Amy Ashinghurst – August 2015

As a middle school student, I suffered from lower back pain that interfered with school and social activities which caused me to lose sleep, so my parents brought me to an orthopedic doctor. He took x-rays of my thoracic and lumbar spine and found out that I had an S-shaped curve in my back. We were given unappealing and invasive treatment options and he even went so far as to tell my mother to not take me to a chiropractor, because they would not be able to help either. Luckily for me, my mother did her own research, and found that chiropractic could certainly not hurt, and most likely could help!

In addition to back pain, I also suffered from pain in my right sacroiliac joint. When episodes struck (2-4 times monthly), movement became close to impossible. I started getting my lower back adjusted three times a week and my pain started to decrease. I continued going for wellness chiropractic care throughout high school and when I was home from college. At that point, I didn’t realize the full benefits of chiropractic; I just knew that I felt so much better after getting adjusted.

After college, I moved back to my hometown and started working at a chiropractic office. After a time, I started experiencing neck pain, and so an x-ray was taken, and it was determined that I was losing some of the natural curve in my neck! This can happen easily, especially because I spend so much of my time looking down at a book or at a computer screen (which is why it is so important to have an ergonomically correct work station, and to hold your phone UP to look at it, instead of leaning over it!) So I started getting adjustments on my neck as well as my back.

Eventually I moved to this area and started working for Dr. DeFrancesco at the Chiropractic Health Center of Glastonbury. I have learned so much about health and wellness in my chiropractic journey, which is why I love working here so much. I continue to get wellness adjustments once a week, but what I appreciate the most about my treatment at CHCG is that I have learned the importance of taking care of my body! The more I keep it healthy and fit, the fewer problems I have! I’ve found that eating certain foods causes my body to become inflamed which is no fun. By eating a clean diet of unprocessed and taking vitamins, fish oil, etc., I am giving my body the tools it needs to function at its peak. Exercising and keeping my core strong helps to support my spine. Sleeping on a pillow that properly supports my neck keeps me from waking up in the middle of the night with neck pain. All these things I do because I don’t like experiencing pain… but I’ve learned something very valuable about pain. It is a signifier that something is wrong with the body and just because you don’t have pain at the moment doesn’t mean that NOTHING is wrong. I learned this the hard way, with my neck. I started to have structural damage long before I had pain. This is part of why I am so proud to be a member of the team at CHCG, because Dr. DeFrancesco understands this and wants to help PREVENT pain and fix the PROBLEM, not just the pain. Your spine is a conduit for your nerves, which go to all parts of your body. A problem with your spine can mean that those other parts of your body could be affected as well. Throughout my time working for a chiropractor, I have seen patients that have had issues with constipation, fibromyalgia, acid reflux, migraines, and high blood sugar (just to name a few) experience levels of symptom relief once their spine is properly aligned.

I wanted to share my story with you, because I realized that since I started being under Dr. DeFrancesco’s care (and the massage therapists at Alternatives 4 Health!) almost two years ago, I have only experienced one episode of sacroiliac pain, which has greatly improved my quality of life. I am so grateful for the care that he provides, and for the opportunity to be a part of the healing process for everyone that comes into the office!!