The most important variable when it comes to back pain is: time. If you spend many years abusing your back the effect will accumulate until there is so much degeneration that it can’t be healed.
Conversely, proper treatment over time can heal years of damage.
Many Americans believe that healing comes from some external source. They believe that drugs and surgery are magic elixirs. After all, they require little effort on the part of the patient. But drugs just mask pain. Surgery rarely lives up to expectations.
The reason drugs and surgery so often fail to address chronic back pain is that healing comes from within, not from an external source. Healing is something your body does when treated properly, not something that is done to your body.
In a healthy, functioning person, the body repairs damage every day as it occurs. When it isn’t functioning properly it can’t replace tissues as fast as they degenerate. Degenerating tissue accumulates until the point that function is compromised.
If your body signaled to you every time tissue was damaged you would be in constant pain. Tissue breaks down all the time, and the body repairs it. So when you sit too long, or twist in a way you shouldn’t, or walk with poor posture, you’re not aware of the tiny amount of damage you’re doing to your back. Your body has adapted.
No pain, no problem, right? Well, wrong.
All that damage, over time, eventually adds up. That’s when the pain can’t be easily controlled. And that’s when people finally see their chiropractor. Of course, they should have made that appointment long before.
Chiropractors help patients maintain good back health by ensuring that the spine and surrounding structures are properly aligned and functioning. When they detect the small malfunctions caused by everyday life, they can re-align your spine so the effects don’t accumulate over time.
That is, chiropractors can help you maintain good back health.
Chiropractors also educate patients about how to avoid doing further damage. Eat healthy, exercise, stretch core muscles, sit less and get a good night’s sleep. And see your chiropractor periodically to maintain good health.
That’s not what most people do. Most patients walk in the door in pain. They have been hurting themselves, a little bit at a time, for years. And they want me to fix them.
A chiropractor can fix your back issues.
Armed with your health history, an understanding of your lifestyle, and an x-ray of your spine, a chiropractor can develop a plan to fix your problem. The plan may involve a variety of therapies and multiple practitioners, including a physical therapist, a massage therapist, and others. The plan definitely requires patience and commitment, and of course, time.
Some patients are shocked at how a few months of treatment can undo decades of abuse, alleviate their pain and allow them to regain normal function. But they aren’t done.
Repairing damage isn’t enough. Reverting to previous habits will simply start the abusive cycle all over again.
Once spinal problems are fixed, it is important for patients to enter the maintenance phase of their treatment, which I described above.
The choice is really this: regular chiropractic appointments to maintain good back health and functionality or years of back pain and reduced mobility that lead to intensive chiropractic treatment.