When I work on a patient, I always try to explain what is going on with the underlying mechanics that we are trying to correct. The goal, of course, is to get the patient out of pain and back to their desired activities as soon as possible. But understanding the faulty mechanics is essential in helping us to correct the issue and prevent any future injuries. One of the things that often seems to catch patients off guard is the extent to which their bad mechanics were going on long before they began to feel pain and other symptoms. In many cases, I will show patients areas of degeneration of the spine that have been going on for 10-20 years while they may only have had pain in that area for a couple years. This underscores the extent to which pain is often the last thing to appear when things aren’t working properly. Conversely, it is often the first thing to disappear as we correct the mechanics.
I’ve had many patients express to me that if they had known what was going on they would have come in sooner. To a certain extent I don’t fault them. Chiropractors have not done as good a job as, for example, dentists in emphasizing prevention. Most people know well enough not to wait until their teeth hurt to go to the dentist (though some do). Obviously, by the time your teeth are hurting, quite a bit of decay has already occurred.
Hopefully, as awareness regarding spinal health increases, people will come to the chiropractor to get their spines checked in order to prevent future problems. With people wanting to live healthier and longer lives, they see their elderly parents walking about hunched over and in pain. They don’t want to go down that road. They want to have good posture, mobility and stay pain-free for as long as possible. Chiropractic will help them do just that.