What's My Alternative: Back Injuries

By Meghan Rabbitt

While 14-year-old Emily Bowman of Colleyville, Texas, was doing sprints during soccer practice, she bent down to touch the field and turn around—and when she couldn’t stand up again, she knew she’d hurt herself badly.

“As I bent down, I twisted my body and my lower back pulled,” she says. “I couldn’t even get into the car, I was in so much pain.” Hoping she’d heal on her own, Bowman waited three weeks before seeing a doctor, and when she finally did, the treatment was less than satisfactory—in fact, it didn’t work at all.

The Conventional RX: Bowman saw a sports medicine specialist who recommended rest, ice, and taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) when the pain was bad. But after about a month of this, the pain hadn’t subsided enough to get Bowman playing again.

The Alternative RX: Physical therapy. For another opinion, Bowman saw Gayle Jasinski, DC, a certified chiropractic orthopedist at The Texas Back Institute. She suggested Bowman meet with a physical therapist two to three times a week to work on core-strengthening exercises. “Years ago, we believed that rest is what allows the body to heal, but controlled movement sparks circulation, which can help the injured area heal more quickly,” says Jasinski. “Plus, getting patients moving again—especially patients who are very active, like Emily—is good for them mentally. And the mind-body connection can’t be denied when it comes to a quick recovery.”

The Outcome: After a month of physical therapy, Bowman was back on the soccer field. “I consider myself completely healed,” she says. “But I still do my core exercises at home to prevent another back injury.”