by Dr. Andrew T. Brady, Chiropractic Physician
There is a frequent but dangerous misconception when it comes to the health of your spine and the need (or lack thereof) for a chiropractor. When should you seek out a chiropractor? Most people will say when you are having back pain, neck pain, or headaches; and if you aren’t having any of those problems, then you don’t need one. Someone may stretch or do spine exercises, and so they assume their spine is “healthy.” This belief system regarding the health of your spine is not only false, but can have devastating outcomes down the road. But why?
The first problem is: you cannot see your spine! If someone isn’t experiencing pain, they assume their spine is just fine. Think about your teeth for a second. If you’re getting ready for bed one night and you’re brushing your teeth in front of a mirror, you may notice some yellowish discoloration, or you may see a chip or some decay forming, yet you may not feel any pain. Seeing this may motivate you enough to call your dentist. This doesn’t happen with your spine – we strictly rely on how we are feeling in order to determine if it’s healthy or not. There are small degenerative changes that occur with your teeth, and your spine is no different. We just can’t see those changes. Unfortunately for most people, their decay and degeneration will slowly continue until the discs become so weakened that it becomes a ticking time bomb.
Let me give you a real-world example. I had a new patient recently who was in severe pain and could barely walk. When I asked what happened, he told me he bent over to pick up a laundry basket and felt excruciating pain in his low back that made him drop to his knees. He laid on the floor for several hours trying to move without pain, but couldn’t. After several pain medications, he was able to get in for an appointment to see what had happened. After an examination and x-rays, we found that he had a degenerative misalignment in his low back that had been there for roughly two decades. Throughout his life, when he felt some low back tightness or a little stiffness, he would just take an occasional Advil and that seemed to fix it. In his particular situation, we were able to get him walking and functioning close to normal, but because there was almost no disc left by the time he came in to seek treatment, it’s something that will always need management.
The second problem is: so many try to self-treat symptoms that they don’t even realize are from a degenerative misalignment. Whether it’s back pain exercises, stretches, foam rolling, Thera-guns, e-stim machines, or inversion tables – contrary to what you read or see on TV – NONE OF THESE THINGS CORRECT A DEGENERATIVE SPINAL MISALIGNEMNT.
The sad thing about these situations is, people like this often just didn’t know to get their spines checked early… because nobody told them to. So, this is me telling you. It’s a good idea to get your spine checked by a chiropractor. Find out what your spine looks like – whether you are in pain or not – by a doctor who takes and evaluates full spine x-rays. After all, there is no such thing as a spine replacement!
Spine Integrative Wellness
1340 Corporate Drive, Suite 300
Hudson, OH 44236
Opinions and claims expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ScripType Publishing.