If you suffer from chronic pain, you don’t require a pain awareness month. You are well aware of your pain.
It might be surprising to the rest of us that an estimated 25 million Americans endure daily pain and 8 million suffer such severe pain that it interferes with activities of daily living.
I’m going to tell you how to reduce the odds of joining them.
Many chronic pain sufferers are prescribed opioids for their pain, which has led to an epidemic of abuse and addiction.
Opioids block the symptom, but not the causes of pain. Drugs are the answer developed by the pharmaceutical-medical-industrial complex that does a great job of promoting their own profits but fails to address the underlying issues that cause so many people to suffer so much.
Much of my practice is made up of people who tried all the traditional approaches to their chronic back pain – stronger and stronger drugs, and even surgery, without ever really discovering the source of their pain.
People who suffer chronic pain often have multiple pathologies that require a regime of modalities. Chiropractic care alone is insufficient. They might benefit from physical therapy, massage therapy, a nutritionist, and acupuncture as well.
None of these therapies are sufficient on its own. But they are all necessary.
Many people who suffer chronic back pain make two common mistakes.
- One mistake is that they approach their primary care physician or a surgeon rather than a chiropractor – a doctor who specializes in backs. Physicians are oriented to prescribe drugs and surgery, often the wrong prescription.
- The larger mistake that people who suffer chronic back pain make is to seek treatment only after their pain becomes a problem. This is like only bringing your car to the mechanic only when it stops running.
Preventative maintenance – whether on a car or on your back – is essential to proper functioning. A well-aligned spine does not cause pain or any of the other ailments that cascade from spinal misalignment. It also puts the body in a position to better endure illness and injury.
We avoid chronic pain rather than treat it after enduring it for some time.
It is the reason we go for annual checkups at the eye doctor and dentist, and why we get colonoscopies and mammograms. Avoiding health problems is a lot less expensive, painful, and dangerous than attempting to treat them once the problem is acute.
Going to the chiropractor for regular checkups – particularly after age 35 or so – is a great way to avoid the chronic pain that 25 million Americans suffer. Because our bodies do reach a point where enough damage has been done over time that drugs really are the only answer.
And that is not a good answer.