Not too long ago, a patient came to us with what she thought was a torn meniscus. It was obvious that she was having a difficult time walking and was in pain. She thought it was a torn meniscus because several people suggested that it probably was based on the symptoms she was experiencing. Their first recommendation was to visit an orthopedic surgeon. She decided to not take their advice, and visit her chiropractor.
Experiencing pain of this nature, most people to jump to the conclusion that the problem is far worse than it actually is. It is also very common for those same people to spend a lot of unnecessary time and money (and worry!) pursuing a result that would be the exact same if they chose to see a chiropractor first. Yes, an orthopedic surgeon is highly credible and reputable doctor. However, the path to see this specialist is vastly different than that of a chiropractor.
Typically, the wait time to see the orthopedic is days and the cost is higher due to the nature of the profession. Additional testing to confirm the exact nature of the injury could involve x-rays and an MRI followed up by another visit a day or two later. Depending on the doctor’s availability.
For this particular patient, she made the decision to see her chiropractor first. Upon the first visit, she learned that it was not a torn meniscus but rather a tight iliotibial (IT) band. Imagine her delight when she was told that! No extended waiting, no unnecessary scans, no wasted worry, plus her visit was more cost effective, too. Her treatment involved a stretching exercise and using a foam roller. Within a week her pain was significantly diminished and she was able to sleep and walk better. Today, she is completely pain free and able to run without pain with her dog. Her quality of life is back!
Remember that people mean well when they offer their thoughts on what type of injury you have. They could be right and they could be wrong, too. Seeking care from a chiropractor first can give you peace of mind with shorter wait times, lower costs, and a quicker recovery. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not jumping to conclusions if you don’t have to.