After 36+ years of healthcare practice, it is amazing to me that people are still being directed to treat their pains instead of finding and resolving the reason people hurt.
Most high utilizes for painful conditions in the healthcare system have little to show from the doctor’s visits, medications, and rehabilitation regimens other than the poor quality of life they now have. Often, it is not exactly their fault as doctors would medicate and test in the absence of a thorough musculoskeletal evaluation and take history based on the area of pain and ignore your past history of pain. Treatments usually fit their narrowly thought out diagnosis and include therapists, procedures, and other treatments they authorized based on a poor understanding of why you hurt. Years later, other problems arise in the back, neck and shoulder and are treated as if these conditions exist in a vacuum with the belief that stuff happens over time to nice people because of (insert your narrative here)…
We have one body, one set of joints, and one life to live, yet so many people have been convinced that the technology behind an MRI is more effective than a good history and examination. This is often reinforced during acute pain episodes that incapacitate us, as we may not think clearly when we are in that much pain. To make matters worse, others will often give their unsolicited advice offering the same solutions as the orthopedic, the therapy, the pill, etc. Chasing pain is a very American sport, with a system that continually wants to convince us that are are not the sum of our parts and that we need to be dependent on specialists with white coats who have all the answers. If you have ever been in the system, you know they don’t but they certainly know how to charge for what they do. What is also widely misunderstood is that the medical system has physicians who do not understand musculoskeletal pain but is willing to do things to medicate it, burn it out, or do other things that over time have never been proven to work. The lack of holistic understanding often leads to poor diagnosis, ineffective rehabilitation, and surgeries that sometimes do more harm than good.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over without seeing a change according to Albert Einstein. Without any incentives for better results from insurers, care is about procedures rather than results.
You can stop the insanity if you stop chasing pain.
Why think differently and see a chiropractor first?
It’s no secret that back pain is a huge problem in the USA followed by many problems in the joints of the body. There is always a mechanism behind why we hurt. Rarely does pain mean we are terminally ill or have cancer, although a thorough evaluation should rule these concerns out often without testing or referrals? Chiropractors are one-stop shops for everything musculoskeletal but will also refer you to another doctor or for a needed test if medically indicated. This efficiency reduces costs and treatment will help patients as it often is performed on the first visit as well as the exam.
Two patient stories you may relate to.
An airline attendant whose work required her to do some repetitive lifting had lower back surgery years ago and was putting her leg up on something because she couldn’t stand without lower back pain even after the surgery. Now her right arm was painful and she already had multiple injections of cortisone in her lower spine and was taking botox injections for her migraines. For some, this may seem very logical except that with all the medical care, she was slowly becoming incapacitated. The multi-specialist approach was looking at where she hurt but had no idea why. She felt better after her initial visit and I showed her that her feet were a huge part of her chronic back problems. Ironically, nobody ever explained this to her since they never evaluated her fully. While this case will take time to work through as there are no quick fixes in a chronic case like this, she is likely to have far fewer future problems by utilizing a chiropractor’s holistic primary care approach.
Another patient who was involved in a ski accident in March had fractured her hip and leg. She had surgery to repair and a month of rehab and now was doing therapy locally. The water rehab wasn’t helping her improve and she was told that after the surgery one leg was shorter and that she now needed a heel lift to level her hips out. My evaluation showed her both legs were even thanks to great orthopedic care although I wasn’t sure of the therapy rationale or why they failed to measure her leg length. She walked out of the office with her hips in even, better balance, and was told to keep the cane to prevent another fall. This long-term established patient decided that rather than chasing pain and doing the same exercises, seeing her chiropractor was more appropriate.
There are two recent cases that illustrate why seeing a chiropractor who does primary musculoskeletal care makes more sense than a specialist for everything approach and testing looking for the thing even though one case had trauma. It is not uncommon for ineffective therapy to go on for months without any change in the patient’s abilities.
There is no substitute for a good exam and history. Care of the musculoskeletal system is what chiropractors are trained to do. They improve the way you move. If you move better, you will feel and function better. If you walk and move poorly, it will cause pain as described in the book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain.
Chiropractors improve things naturally using manipulation, soft tissue techniques such as myofascial release treatment, and exercises to improve and reeducate function. It is common for inherited foot asymmetries to cause many problems we experience which may be why problems run in families. We look like our parents and walk like them too.
Stop chasing pain and see a body mechanic who will holistically figure out why you hurt and help you find relief quickly and efficiently. Book online here