So, I had something pretty life changing happen to me this week. And, I think I owe it to all my fitness sisters to share this with you……I went to a chiropractor.
Now, I should probably take a step back. I’ve been to a chiropractor before. One that does a lot of work on farmers, factory works and people with desk jobs. However, today, I went to a chiropractor that focuses on athletes.
I went to see Dr. Bryon Arena at Arena Chiropractic in Lexington, Kentucky. I’ve seen him around at a few Strongman Competitions I’ve competed in, but never really wanted to try it out for fear it would “mess up” my game at the competition. That’s one of those “I wish I could take that back” decisions (Much like the time I tried a “temporary perm”…..)
Now, of course, I did some recon on ‘ole Dr. Arena (and, yes, some obligatory Facebook stalking) and found out that he, himself, is a weightlifter, athlete and Strongman Competitor. I also heard through the Strongman Grapevine (yes, that’s a real thing and it’s very, very active) that he was great with athletes.
So, I booked a visit.
When I got there, the office was clean and the receptionist nice. And, when Dr. Arena came out to meet me, I could see he’s into fitness. I changed out of my 4” heels and skinny jeans (I do own clothes that aren’t workout clothes) and into my yoga pants and tank for the session.
What I appreciated about my visit was, well, a lot. First of all, Dr. Arena really listened to what was wrong. And I didn’t just give him one thing wrong with me, I gave him a laundry list of everything that has ever hurt (from butt, to back, to my plantar fasciitis.) Dr. Arena had me perform a few very simple exercises to see my body mechanics and how I move. After seeing my alignment (or should I say “misalignment”) when I did an overhead squat, it was eye opening to see how my body has been compensating for the issues in my booty, without me knowing it.
One thing I know is true for my body, and Dr. Arena emphasized, is that your body works as one whole unit. If something is wrong in one area, your body can, and will, compensate in other areas. This can cause cascading issues for other areas of your body. So, when something hurts, fix it immediately. Don’t keep going or it can cause other downstream problems.
When Dr. arena got to work, it was a combination of popping (yep, the old school pushing and cracking) and trigger point work. Now, let me say this – I have a pretty high pain tolerance for trigger point work, but these trigger points certainly pushed it. It was some pretty intense pressure, but after it was finished the results were crazy.
I was absolutely amazed (seriously, still am) at how my body would not be able to perform a simple move, then with an adjustment, it could immediately do it. That’s probably the worst description ever, but seriously, it’s so true. And once you experience it, you’re going to be giving me an “amen” after that.
We then discussed the importance of alignment when it comes to deadlifts and squatting. Ensuring the body is using proper technique so that areas aren’t stressed and tweaked unnecessarily.
He also gave me some homework of five exercises (“corrective exercises” as he calls them) to do before every workout. I was ready for the talk of weekly visits, but there wasn’t any. Just visits as needed for issues or monthly just for maintenance.
The whole appointment took about 50 minutes. I ended up having to pay $120 – but it was worth EVERY PENNY. When I got in the car (before I even pulled out of the parking lot) I texted all my lifting girls and said, “Call him now and book an appointment.”
If this post sounds like a fan club for Dr. Arena, well, it kind of is. This guy worked wonders. For clarification – nope, I didn’t get any payment from Dr. Arena, this is just my true experience with him. It’s like when you find a recipe for a great, new cocktail, you’re basically mandated by Girl Code to share it. My chiropractor visit was my new Cucumber Martini. (And, yes, go ahead and try that little gem. It’s delicious.)
If you’re in the Lexington area, I would highly recommend that you go see Dr. Arena. Tell him you read about it on the blog. I bet you’ll be signing up for his fan club, too. If you’re an athlete with some body mechanic issues or pain, ask around your gym for a chiropractor that focuses on athletes (that’s really the key point.) Having someone that understands how you operate as an athlete, what you do (how many chiropractors can discuss Fingal Fingers with you) and your competition/training schedule is absolutely the difference here. No one should have to lift in pain.
And, for the record, Mandy Jane, you were totally right with the recommendation. Thanks!