Why Wait for a Health Crisis?
You might call our system of health care “crisis medicine” as utilized by consumers (i.e. potential patients). That includes most kinds of illness and injury, and the luxury of having the best doctors and hospitals in the world. They are the best at taking care of the problem after it has arisen to crisis level, and there are few options other than surgery, drugs and severely restricting diets and activity.
“Patients should always take the most conservative approach possible before taking pain medication or ever considering surgery,” suggests Dr. Brad Butler, Chief of Staff at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy. “I think the confusion for the patients out there is that they just don’t know where to go.
We are accustomed — you might say culturally educated— toward going to the medical world to resolve an ailment or injury when there is a crisis. Limiting the discussion to back and neck pain, we can more readily explain why we should be dealing with the initial symptoms to avoid reaching crisis stage. Statistics tell us that the majority of Americans will experience back pain at some time in their lives. The lucky ones, whether they deal with it or ignore it at that stage, happily and healthfully live out the rest of their lives without dealing with a chronic back condition. Then there are the 10 percent of the world’s adults who live with lower back pain, according to a study by the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.
Chiropractic care is a preventive approach that starts dealing with back and neck pain, stiffness or discomfort BEFORE it becomes an invasive health threat that changes the course of your life in terms of the things you love to do that make you feel happy and complete. Obviously, demanding physical activities will likely be affected, but consider that it also interferes with the things you do sitting down like driving, playing cards with your friends or even watching television and movies. It may even affect your job and career when you consider that more than half of the people who suffer from lower back pain, for example, spend the majority of their workday sitting.
Two of the top three treatments among adults that bring the most relief from back pain are chiropractic care and physical therapy, according to a nationwide survey by Research/America, charting at 54 and 48 percent, respectively, in terms of effectiveness. No. 1 in the top three, however and unfortunately, is prescription medication (58%)— the one least likely to correct chronic back pain.
Some critics have falsely proclaimed that going to a chiropractor is addictive, while remaining mum about pain medications. If the prospect of a productive life is addictive, we in chiropractic healthcare plead guilty.