Dr.Chad Messina worked on me and many of my athletes on Team CFNE during our run at the CrossFit Games for the Affiliate Cup over the past three years. Chad is a good friend, and a solid CrossFitter. He knows our sport and how to keep athletes on the field performing their best.
It’s amazing how quickly your life can change in the blink of an eye. One day I was on vacation and when I woke up I had what I later learned was a herniated disc at my L4-L5. If you’ve ever herniated a disc, then you know just how debilitating it can be. I couldn’t even take a step without excruciating pain. When I got home, I reached out to my PCP who recommended pharmaceuticals and physical therapy. After a month of therapy and not even an ounce of improvement, I called an old friend out of desperation.
Chad saw me the very next day and to be honest, the only reason I went to see Chad was because typical western medicine (pain killers, muscle relaxants, physical therapy) wasn’t working, so what did I have to lose. I remember walking into his office, using my wife as a crutch (walking without assistance wasn’t possible) thinking to myself ‘hopefully I don’t leave in worse condition than I entered here’. Well, much to my pleasant surprise, I walked out of the office under my own power. I didn’t need the assistance of my wife to walk and I was feeling much better after just one visit. After several more visits I just kept getting better and better, when Chad insisted I give CrossFit a try. He insisted that I could train at CrossFit Southborough in a way that let me exercise while injured without re-injuring myself while trying to get in shape. I was definitely skeptical, but after such amazing results from his chiropractic care, I trusted his advice and coaching.
After just three months I lost 50 pounds and felt as strong and healthy as I was when I rowed crew in college. That was just three months after starting CrossFit! I’ve now been doing CrossFit for more than year and seeing Chad for just as long and I am in the best shape of my life; it’s just incredible! If you told me this was possible over a year ago, I would have laughed in your face.
Thank you Chad for my reincarnation.
Whether it’s routine maintenance or gaining capacity post injury I highly recommend Dr. Messina. I started calling him “Dr. Voodoo” because he would hear us talking about an injury or see something that he didn’t think was “right”, he’d do his thing and you’d be so much better . Not only has Dr. Messina worked with novice to elite CrossFitters but he’s a CrossFitter himself which gives him first hand knowledge of the movements and athletic demand you put your body through.
Preparing for the 2012 CrossFit Games, I saw Dr. Messina twice per week to relieve the stress I was demanding of my body. Every session, he knew exactly what to adjust and the effects were instantaneous. He explained everything he was doing which gave me confidence in his abilities. Plus, he gave me homework to help correct any stressed areas.
I would recommend Dr. Chad Messina without hesitation, which I actually have to many people!
I have been going to Chad for about 2 years. I competed on the CrossFit New England team in 2012. During that year leading up the CrossFit Games, I went through 2 shoulder issues and a pretty severe back issue. I have seen a few different chiropractors over the past 5 years, but Chad was the absolute best. Chad was able to work with my injuries and get me to a place where I was still able to compete in Regionals and at the Games. Not only is Chad very knowledgeable at what he does, he is very dedicated and compassionate. While Chad is a CrossFitter himself, the best part about Chad is that he understands the mind of an athlete and he did everything he could to make sure I was still able to train and stay fit while working around my injures. Chad knew that myself not competing was not an option, so he did everything he could to get me on the field. Chad is also unique in the sense that if I had any kind of emergency with my injury where it was flared up, he would do everything he could to see me right away. He would also call me or text me to help me out and tell me what I need to do at the moment. Chad would constantly check up on me to see how I was doing and he was sure to remind me to be smart and focus on the outcome and to not get frustrated. It was sad to see Chad move away to another state, but I am happy to know that he will be able to help out many more people and athletes the way he helped me out!
I started seeing Dr Chad before my pregnancy in July 2012. Since my first pregnancy back in 2009/2010 my family has been seeking chiropractic as part of our healthy lifestyle. Dr Chad introduced me to Crossfit almost as soon as I started seeing him. I was extremely reluctant at first. I’ve never stuck with an exercise program for more than a few months. I’ve done everything imaginable – boxing, horseback riding, running, Gold’s, Planet Fitness, yoga, and on and on. I’ve never had a passion for exercise. Until Crossfit. Reluctantly I jumped on the bandwagon. And have never thought of jumping off.
Dr Chad also happened to be a coach at my new box. He will always be one of my favorite coaches. He is so passionate about helping people and making people reach their potential. I really haven’t had the same attention to detail as I did with Dr Chad’s classes. He always seemed to know how to fine tune a movement to maximize results. And he ALWAYS knew when an adjustment was needed.
I will never forget one day I was lifting the bar above my head and the left side was just not going up as fast as the right side. Dr Chad knew right away and adjusted me on the spot. WHAM! It was fixed! There was never any pain involved before or after the adjustment but whatever chiropractic adjustment he did worked wonders and I was able to lift more weight!
When I became pregnant in September 2012 I did get a bit nervous about continuing Crossfit. I was lucky enough to have a fellow Crossfitter also pregnant. She and I served as mutual support as did my non-pregnant boxmates. Dr Chad was always supportive of keeping fit during pregnancy. Honestly I wasn’t quite sure that he would be able to fix my pregnancy-specific pains (having him be a guy and all) but as he repeatedly told me how often he adjusted his wife during pregnancy my confidence grew and grew. He still knew exactly why my pain was happening and just how to relieve it by adjustment.
Coupled with chiropractic, Crossfit kept me almost pain free. I’m short (5’) so pregnancy isn’t really fun since I don’t have much room. But by eating right, sticking with Crossfit and checking in with Dr Chad once (sometime twice!) a week I had as pleasant an experience as possible.
I shocked and surprised myself every time I walked into the box. Crossfit and chiropractic helped keep my energy up and pains down.
June 8, 2013 my water broke. June 10 my second son was born. The hospital staff all told me they had never seen someone push so hard. My baby came out not breathing. It took 3 minutes for him to start breathing. He was born presumed septic due to me who had spiked a fever during pushing as well as meconium in the fluid. Meconium was present in the trachea. If he had been born by C section the results may have been very different. I have a very narrow pelvic opening but because I was super strong from Crossfit and super in line from chiropractic I was able to use all my might and push out my baby (with the help of a vacuum). That pushing helped push the meconium up and out of his system; which doesn’t happen with a section.
It’s nothing more than an old wives tale not to exercise during pregnancy. Crossfit made me strong. Crossfit while pregnant prepared me for the birth that I was meant to have. Crossfit also prepared me for after birth. I was back at the box 10 days after. I eased back into it by starting with mobility and gradually building back up to what I was doing beforehand. I made sure to keep it very easy on my core for the first few months.
July 23 I got my first toes to bar! September 2 I got my first kipping pull up!
I look forward to being the best mom by being as fit as possible. I nurse my son and plan to do so for at least a year. Crossfit has helped me maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle and I have a very easy recovery in comparison to my first birth which was a C section. I wasn’t exercising and I was eating poorly. I believe this helped lead to sever postpartum depression (along with other environmental factors). Now I am depression free. Something that didn’t happen until I starting Crossfitting.
I will never really be able to return the favor to Dr. Chad. He has helped me in more ways than he will ever realize. I’m happy, healthy and more importantly my baby is happy and healthy. I only wish he didn’t leave Massachusetts because I will never find a chiropractor as good as him.
We tend to be happier when we are not in pain!
I had such a hard time thinking of how I should begin this message to you. It is so important for me to let you know how much you have changed my life! When I first came to you, I knew that your technique was so much different than the traditional chiropractic procedures and wondered if you were going to be able to help me. I could have told you exactly the course of action to take; heat packs, stim for ten minutes or so and the standard adjustment. You surprised me with a new approach! I cannot believe the progress we have made. After the first few sessions, Dr.Messina, I put my complete trust in your judgment. Your technique is outstanding and I think by integrating massage therapy and providing me with advise on exercising targeted areas have all contributed to my recovery. No other Chiropractor took the time to help me eliminate the cause of all of these issues. I was treated for the acute problem, no more, no less. You have excellent techniques but more importantly you have the values of an old time physician. You have demonstrated a true concern for your patientsand have gone out of your way to accommodate my schedule and acute issues. As I mentioned to you the other day, I have not slept through the night for several years.I was up several times a night, just tossing and turning! Then, about a week or so ago, it hit me, I was sleeping throughout the night. I am so very grateful, but not as much as my husband!!!!! He sends his appreciation! Thank you for all of your help and training!
Too often we mistakenly attribute our successes to ourselves alone and attribute our failures to others or outside forces. However, it is undeniable that athletes rely on many people to achieve their successes. This holds true for both individual- and team- sports. For me, I know that Dr. Chad Messina has had a tremendous, positive influence on my training and on my overall athletic fitness. His talent and training directly help my performance, and I am always appreciative of the highly beneficial results of his skills. He is truly a superb example of a professional who understands the science and art of athleticism.
Florence C. (Triathlete)
I was in a car accident on July 16, 2004. The accident involved a rear collision which pushed my car into oncoming traffic where I was hit again head-on, spinning my car to face the opposite direction. I was unbelievably lucky to walk away, thanks to seat belts, crumple zones and the front airbag. Though I did not sustain any serious injury, and xrays showed no broken bones, there was extensive soft tissue trauma. My primary care physician, and an orthopedic specialist recommended ice and NSAIDs to relieve the the immediate pain and swelling; and rest and patience for everything else. For weeks I was in constant pain mostly on the left side of my body in my neck, shoulders, and foot. My job working at a computer exacerbated the pain in my neck and shoulders. I had to curtail my usual activities-walking, cycling, swimming, running- because they made the foot worse. . I returned to my primary care physician several times, but was told repeatedly that it would just take time.
Finally, in desperation, I went to an acupuncturist at the gym near my workplace I’d never tried any alternate medicine, and I was skeptical, but after the treatment, the pain in my left shoulder was much reduced. The acupuncturist told me that she could feel that my back was way out of alignment, and that acupunture treatments would offer only short term relief until I got treatment for the underlying cause of the pain. She said that she wouldn’t treat me further until I had seen a chiropractor, and she did recommend someone. I came to see Dr. Chad Messina on the emphatic recommendation of my friend and one of your long time clients,
I was able to get an appointment quickly and easily, for which I was very grateful. Dr. Messina spent well over an hour with me on that first appointment, taking my history, listening to the description of the accident and beginning treatment. I was nervous and a little tense, but he was very patient. He explained not only what he would be doing, but also why he would be doing it. This approach resonated especially well with me. I’ve worked in biotechnology for more than 20 years, so I am constantly fascinated by the way living things, including me, adapt or respond to environmental insult. After the accident, my body definitely felt insulted. Dr. Messina’s attitude of both competence and caring, helped me to relax and let my body be manipulated to health.
After just that first treatment, I felt remarkably better. Dr. Messina focused initially on my upper back, shoulder and neck, both stretching the muscles and making chiropractic adjustments. Almost immediately, I gained substantial mobility in my neck and shoulders. The pain was not completely gone, but it was certainly much less. On a scale of 1-10, I walked in to the office at about an 8, and left the office at a 2. There was some soreness from the adjustments, but that was gone within a few hours.
For the first couple of weeks in September, I came in for treatment 3 times/week. I have continued to see Dr. Messina about 2 times per week since mid-September, and I continue to improve. [This was written in the middle of October.] The pain in my neck and shoulders is nearly completed abated. By the end of a full week of working at a computer, I do still feel some discomfort (1-2), but a good night’s sleep seems to alleviate even that. I have better mobility now than I did even before the accident, and I have been able to resume most of my fitness activities, though I’m not yet at the same frequency and intensity I was used to before the accident.
Lately, with the back responding well, Dr. Messina is beginning to focus more on treating the pain in my foot. Last week, my foot seemed markedly better, so on an intensely beautiful fall day, I decided to try a short run (~3 miles). I did not feel any pain while I was running but several hours after the run, the pain was such that I could not tolerate full weight bearing on the left foot (7) and I was walking with a pronounced limp. I happened to have an appointment scheduled with Dr. Messina a couple days later, and I told him about the foot. He did some ART treatment and the relief was immediate and total. I walked out of the office with no pain at all in my left foot!
This whole experience has been a revelation to me. Before the accident, I experienced aches and pains, some related to my posture at work, some related to athletic activities and all I considered the inevitable result of getting older. (I’m 47.) After the accident, the pain was so much worse, of a different character and I was afraid it would be chronic. I got little satisfaction from my PPO and I was desperate for relief. Like many other skeptics, I had several acquaintances who had success stories from their chiropractic treatment. Since my insurance did cover chiropractic, and I had exhausted what my PPO would do conventionally, I took J.W.’s advice and made the appointment with Dr. Messina. Now, I can actually believe that I don’t have to live with pain or constantly medicate to suppress it. I also don’t have to give up the sports that I so enjoy, and that contribute so much to my physical and mental health and to the quality of my life in general.
Thank you and sincerely,