Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Curious About Chiropractic: Madison Square Chiropractic and Wellness

Recently I received an invitation to come in for a chiropractic consultation at Madison Square Chiropractic and Wellness. Never having been to a chiropractor before, I was happy to oblige. I know several friends and fitness instructors who get regular chiropractic care and so I was curious to see for myself what it all entails.


Dr. Greg Shure, the owner of Madison Square Chirporactic and Wellness, has been a chiropractor for almost 10 years and has noticed the change over the years in his patient demographic. While the typical symptoms that bring patients to chiropractors (lower back, neck and shoulder pain) are the same, the patient population has become alarmingly younger. In fact, a lot of patients seen at this practice are in their 20s and 30s. This is an inevitable result of living a fast-paced life in the city that never sleeps. Most people sit hunched over at their desks jobs only to come home, and plop themselves down in front of their television or computer.

My visit started off with questions about my lifestyle. Exercise? Yes, daily. Sit at a desk? Yes, I spend a good deal of time online. Any new stressors? Yes, a new baby seven months ago. Suddenly I felt like the ideal chiropractic patient!

I was taken into the examination room where there was a long black table which is known as a flexion distraction table.

Flexion distraction table

Dr. Shure started by examining my neck and shoulders, quickly determining that I carry a lot of tension in my shoulders. My right shoulder was higher, tighter, and had less range of motion than its counterpart on the left. While this was a function of it being my dominant arm, it was also compounded by my carrying heavy shoulder bags and my young child on that side. To help release some of this tension, Dr. Shure started to do some active muscle release, where basically he pressed down on the muscle attachment at my shoulder joint and pulled my arm away from the joint, loosening it, in essence. He also did some active stretching in my neck and shoulders, repeating each stretch thrice and going deeper with each successive repetition. We then checked the range of motion in my neck. It turns out that I can turn my neck 65 degrees to each side. Unfortunately this is 5 degrees less than the 70 degree that I should be able to turn. Thanks, tight trapezoid muscle.

Documentation of the less-than-optimal range of motion in my neck

We ended the session with me lying on my belly on the flexion distraction table where the undulating movement of the table aids in stretching out the spine. I could feel my spine decompress.

We spoke about how regular chiropractic care would be beneficial for people that are both fitness enthusiasts, like myself or those with more vigorous training needs such as marathoners or triathletes. I learned that one does not need to be in full blown pain to benefit from a treatment. Regular chiropractic care can be used preventatively whether you are a runner who has tight hips, or a cyclist/spinner who has tight shoulders. It will improve your posture, allowing you to expand your lungs more fully when you breath, ultimately leading to greater energy levels and sense of well-being.

I was interested to learn that while a lot of fitness professionals see Dr. Shure (he consults at Real Pilates and David Barton Gym), he also sees pregnant and post-natal patients, helping them deal with prenatal issues like sciatic nerve pain and working with them to improve their posture which is often thrown off balance with the shift in their center of gravity.

As a physician I am a strong believer in preventative care. Every year I try to get a complete physical, a dental cleaning and maybe an eye exam. After this visit I do believe that adding a chiropractic visit, even if it's just a once-in-a-while fine-tuning, will add to my overall well-being, both as a mom and as a fitness enthusiast.

Note: I was not compensated for this post. I received a complimentary chiropractic consultation and examination at Madison Square Chiropractic and Wellness but was not obligated to provide a review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Question: Have you ever been to a chiropractor? Have you found the treatments to be beneficial?