going their separate ways to college, Debby and her friends decided to dive off the highest rock, which they knew as the Killer Cliff.

In Debbie’s words,And that’s when it happened.  I slipped on the rock and fell fifty feet into the water below.  I only had a moment to slightly right myself, so I entered the water in a sitting position.  At that moment the pain was astonishing; I didn’t know how I was going to get back to the surface.  Fortunately, my friends raced to find me underwater and pulled me to the top.  At that point the lower half of my body was numb and all I could do was cry.  Somehow we made it back to the car and started what was for me an excruciating ride home.”

Debbie couldn’t hide her pain from her parents so she had to confess what happened. Her mom took her to their pediatrician and got x-rays, which showed what she described as a “split” in her tailbone. 

Her pediatrician said there was really nothing he could do about it and sent her home with a cushion to sit on for the next six months.

Debbie threw the cushion away (she was, of course, a teanager). She just pretended she wasn’t in pain. 

A few days later Debbie left for college. It was a 17-hour car ride that her dad insisted on driving straight-through without stopping. And she still ignored the pain.

Debbie ignored the pain for years

“Eventually the pain did subside substantially, although it always reappeared when I tried to bend over or extend my body fully.  How I made it through the next few years I really don’t know.  I went on to find a great high school teaching job, get married, and attempt to start a family.”

It was during the labor of her first baby that problems started to arise. Twenty-two hours after being only nine and a half centimeters dilated, she was in so much pain and so exhausted her doctor decided she should just start pushing. With each contraction, she pushed as hard as she could but the baby wasn’t coming. It was too late for a C-section so the doctor ended up forcefully removing the baby with forceps.

According to the doctor, “It was like trying to pull a baby around a rock formation.  He didn’t want to budge.”

Debbie found out she was pushing her baby’s head against bone, her pelvis. Her pelvis was so dramatically shifted the day she decided to join her friends on the cliff. Her baby experienced some complications at birth, but was able to recover after many days in the NICU.

While taking care of her baby, Debbie’s physical health started to fall apart and she couldn’t ignore the pain anymore. She couldn’t do simple, everyday things…brush her teeth, pick something up off the floor, play with her little boy, put on her shoes, or endure sex with her husband.

After contacting an orthopedist, Debbie was told, “Everyone has back pain after childbirth.” She was given a few pages of papers with exercises to do at home to strengthen her spine.

Chiropractic Care

Debbie made a “crazy” decision one day to visit a chiropractor, even after being warned that they are all “quacks.” She visited the nearest one she could find and tried to tell him her story. But he didn’t want to hear it. He wanted to get some x-rays first. 

After viewing the x-rays, the chiropractor couldn’t believe that Debbie was able to have a vaginal birth.

He listened to her story without judgement, and made her a wellness plan that included trips to his office twice a week for an indefinite period of time.

Debbie stayed with her chiropractor through her second pregnancy and had an easy delivery this time. 

Her chiropractor ended up moving away and she tried a few others, but couldn’t find someone to live up to his level of care.

Masking the Pain

Debbie started coping with her pain by taking two Excedrin every morning for years until she developed a serious IBS problem. 

What Debbie was doing was only covering up her pain and her stomach lining was weakening, causing problems. She was diagnosed with gastroparesis, with stomach tremors that are often mistaken for symptoms of anxiety.

She was sent to a psychiatrist who tried several drugs to treat her stomach symptoms. This led to a dependence on the drugs that did nothing for her pain. Her husband had to take her car keys away because he feared her driving. 

Finally, she found a well-respected gastroenterologist who said she had IBS that was continuing because her bowels were a twisted mess inside her body. He slowly weaned her off of her drugs, put her on a restrictive diet of easily-digested foods, and recommended a chiropractor to help “untangle the mess” her body had become. 

Finally, Debbie found relief

“And that takes me to Dr. Gregg Gerstin.  He, too, was a “local” find, but this time I struck gold.  Dr. Gerstin was as kind and understanding as my first chiropractor, but he had one additional quality that had been missing:  he was proactive.  He listened to my past, but he was much more concerned about my future.  His adjustments covered every part of my body, not just my back, and he continued to update my x-rays regularly so that he could keep track of my progress.  He freely admitted that my course of treatment would be indefinite, but he also explained WHY.  Do you know how hard it is to find a doctor that not only understands all that is happening to your body, but can explain WHY?  

I am sixty-two years old now, and yes, certain parts of my body are yielding to arthritis pain.  But it is manageable and without drugs.  My intestinal problems are minimal compared to the past.  The rest of me?  You decide.

Debbie says she now has little to no back pain, no headaches, she can bend down to tie her shoes, she can do the splits like she could as a freshman cheerleader, she is a safer driver because she can turn her head in both directions, she can play with her dogs again, and she can even beat her kids in air hockey, frisbee, and mini-golf.  

Debbie has been seeing Dr. Gregg and his team for years and considers them like a second family.

“I look forward to my visits because I know I can share any and all problems I may be facing, no matter how big or small, and I can expect an honest and open response to my concerns.  I know that I can trust him [Dr. Gregg] to do what is best for me, and after all that I have been through in my life, that is at the top of my wish list.” -Debbie

If you have a similar story and want a happy ending like Debbie, or just want to feel young and healthy again, contact us at Align Wellness Center today to see how we can help you. 

We are located at 900 Skokie Blvd., Suite 119, Northbrook, IL 60062.

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