IMG_0711A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of traveling to Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico with a very talented group of chiropractors.  Most of us had never met before, but one thing was for certain…we knew everyone was there to make a difference in a community that lacks focus on hands-on active healthcare.

The Piedras Negras Rotary Club has been working with their local Red Cross to spread the news that chiropractors from all over the world were coming to provide care to as many people possible for one week.

Day One, the lines are literally out the door with people hoping to get relief. Some are repeat customers from previous years, and their stories were remarkable. One story stuck out in particular to me. A woman, around 40 years old, told me her story:

I had pain in my foot for IMG_073310+ years. Every time I would walk, it would hurt. Sometimes the pain was so sharp, I could not walk at all. I came last year to see if there was something they could do to help. I don’t know what they did to me, but I couldn’t believe what I was feeling when they were done! I was able to stand, walk, and even hop on one foot again! It was like magic. One minute the pain was there, the next, the pain was gone. It’s like magic! I’m so grateful for that doctor and what you do. I wanted to come back this year to thank you for your services. It was remarkable to hear how just one day, one adjustment completely changed her life.

I met dozens of people that had similar stories as this woman. Some were not able to lift their arms above their head, some couldn’t run around with their kids because it hurt too much. Imagine not being able to put your hand over your head for weeks, months, or even decades. That was the reality for many of the patients we saw. Most of these people had been suffering for so long, they gave up on trying to find an answer their problems.

Reading x-rays with my student translator.When these patients arrived at the Red Cross, they expected to hear what every other doctor had already told them, “I’m sorry, but there is nothing wrong with you. Here are some medications for the pain, take them as needed.” Most were doubtful of our ability to help, but our team gave them everything we had.

After a thorough exam and treatment, EVERY patient I saw noticed dramatic improvement in the condition of their original complaint. They kept calling it magic, but I kept telling them it’s chiropractic! The key to success was finding and fixing the root of the problem. Lucky for these patients, that’s how we practice every day at ProActive Chiropractic. We know how precious time is, and we know how much it stinks to be in pain. That’s why we strive to get every patient better as quickly as possible so they can get back to enjoying the good things in life.

While in Piedras Negras, our team of doctors treated over 1,500 patients. I know we changed a lot of lives over that week, mine included. This trip made me a better doctor and was a great reminder of how lucky I am to be part of such an amazing profession. The biggest takeaway from the experience, for me, was obvious. IMG_0745Whether you have been in pain for days, months, or years, it is never too late to give up or lose hope!

This journey started 14 years ago. Drs. Terri and James Coats, set out on a mission to make a difference in a part of the world that had never heard of chiropractic care. Their Rotary Club helped guide their quest, which eventually lead them to the city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. Once they arrived, they knew this place was what they were looking for.

Piedras Negras is located on the northeastern edge of the Mexican border with a population of over 150,000 people. When you get hurt, the protocol is straight forward – you go to the hospital. X-rays may be taken, prescriptions may be given, but unless your case is surgical or systemic, there isn’t much more they can do for you. In its 353 square miles, there are no healthcare facilities with a focus on hands-on active care.