Chiropractic & Acupuncture for Fractures
I started this month’s blog with a very different topic in mind. But since my life has become equal parts treating others and myself, I thought I would share the benefits of acupuncture/Chiropractic for fractures, ligamentous and meniscal tears.
I had the quintessential Amsterdam bike accident.
Immediately upon getting home from the hospital (after a mandatory stop for brunch with friends, obviously) I elevated the knee and alternated heat and ice. I also drank so much water and chia seeds, forcing myself to get up and move the leg within reason. I am a firm believer in heat and movement following an injury because heat brings blood and blood is what heals. The ice was for the growing inflammation and the ankle sprain.
What can an Acupuncturist/Chiropractor do for your broken bones
Next, I needled myself as I always have Acupuncture needles nearby. I used points for bone, bone marrow, tendons, and muscles to ignite these systems to start healing me. I also used local points, where I felt areas of stagnated Qi to decrease pain.
Then I taped myself up with Rocktape. The almighty healing aide. This wonderful stuff is like a giant hug for an injury. Do you know how we automatically put a hand on our elbows after we’ve hit the funny bone or grip a finger after a paper cut or slamming it in a kitchen drawer? This is because our light touch sensory nerve receptors under the skin can distract the brain from the pain receptors also being received. The Rocktape continues to facilitate that response sending a constant signal to the brain. Additionally, it lifts the skin just enough to allow for better neurovascular exchange and lymph drainage… less pressure within the joint equals less pain.
The following day, I had very little pain, swelling or bruising. The bruises were concentrated to the actual site of insult, the avulsion fracture at the fibular head and its attachment point on the femur and of course on the patella where the knee contacted the pavement after being trapped under the bike. Dangerous stuff multitasking while biking. I do not recommend it.
After my 0.3mi Uber ride to work, I got a few more necessities to facilitate my healing, the Compex® machine, moxa, guasha and essential oils.
The moxa was used along with the same principles of bringing blood to the area to hasten the healing process and decrease what little bruising I had left. Guasha (scraping of muscle tissue to stimulate the immune system and reduce pain) was used regularly to continue to flush the area and dig into and under the patella. It also felt very good to work the muscles down the outside of my lower leg as they had been getting increasingly stiff. The Compex® machine is an Electric Muscle Stimulator (EMS). It is most beneficial for muscle recovery, injury prevention, pain management and intense training programs. I have been using it on my quadricep and hamstring muscles as I’ve not been able to straighten my leg, but need to keep the muscles firing. And lastly, I was topically placing doTERRA essential oils (EO) on myself, pulling out all the stops.
I found two EO recipes for broken bones. One for the evening (wintergreen and cypress before bed) and one for during the day (helichrysum, oregano and balance). I was using this around the tape as close to the site of injury as possible.
I did all these things religiously for a week before going home (on a pre planned trip) to my mother’s care and her Chiropractor, Dr. Roth and Acupuncturist, Bridgette in Williamsburg, VA. At the Chiro’s office I received ultrasound to the knee daily and adjustments to the pelvis, low back and neck as I was fatiguing quickly… the constant flexed position in my left hip was becoming more uncomfortable than the knee fracture itself. My acupuncturist did moxa and acupuncture with estim between the two broken bones to break down scar tissue and bring the qi to the area to facilitate healing. One study tested the effects of acupuncture with electrostimulation compared to the use of acupuncture alone and no acupuncture on the fracture sites of rats. It revealed that electroacupuncture (and acupuncture alone) enhanced the connecting bridge (or callous formation) across a bone fracture during the repair and remodelling of the original bone during the bone healing process.
Never assume you are healed until you seek expert advice
By the end of the third week, I was convinced I was fine and transitioned to one crutch. Y’all, that was not smart. I started getting more pain and went back to the doctor where I was sent for an MRI… to find out I also had a tibial plateau fracture. Are you kidding me? Another three weeks on two crutches were upon me. The problem occurred when I stopped doing all that I had been doing because there was no pain (unless I twisted). I got back to daily life as a business owner, and self-sufficient human and life took over… I also might be rather stubborn and refused help where I should have accepted it. Moral of the story, when a medical professional advises follow up visits, it’s typically justified. Just because the pain stops doesn’t mean the issue is resolved. Who else is guilty of cancelling follow-ups?
Here we are, six weeks post-accident. I started rehabilitation with physical therapy to biomechanically correct and strengthen the left side of my body, acupuncture to facilitate bone healing and pain management and chiropractic to maintain pelvis neutral from all the compensatory movements I’m making. My work schedule has, therefore changed for the summer and healing. Please check online booking for my altered schedule.