Read how one Atlanta chiropractor helped her reclaim it
I still have a hard time talking about the accident today,” says Connie Brownlow.
The Atlanta woman was hit by an 18-wheeler on Interstate 285 in 2017.
“I was screaming and trying to move over and blowing the horn when that truck hit me,” she remembers.
Later, her back completely locked up, making it nearly impossible for her to get out of her car. Things only got worse.
Most of her life during that time is a blur. She remembers her adult daughter taking her to see doctors, and the doctors insisting that she give her mother pain medicine without fail. Connie remembers trying physical therapy and being so “locked up” that she was unable to perform the stretches and exercises.
“I was crunched over in pain. I needed help to get up and down the stairs,” she says. “I was taking opioids. I was up all night like a zombie working, but didn’t get much done. I had thoughts of suicide.”
Before the accident, Connie was a vibrant and social woman who would travel with friends and had a very active lifestyle. She exercised regularly with a trainer and did high intensity work outs, spin class, yoga and Pilates.
“I’ve always had a youthfulness about myself,” says Connie, who was 52 at the time of the accident. “I was really living and enjoying my life. I couldn’t believe my life that I loved so much could change so drastically in such a short manner of time.”
Chiropractic care for back pain
An acquaintance of Connie’s told her that her husband had a similar injury and couldn’t move. Then he saw a chiropractor and was able to return to running his business, working alongside his employees.
Despite hesitation to see yet another healthcare provider who would increase her medical bills and potentially not help, Connie made an appointment with the gentleman’s chiropractor. She says she walked into Dr. Leana Kart’s practice as bent over as the Hunchback of Notre Dame, feeling hopeless.
But she immediately felt disappointed when Dr. Kart would not treat her at her first appointment. She remembers Dr. Kart saying that because she could see Connie was in so much pain, she needed to review the images to make sure she didn’t cause more damage.
“When Dr. Kart saw my X-rays, she said ‘We have a lot of work to do. Everything is misaligned,” Connie said.
Before her first treatment, the compassionate and gentle chiropractor explained the injuries to Connie and reviewed her treatment plan. Then Connie had her first adjustment.
Natural Pain Relief
“I was like Oh My God!” Connie exclaims, still sounding surprised about the immediate results. “I got off the table. I was able to stand straight up. It was like nothing I have ever seen. I never really thought a person could heal instantaneously.”
Her chiropractor also recognized the danger of the opioid pain medications Connie had become addicted to.
“She told me, ‘Do not take that medicine anymore. It is masking the pain.’” Connie remembers. “I told her, ‘I don’t think I can go without it.’ She said, ‘I’m going to help you.’ She did exactly that.”
Connie began a program of chiropractic adjustments that started out 4 to 5 days a week but gradually decreased.
“With my chiropractic adjustments, the pain seemed to fade away,” she says. “I could walk again! My chiropractor gave a good quality of life back to me.”
Her chiropractor also showed her a lot of ways to manage her pain by herself: she stretches, exercises, and uses equipment including a mini trampoline called a rebounder and an inversion table.
“She has taught me there are other ways to treat this pain than medication,” Connie says.
Today, she is off of the opioid pain medications. She is alert, works full time, and enjoys being with friends again. She has even found new hobbies, including crafting.
Because the damage done to her spine is permanent, Connie will never be the same. Her injuries cause occasional tension in her back, so she visits a chiropractor closer to home on a monthly basis. And when she sees a friend in pain, she asks if they’ve considered an adjustment by a chiropractor.