Santa Maria Chiropractor, Dr. Matthew Egbert
The Thought of Being Paralyzed Terrified Me
At seventeen years old I had to make a choice: Continue with chiropractic care, or try surgery to repair my broken spine and accept all the risks involved.
I was really fortunate to have a mother who believed in chiropractic care. In fact, I don’t even remember my first adjustments from infancy to early childhood. My family was first introduced to chiropractic in Tasmania, Australia where my grandmother, Bettie, suffered from severe back pain after recovering from childhood polio. Desperate for relief she and my grandfather Doug, then in their 20's, were willing to try anything. He carried her into the chiropractor’s office in complete agony. After the first adjustment she felt so much better that she actually walked out unassisted! Well, from that historic moment on, we have always had a family chiropractor.
I mentioned that I don’t remember my first adjustments, but I do remember the chiropractor that changed my life forever. When I was eight years old I got into a playground scuffle with my best friend Elliott. I lost round one when he ran at me and knocked me off the retaining wall landing flat on my low back on the sidewalk below. It hurt, but I was young and I recovered pretty quickly with some residual low back pain. What I didn’t know was that my spine had actually been broken in two places that day. For the record, the next day I won round two.
Although I didn’t mention it to her, my mother noticed I was not walking or running normally. My back hurt periodically for the next several years and all of the doctors we saw dismissed it as growing pains. No x rays were taken until eight years later when my chiropractor took time to really investigate my back pain.
She found that I had a healed spine fracture and that my right leg had not grown as long as my left due to the instability and unequal weight-bearing resulting from the fracture. Chiropractic continued to keep me feeling good, but I wanted to see what options I had with surgical repair.
That year I saw twelve different spinal surgeons and neurologists. They all seemed to disagree on treatment methods ranging from no surgical intervention to multiple level fusions with screws, hardware and bone grafts. Like all surgery, there were risks to consider including death, loss of function in my legs, loss of bowel and bladder control and no guarantee the pain would decrease. At that point I decided the risks were simply not acceptable alternatives to the relief I got from safe, periodic chiropractic care.
It was soon after that experience that I decided to pursue a career in chiropractic.
I went to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah for my studies in pre-med human biology major. For chiropractic school I chose Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas, Texas.
We keep very busy with church, school, and community volunteer work. I am particularly proud of my work with the Santa Maria Valley YMCA in helping to establish and chair the Healthy Kids Day event. I was also very proud to serve as the president of the Kiwanis Club of Santa Maria. I am also past district president of the California Chiropractic Association.
I believe that true health means so much more than just being pain free. My mission is to help as many people as possible in my lifetime achieve true health, in other words, wellness. Feeling great and functioning great too!
Enough about me. I look forward to meeting you in person and learning how we may be of service to you. Give us a call so we can help you take your first step towards better health.