My first side posture adjustment

Side posture adjustment

Side posture adjustment (this is Palmer grad Dr. Christine Gonos-Boyd from her site

Yesterday was another find-and-fix-it day in my thoraco-lumbar class. We were able to adjust using any technique we were taught, but I wanted to get some practice with side posture since I hadn’t had any yet and it’s one of the more difficult techniques.

Luckily enough my patient had a lumbar listing at L4, so I was ready to give a shot. Turns out I need a lot of practice with side posture. It doesn’t look easy, and it’s really not that easy. I tried both a push and a pull move and wasn’t very good at either. I was struggling to figure out the mechanics of the thrust with the pull move, and by the time I went to try the push, I was a little frustrated and felt a little defeated. I didn’t feel like I had much luck with the push either, but I had some good thrusts so we did some post checks on my patient and she had better range of motion. Plus, the nervoscope showed there had been some change, and her body was adapting. So all the of checks said I had made some change. Sadly it doesn’t feel as satisfying if you don’t get the cavitation and if you know you have crappy form.

I know I’ll get better, and I really shouldn’t have expected to have it figured out on the first try, but you also have to accept that things don’t always go the way you planned. I’m excited to get more practice. I’m happy I now know what I should focus on. and I appreciate the help and advice I was given to be more successful. Not that I wasn’t successful. My patient did show adaptation, and for that I am happy.

Keep on trying and don’t give up! You can’t get better if you don’t keep trying.


First side posture adjustment!

Yesterday was another exciting day! I got to adjust in pelvic again! We had just learned side posture, so I figured I would give that a go after my initial work up and determining that my patient was in fact subluxated.

Side posture is challenging, but I had the assisting doctor in our class walking me through it. On the first attempt, I had a good thrust but poor control over my patients thigh. On the second attempt, I had fixed my control but had a lousy thrust. On the third attempt, I was able to equal both out and my patient said she felt it move! I am hoping that’s the case and she isn’t just trying to be nice!

Nonetheless, it was really exciting and I’m happy I was able to have the opportunity to try out side posture in the classroom in a controlled situation with feed back before I got into clinic and had to try it on one of my patients–and literally have no idea what I’m suppose to be doing or what the adjustment even feels like when I am doing it.

As this week comes to and end and with next week being a short week before finals (and I know I’ve said it a million times), things are really coming into perspective for me. I have finished more trimesters than I have left. That’s crazy to think about. My time here has gone so fast and has been so incredible. I’ve learned so much and have done so much and there’s still so much to learn and so much to do.

This trimester seriously has been the quickest one yet, and it’s a terrifying thought if the next four are going to go that fast because I can’t help but think, “What do I do when I am done?” But I have confidence that I will be prepared when I walk out of those doors as a doctor for whatever comes my way.


Clinic observations start next week!

The entrance to the student clinic, the Campus Health Center.

The entrance to the student clinic, the Campus Health Center.

(Note: This post is from last week)

It was nice to be able to take some time for family and relaxing during our long weekend (Easter). These next couple of weeks are generally pretty mild. I’ll need to use them to catch up on projects and homework assigments. It seems that you don’t really have homework or assigments until you get into the upper trimesters.

Tonight is Zumba again! I am quite proud of myself for actually only missing once since it has been offered this trimester. I remembered spine and go seek this week also!

This weekend is the first weekend for the soft tissue elective I am taking so I will be in class from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday, but it should be really interesting. I am excited to be able to start taking electives. I think next trimester I am going to try and take Thompson and Activator. It’s starting to hit me that I really don’t have much time left here, so I need to start soaking up and learning everything I can.

We just went over dress code and requirements for our observations we have to do in the student clinic. Observations start next week! It has come so quickly, it’s hard to believe that next trimester I will be taking care of patients.

I was looking at my schedule for the rest of the trimester and I couldn’t believe April was almost over. And I realized how quickly this trimester is coming to an end! I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it still feels like just yesterday that I moved to the Quad Cities. Doesn’t usually feel like it during the first year, but once you’re preparing to go into Level 1 Clinic, you look back and all you can think is, “Wow! That really did go fast.”

I think I will go buy my clinic jacket this week!

Soft tissue elective

This weekend was the first weekend for the advanced soft tissue elective I am taking this trimester. We were in class all day Saturday and Sunday learning various soft tissue techniques and appropriate clinical assessments for our future patients.

Generally when you’re told you’re going to be in class 8+ hours on a Saturday and Sunday your first thought is, “This is going to be a super long weekend and not in the way most of us want a long weekend to be.” Surprisingly, the time went very quickly. Although the first half of the class was more of a review from PT, it seemed we actually were getting more hands-on and working with our palpation skills. And actually doing some soft tissue stuff made Saturday go a lot quicker than expected. It was pleasant because we were to be in class longer on Saturday. We only got a little bit of hands-on on Saturday working mostly with the lower extremities.

It was a lot of fun, until you became the patient. Soft tissue work is effective but also quite painful. We were working with muscle adhesions and tight muscles, and the techniques we use aren’t exactly massages. They are digging into the muscle and really breaking down the barriers. Sunday, we did a lot more hands-on and covered all sections of the body. It seemed like each section we moved to just continued to be more and more sore, but it was definitely worth it because 9 hours later, I am no where near the amount of sore I was this morning before we started any type of soft tissue work. I haven’t checked, but there is a possibility I could be bruised! At the time of the treatment you’re cursing the person working on your muscles, believing there’s no way possible this is helping but it’s amazing how instantly you can see the results after a few minutes of having some soft tissue done on you. After I would get up and walk around I could tell my muscles weren’t as tight, and I had better range of motion and just all over generally felt better as a whole.

I really recommend this elective. It is only two weekends out of the trimester, and you come away with some really great information. The second half of the course isn’t until the last weekend in May, and we’re going to be learning Graston technique. I have heard really great things about Graston. People have really good results with it, but I hear it is quite a bit more painful than using your hands and doing soft tissue work, so we will see if I actually cry next time! No pain no gain!

My first pelvic adjustment!

(Written Monday)

I got to do my first pelvic adjustment today! It’s so exciting to be in the classroom adjusting this early into the trimester. In Toggle and Cervicals, we weren’t able to adjust until the last couple weeks of the trimester, and here we are a little over a month into the trimester and we’ve been able to adjust in both of our technique classes.

I have said it many times before, adjusting days are just the best, and whether it’s the first adjustment you’re giving or the fourth, it’s still just as exciting.

Sixth trimester is a lot more hands on, so you’re not sitting in the classroom listening to lectures as much throughout the day. It makes the days go quicker. Tonight I have radiology lab at 6 p.m. I’m not sure what we’re doing in tonight’s lab. Then I have a couple exams and quizzes to study for this week.

It’s a short week with the holiday break, so that is always good news. After last week, a long weekend is needed, although I have to go to the dentist on Friday. But regular dental check ups are just as important as regular spinal check ups. Since I get adjusted once a week, the least I can do is have my teeth checked every six months. Overall health is the best kind.


My second adjustment!

I got one more adjustment under my belt! This time in thoraco-lumbar class.

Today was “find it and fix it” day where we did a work up on our classmates thoracic and lumbar regions to see if there was any fixation. We worked in a group of three and all of us got to adjust. It is always nice having adjusting days because it’s a good reminder of why we are here and what we’ve worked so hard for.

You always get little extra pieces of advice from the professors on how to improve your adjustment when you are actually giving an adjustment. It’s hard for them to really critique you or give you pointers when you’re just doing a set-up.

What’s good about the Technique classes I have this tri is that we have adjusting days sporatically throughout the trimester, so we don’t have to wait until the end of the trimester to finally get to adjust. I didn’t get the adjustment on my first try. I thrusted too soon, but I was able to get it on the second thrust.

The more and more confident and comfortable we get with each other and in our abilites to adjust it seems the easier it is to be successful in our attempts. Although having someone watch what I’m doing and critquing me still makes me slightly nervous. I have come along way since day one of palpation when we were even too nervous to touch anyone. I remember my hands shaking uncontrollably while trying to find structures and motion out segments. Now I don’t give it any extra thought; just have to jump right in, and the nerves are all gone. I thought I would never get to this point, and here I am. And within four months, I’ll be taking care of real patients in the student clinic. Oh, how first trimester seems like yesterday …