Dr. Dan and the staff at AJS helped me resolve pain that I had dealt with for 14 months. I was a NCAA Division 1 cross country/track athlete, and I was training and competing at a high level. During the spring of 2016, I injured my left hamstring in competition. The athletic trainers at my university did an evaluation, and they said that it would resolve itself with rest. After several weeks of not running, I showed little/no improvement (still painful to run/walk on), and they referred me to a physical therapist to do strengthening and rehabilitation exercises. I did the exercises religiously, and, after several weeks without improvement, I was advised to treat my injury as an irritated nerve (i.e the varying levels of pain were independent of any actual injury to my muscles). I resumed training, albeit at ~75% of the total volume that I normally ran; additionally, I could no longer do certain workouts (sprints, hills, fartleks). It was a difficult year, but I didn’t want this injury to take that season away.
I then came to AJS in July of 2017 after my track season had ended. At that point, I was resolved not to run through my discomfort anymore. Dr. Dan and I talked about the origins of my injury, it’s progression through the past year, and what had helped/aggravated it. He did a chiropractic evaluation on me (testing my range of motion, strength of isolated muscles) as well as took x-rays of my spine. The evaluation showed what had been evident to every other person I’d seen for treatment: my glutes were weak/underactive (despite doing exercises regularly to strengthen them); however, his interpretation of the x-ray revealed why they remained weak: a misalignment in the lumbar region was applying pressure on the neural pathway that controlled glute activation, enough pressure that made signaling difficult. By doing regular adjustments, we could relieve this pressure and begin to strengthen the pathway and muscles, and this would take strain off of my hamstring and allow it to heal. I saw him regularly for about six weeks that summer, until the school year resumed, and I had to move away. I noticed significant improvement in those 6 weeks, and I was able to resume running again; more importantly, I know understand the underlying causes of my injury, and I was able to share Dr. Dan’s insights with the local physical therapist and chiropractor that I began to work with in order to continue making improvements.
In the past year, I’ve been able to resume training and competing at my previous levels, and I was able to run personal bests in several events. I’ve also had regular contact with Dr. Dan, whether a monthly phone call or when I’m able visit the office. I’m grateful for the help he’s provided me, and for the new life he gave to my running career; additionally, I’m grateful for his willingness to explain the treatment process to me, so I could better understand my role in my rehabilitation.