Why I Do What I Do
It was another gorgeous, sunny spring day in 1991 in Rochester, MN, and the small lake was again beckoning us rambunctious college students. In usual fashion I would run down the steep slope angling into the lake and dive head first into the chilly water. This day’s dive was not the same. With all of the force of my body being propelled behind it, I felt my head strike bottom sending an instantaneous and excruciating pain into my neck and right arm. I stood up out of the water vaguely aware of my friend’s joyous splashing around me. All I could perceive was pain with both shoulders drawn up to nearly my ears.
Three hours later I was in the emergency room enduring tests, X-rays, and CT scans. It was discovered that I had compressed the fifth cervical spinal bone and nearly crushed the sixth cervical leaving a bone chip sitting dangerously near my spinal cord- in other words I broke my neck and was only a few millimeters from a wheelchair for life!
The next five days in traction were long, painful, and nearly motionless. I thanked God for that pain because it meant that I could still feel — my nerves had not been severed. The pictures here show what I looked like for the next three and a half months. After two more months of wearing a neck collar, I returned for my final checkup with the neurologist. The verdict: my neck was not stable and needed to be surgically fused. I decided there had to be another option and began exercising and stretching my neck.
The next two years my neck felt pretty good, but I suffered almost daily with headaches and had recurring right arm and shoulder pain. I followed the classic American example and did as the commercials say, “How do you spell relief?” I became an addict of over the counter medications.
Once again I decided there had to be another way. Some one told me, “Let a chiropractor check your neck.”
I responded, “Wait a minute, I know that chiropractic does some great work for older people and those with low back pain, but I have snapped my neck one too many times all ready!”
Eventually, and with great fear, I did allow a chiropractor to adjust my neck and it was painless. Over time the shoulder and arm pain diminished completely and headache became a very rare episode. No more daily medication!
Today my neck is great and I am a thoroughly satisfied chiropractic patient. In fact, I am a doctor of chiropractic myself. I decided I wanted to help others with what helped me. Now people come to see me with their headaches, arm/shoulder pain, and even old spinal fractures. They also come with their chronic pain, back pain, whiplash from car accidents, bulging discs, numbness, fatigue, ear infections, asthma, athletic injuries just to name a few.
Here’s what some of my patients have to say:
“I first went to get therapy following recovery from a broken neck. Dr. Matt keeps my neck moving freely and the headaches are gone.”
“Dr. Matt has really helped my lower back…He now sees 3 generations of my family.”
“I was very much a skeptic, but Dr. Matt has proven me wrong…my neck has never felt better!”
“Dr. Matt gets me from one side of the Grand Canyon to the other and back!”
“What sold me is now I am no longer suffering with allergies!”
“I’ve found the chiropractic can be very helpful in relieving the pain of headache – even migraines – and helps my body fight off other disease’s – even my Parkinson’s Disease, which seems to be in remission.”
“I came because of the headaches I have had all my life. I was at the beginning of my pregnancy and could no longer take medication. Not only have the headaches stopped, but my posture has improved and I feel over all 100% better.”
by Dr. Matt French, DC, Gonstead Chiropractor, Holistic Health Solutions, Phoenix, AZ