I think I've relayed bits and pieces of this saga here, or, at least, have dropped some hints about Davan's back woes, but I'm going to share with you the whole tale. If, of course, you care to read on.
About this time last year, Davan started noticing that when she stood up out of a back bend, her back hurt. She didn't mention a thing about it to me, though, until summer, when she announced that her back had been hurting her at those times and she was going to take some time off of walkovers to let it heal. I imagine she waited until summer so that she didn't run the risk of me enforcing a back rest in the middle of show season.
Sadly, though, summer ended and her back was not better. I eventually talked her into seeking help for it and gave her some options. She decided on a chiropractor. She went for four weeks in October, but didn't find that it helped her at all, so she stopped.
Davan told me that she'd discovered that if she did some particular stretches before doing back bends, it didn't hurt. She didn't let it slow her down much, but I still noticed her clutching her back from time to time, particularly in conjunction with having done a back bend, but at some other times, as well.
About a month ago, I again brought up seeking treatment with a different provider. I mean, a chronically sore back could be a career breaker for someone who wants to be in Cirque du Soleil. She resisted and resisted, but finally agreed. Fortuitously, we got a post card in the mail at about that time about a back study for teenagers with chronic back pain. I sent in the reply.
The initial over the phone interview went well and Davan was invited to come into University of Western States for an intake appointment, which ended up lasting three and a half hours, involving paper work, an exam, an x-ray, and a strength and flexibility test. That also went well, and she was invited to go back again the next week for a second round of testing - this time just paper work and the strength and flexibility tests, during which we were pretty much told that she was in for the study. She was also given an activity monitor to wear for a little over a week. You may see it in some pictures/videos from this week.
Today, she had her first of twelve study visits. We'll be visiting this campus once a week for an hour of directed exercises, which she's also supposed to do at home between visits, and, because of the group she was randomized into, a weekly chiropractic adjustment, as well. We got there a little early today and she had a bit of a frolic before we went in.
I have hopes that this will be helpful to her. Davan started out hopeful, but seems to be doubting how much it will help now. I guess we'll see. At least we're trying something and helping out science, too. ;)