I would guess that at one point or another you have had some type of pain in your body. This is a pretty safe assumption. I would bet that you have also had some kind of problem that was brought on by something very minor. Let me give you an example. You wake up in the morning and walk into the bathroom and as you go to squeeze the toothpaste out of the tube you drop the lid on the floor. So you bend down to pick it up and zap, lightning sharp pain shoots up your spine and back down again. You try to stand up straight but for some reason it feels like someone is pressing against your back causing you to hunch over and making it impossible to straighten up.
How about another typical pain invoking experience. You rush out the door because you are late for your appointment. As you settle into the car you remember that you forgot your keys so you hurry back into the house retrieve them and return to the car. As you start the engine and turn your head to back out of the driveway…whammo, someone stuck you with a hot barbecue poker in the back of the neck causing you great difficulty to return your head to a normal position without feeling that searing pain that we all enjoy. So it may not be a toothpaste lid or the turning of your head that provokes you to fall to your knees in agony, but I am almost certain that you have experienced a similar type situation in which the action you performed such not have caused SO MUCH PAIN!!! There are a few different responses to this type of situation. Before we talk about those, let’s just get real philosophical for a moment.
If you were hanging out with Hippocrates right now at Starbucks sipping on a Latte and talking about life and science and the human experience, how do you think he would respond if you asked him if it was normal for the body to respond like yours did when you bent over to pick up that heavy toothpaste lid or when you whipped your head around to back the cart out of the dirt road. I would guess that he would first ask you what toothpaste was and then once that was cleared up he would tell you ……NO. This is not a normal physiological response for your body to such a minimal action. The reaction does not equal the action.
Ok, philosophy class being over let’s get back to how you would respond to this situation. Here are 5 common mistakes that I have observed from people who experience these types of situations. 1. I put a heating pad (hot water bottle/hot tub/long, hot shower) on the area and it felt great. I am not against heating pads or heat but here is the situation. When you have an acute injury (acute = from the time the injury occurs to at least 72 hours after it occurs) you never put heat on it. Heat opens up the blood vessels which are already engorged even more causing more swelling and fluid accumulation in the injured area. This will result in relaxation for up to 12 hours after heat use and then pain worse than the initial event after the trip to lala land has ended. There are exceptions but for the majority of people please resist the urge to use heat unless I’ve told otherwise.
The second is thinking that it would go away but it has been two to three weeks and the pain hasn’t stopped.
Ouch, this one is not good! The real question from me to you is why you thought that the pain would go away. Let me give you an analogy. Pretend the oil light on your car goes on, would you continue driving until it went out and just assume that the problem went away. I hope not. This is the best analogy that I can think of to relate to the pain signal that your body is sending you. Don’t pretend there isn’t something wrong. Get to the root of the problem. Come get adjusted immediately or as soon as possible after the initial event.
The third is thinking I don’t know why this happened, I am totally healthy, and there is nothing wrong with me.
This is my favorite one from the men. Guys, we have to admit to some facts. Women are much better at taking care of themselves then we are. The reason is because they are willing to tell someone when they aren’t feeling well and then they try to get help for it. Generally speaking, men are much more willing to put up with little problems that they experience. This is not good in the long run. One little problem + one little problem + one problem = One BIG PROBLEM. The proof is that women tend to live something like 4 years longer than men. Surprise, surprise, I wonder if we men just think Oh well we aren’t going to live as long anyways so why not just put up with what we got and die sooner. This is of course some faulty logic because if we did take care of ourselves we would live longer.
The forth is I know that I only need one or two adjustments and everything will be fine. The only man I know in history who performed one treatment on someone and they were fine was Jesus. I am not Jesus. I don’t know any chiropractors named Jesus. Normally when people tell me the chiropractor fixed them in one adjustment and I look in their files, or consult with the other chiropractors I see that they have been adjusted 4 times on the low end and 8-10 on the high end (normal, about 6 visits) for an acute problem. My goal is to see you out of pain as quickly as possible so that you can function normally, but my goals do not end there! Which leads me to the next common mistake…
The fifth is not getting adjusted regularly to prevent these occurrences in your life. Now I am not saying that if you get regular adjustments your life is going to be perfect. Life is not perfect. I myself get regular adjustments. I don’t stop getting adjusted all together because I know that if I didn’t get regular adjustments and a flare up occurred, it would be a lot worse than it normally is. Our bodies are not perfect but if we work preventatively to keep things moving and aligned throughout the course of our lives a lot of these irritating pains could be avoided.
The joints of your spine are some of the key messengers of your nervous system. If they are not working there is no way for you to know because you cannot see them. Pain is your only signal and by then a lot of times it is already too late. Chiropractors are trained to detect problems with these joints and help prevent the pain before it occurs. Science has proven that nerve endings are all affected during an adjustment. The goal of treatment is to get you out of pain first of all, but to keep you pain free and fully functioning is the main idea.