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My Story

When I was in eighth grade, the school nurse was running a scoliosis screening.  She said that I had scoliosis and gave me a slip that I was to give to my parents, notifying them about the curvature she found in my spine.  Not much was thought of this at the time.  I knew my brother had it a little, as well as my aunt, but they didn’t seem to complain about it much.
 
By the middle of the football season in 10th grade, my mid-back was in constant pain.  I went from playing both offense and defense and just about every special team to playing only defense.  It was difficult to concentrate on my schoolwork, as I could not block out the pain.
 
I went to see a medical doctor, who referred me to a spinal surgeon.  The spinal surgeon said that he wanted to take X-rays of my spine every five months to see if and how the curves were progressing.  No chiropractic care was recommended. 

During the 12th grade football season, I was seeing very limited playing time as my pain spread to my low back.  
 
After high school, my dad called me from work one day and said that there was a health fair at his work and that a chiropractor was there.  My dad thought that he could somehow help to control my back pain and help me regain some quality of life.  I went and met him and scheduled an appointment. 
 
With just one adjustment I experienced tremendous relief and it was the best my back had felt in years.  I was excited about my new discovery, yet frustrated because nobody told me about chiropractic before this – not my medical doctor, not the physical therapists, and not the spinal surgeons.  I thought that if I knew about chiropractic in 10th grade, maybe I could have played football better and run around the track faster.  Who knows, maybe I would have gotten better grades!
 
Before long, I felt called to be a chiropractor and make sure other people didn’t get “thrown through the hoop” like I did.
 
Ever since I enrolled in chiropractic college, I had been on sort of a “mission” to find and learn the best technique out there – the one that helps sick people get well with as few adjustments as possible.  I traveled to many seminars and attended different on-campus technique clubs (and served as president of one of the more well-known clubs).
 
Despite being a patient of some of the most well-respected chiropractors in the country, there was no change in the degree of curvature in my spine.  A friend finally told me about NUCCA, and the rest is history.
 
I thought that maybe if this NUCCA thing really works, my curves would begin to correct.  It made sense to me that NUCCA, although having an emphasis on the upper neck area, was really a full-spine technique because this is the area of the spinal cord that controls the muscles all the way down the entire spine (much like a puppeteer). 
 
Here are before and after X-rays of my spine (taken seconds after my first adjustment from a NUCCA doctor in Tulsa, OK).

       BEFORE                            AFTER

dr pietrek before                    dr pietrek after

                              

This was the first time I saw a reversal in my curves.  The thoracic curve to the right instantly went from 46 degrees to 37 (they usually strongly consider doing surgery around 40 degrees).  Overall it was about a 20% instantaneous change.  My spine has continued to heal since then and I’ve noticed many other health improvements.  What can I say?  It’s true that “an optimal structure equals optimal function”.
 
Accomplishing more by doing less seemed like the epitome of specificity to me.  I decided to make the upper cervical work my life’s work.