In to Out: Let’s Get Adjusted
I first encountered the cheerful and caring Dr. Jordan Lunday last year at a chiropractic office in North Atlanta. She so impressed me with the care that she sincerely expressed with each of her patients that I decided we had to keep up with each other after my treatment. Now she operates from her own office, Symmetry Bodywork, in the trendy Buckhead area of midtown Atlanta. When I stepped into her world, I was taken with the light and airy décor – so inviting. Ommm…
After catching up, we sat down to have quite an enlightening conversation about the practice of chiropractic care. There seems to be a broadening interest in this type treatment, and LH2 wants to make sure our readers get good information, prescribed straight from the doctor.
Dr. Lunday, will you give us a brief history of the origin of chiropractic care.
Back in the late 1800s, a man by the name of Daniel David Palmer became curious about the spine, spinal cord, and the nerves that distribute to the rest of the body. Mr. Palmer began to reason that if something is going on with the spine then more than likely there is something going on with the nervous system. His first encounter with practicing Chiropractic involved working with a janitor named Harvey Lillard who had lost some of his hearing. Palmer adjusted one of the vertebrae in the spine and Lillard’s hearing was restored. Consequently, Palmer College of Chiropractic was started in 1898.
How long have you been a Chiropractor?
I graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic (The Fountainhead of Chiropractic) in 2007, and I’ve been practicing ever since.
What inspired you to become a Chiropractor?
I started going in the wildlife direction with biology and originally thought I was going to become a Veterinarian. I worked for three years in South Georgia in the fields of coastal ecology and barrier island dynamics, and then while waiting to get into graduate school for marine biology I started working for a Chiropractic and Acupuncture clinic in South Florida. Patients would fly from around the country to see the Acupuncturist that worked there, some would even move there to be treated by him. It was amazing to me to see this holistic approach. They were able to help where medicine had failed, maybe it was the patient’s last resort, OR maybe their first step because they wanted to avoid invasive treatments.
One day while working in the clinic, a patient and I were chatting and he asked me what I wanted to do with my life. He told me, “Remember, whatever job you take, that is how you choose to interact with the world everyday – just consider that.” I thought, ‘Wow, this is what I’m supposed to do’.
Click here for the entire interview.
What is the process of becoming a Chiropractor?
You must have completed the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree first, and then it takes about 3-4 years to earn the Doctor of Chiropractic degree. In many ways Chiropractic school is similar to Medical school but we do not have any pharmaceutical classes, etc. Many are surprised to learn the extent of our gross anatomy and spinal anatomy classes. Like med school we had extensive hours in the lab learning from cadavers. Chiropractors also get many hours of Neurology courses because the spine and nervous system have such an intimate relationship. Other areas of study include pathology, renal physiology, physical diagnosis, neuromuscular system, endocrinology, nutrition, X-Ray, obstetrics and pediatrics, cardiovascular and pulmonary, etc. .
So how do you learn to crack someone’s neck without breaking it?
First and foremost, we had to complete several trimesters of course work before learning to adjust (the proper term for “cracking someone’s neck”) including the anatomy/physiology, the orientation, and the motion of every joint in the body. Our hands on training started in lab learning how to evaluate the spine and establish the goals for adjusting. From there we were tested on our ability to position the body perfectly to be adjusted based on the treatment that is prescribed. After this we learned the thrusting motions and began to work on other students under the supervision of our professors in class. We then took this to the clinical setting of Palmer’s student clinic. The student clinic is where student interns would evaluate and treat other students under the supervision of an assigned staff doctor. Once we fulfilled our required credits in student clinic we graduated to the community clinic. Palmer had two community clinics in town where folks from around the community could come and get discounted Chiropractic treatment by a qualified student intern under the supervision of their treating staff doctor. In the community clinic we were exposed to many more conditions and more complicated cases. I also worked in the chiropractic, rehabilitation and sports injury clinic. There we worked mostly with patients from the community, staff and students, as well as athletes who needed more active rehabilitation. That’s where you get to incorporate physiotherapy with chiropractic treatment, and I like that. That’s the stuff I’m really fascinated with. Now in practice, I incorporate active physiotherapy with all of my patients.
Can you sum up the meaning of chiropractic care? What are its benefits?
Chiropractors often use the term “subluxation” to describe the altered position of the vertebra and its subsequent functional loss. Chiropractors evaluate the spine to detect these areas of functional loss and use manual joint manipulation (an “adjustment”) to restore function. Many also use stretching, traction, massage, and exercise to supplement the correction and prevention of its return. There is a broad range of different types of Chiropractors. Most differ by the technique they use for adjusting and by the other types of treatments they utilize or specialize in. The benefits are endless: Improved joint mobility, overall flexibility, performance, body awareness, posture, concentration, digestion, immune function, etc. Many not only notice a decrease in overall symptoms but also in fatigue, insomnia, indigestion, reflux, TMJ, menstrual cramps, headaches, etc. Common benefits in children are a decrease in ear infections, bedwetting, allergies, insomnia, and overall illness. One of my favorite lines (and I hear it all the time) is, “I didn’t know how bad I felt until I started feeling better!”.
Who is a likely candidate for chiropractic care?
Anyone with muscles and a skeleton. Pain is the most common reason patients come to me. But you don’t have to be in pain to benefit from Chiropractic. Chiropractic is maintenance for body function like an oil change to maintain engine performance, tire rotation to prevent abnormal wear and tear, teeth cleaning to prevent cavities. Patients usually come in with pain and stay to maintain wellness.
What are some things we can do to maintain proper alignment and taking care of our backs?
Visualize your body as a machine. It is vulnerable to wear and tear just like anything else. With that in mind, it is best to avoid repetitive motions. Whether it is the monotonous repetitive posture of the desk worker, or the hardcore runner that runs literally every day. Repetitive motions cause cumulative stress on our bodies without recovery time and thus cumulative injury. This wear and tear puts stress and strain on our muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments. Just like abnormal wear and tear on our tires affects the alignment of our cars…abnormal wear and tear on our bodies affects the alignment of our spines. We can’t quit our jobs, nor do I want patients to stop exercising. My job is to educate folks on their structural strengths and weaknesses so that they can make modifications to their work, their workouts, their sleeping habits, etc.
What are the most frequent injuries you see in your office? How do you treat them?
The most common are: neck and shoulder pain/tension, headaches, low back, buttock, and hip pain in the desk worker. Low back, buttock, hip, and leg pain in those with a long car commute. Low back, buttock, hip, thigh, and knee pain in the runner and cyclist. The most common syndromes I treat are Upper and Lower Cross Syndrome, Piriformis Syndrome, and I.T. Band Syndrome. Treatment plans are tailored based on the individual. I combine myofascial release and stretching techniques to treat muscle tension. I utilize postural activation exercises to address postural weakness and re-education. I utilize several Chiropractic adjusting techniques to correct subluxations, misalignments, and restore proper joint mobility. I also spend time with my patients identifying the stressors in their daily activities and how to modify them to minimize the stress.
What are some symptoms of a misaligned neck/spine?
There are many: no pain (pain is usually the last thing to surface and the first thing to go away..the absence of pain does not necessarily mean correction), “tension”, localized pain, radiating pain, numbness, tingling, headaches, even visceral symptoms.
Can you dispel some of the myths surrounding chiropractic care? Where did these ideas come from?
One of the biggest myths about Chiropractic is the belief that once you start going, you have to go forever. Yes, and no. At Symmetry Bodywork, once I have evaluated you and have a working diagnosis, a treatment plan is tailored and carried out over a period of time. If you are not showing progress within the first week or two, the treatment plan is changed. If you are still not showing progress, I will usually make the appropriate referral at that point. However, most folks show progress. In this case we ultimately reach the maintenance phase of care I was talking about earlier. Maintenance is different for everyone and depends on so many factors such as daily demands on the body. A NASCAR racecar needs to be serviced much more often than my Nissan. In light of scheduled maintenance….Yes! You should go forever!
How has chiropractic care evolved over the years?
Chiropractors used to only adjust the spine. Now many also adjust extremities and address the muscles. After all, every muscle crosses joint. Where there is muscle tension, there is also joint tension…many Chiropractors now treat both. Also many Chiropractors are practicing in a multi-disciplinary setting alongside Doctors of Physical Therapy, Massage Therapists, and Medical Doctors. I worked in the multi-disciplinary setting for three years and enjoyed it. We were able to collectively address many more health issues by combining our disciplines. Many in this type of a practice are now incorporating nutrition and medical weight loss services. Chiropractic has always complimented other disciplines. Fortunately other disciplines are now recognizing Chiropractic as a valuable referral for their patients.
What makes Symmetry Body Work special?
At SBW, I strive to educate my patients. I want them to recognize how their daily activities affect their bodies. I teach them about their own strengths and weaknesses and how they can strengthen their bodies to keep up with the demands of their day. The treatment goals of a new mom are different than that of the “suit” who wants to improve his golf game. Treatment is definitely tailored. It’s exciting to me when I am able to empower people with knowledge to take better care of themselves. Since I moved my practice to Buckhead I have made it a priority to develop network of quality specialists in many disciplines for patient referrals. Chiropractic is often the portal of entry into healthcare for folks in pain. If SBW is not the solution it is my responsibility to get you to the right Practitioner. I have also found it valuable to work closely with my patient’s Personal Trainers. Not only recommending Training but working with their established relationships. My own personal experience training at the collegiate level in women’s soccer, interning in Palmer’s Rehabilitation and Sports Injury Clinic, and working alongside Physical Therapists has given me the knowledge to effectively communicate with Trainers to maximize results.
What would you like to share with Live Healthy Look Healthy readers regarding taking care of ourselves?
Pain is an indicator, be aware of your body and recognize repetitive stressors in your daily activities. Mom always said, “even too much of a good thing can be bad!” Learn how to modify your activities to minimize cumulative injury to your body. I love the quote that we are a “flexion addicted” society. Technology has put the world at our fingertips and we sit for hours flexed/hunched over laptops, smartphones, and games. “Too much of a good thing”!! A growing trend in our society is kids with degenerative (arthritic) conditions due to texting, gaming, etc. Many do not properly develop the postural strength that naturally comes with running, jumping, going outside to play. Limit technology time!!
Hmmm….and on that note, I’m taking my kids to the park.
Symmetry Body Work is located at 3155 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30305.
Telephone: 404.788.8169 Fax: 404.393.1489
~Live Healthy. Look Healthy.