There’s typically two instances when someone will visit a Chiropractor, they’ve suffered an acutely traumatic injury (i.e fall) and are experiencing severe pain or a problem has been slowly developing under their very eyes and has gotten to the point where it is significantly influencing their quality of life. While these are both unfortunate scenario’s, rarely do we see people initially consult for a ‘wellbeing check-up’ or for preventative maintenance.
“But I Didn’t Even Do Anything!”
Many clients look for that one event that has triggered their pain or complaint. Their general thought process is that because they haven’t been experiencing pain then everything is fine. It is important to recognize and it’s something that I’m regularly telling people is that pain is often a final symptom. Our bodies may experience dysfunction for a period of time before pain is noticed. Therefore looking for that single event or reason for your visit is not always appropriate.
Consider this example: you’re playing outside in the backyard with the kids. All of a sudden you bend down to pick up a ball and you’re hit with a sudden sharp pain in your lower spine and an inability to stand up. Of course it had to be the action of reaching down towards the ground that has caused this pain! You tell yourself that you should never do that again. WRONG!! I have an equation for you.. spinal neglect x activity (i.e exercise, movement, sitting etc) = imminent problems!
First Part Of The Equation: Spinal Neglect
We see spinal neglect day in day out in a Chiropractic clinic. See below for some examples:
- You didn’t listen to your Chiropractors recommendations to continue maintenance or wellbeing care
- Problems seem to go away by themself and you’re miraculously good again
- “It’s just a part of growing old!”
The reality is that our bodies are adapting to stress every single moment of the day. The injuries that we suffer or the stress that it experiences has an accumulative effect. Therefore it’s not uncommon for someone to visit us and say “how did I get this bad?” Well the answer to that question is quite simple, you haven’t been taking care of your body as well as you should have been. Even if you weren’t experiencing pain!
Second Part Of The Equation: Activity
So you regularly exercise and therefore you must be healthy? WRONG AGAIN!! That’s two big red crosses on your exam paper. If you’ve fallen into the category of spinal neglect and engage in any form of activity you’re quite possibly doing more harm then good. Lets use the following example:
- “I have a dodgy lower back, it’s always been that way.” I’m going to go ahead an assume you have never properly looked after this or sought Chiropractic attention. You experience significant discomfort and pain while you perform squats and deadlifts. Can you see now how activity may contribute to poor spinal health and therefore imminent problems?
Fix Your Mindset
I don’t particularly enjoy telling people what to do but in these circumstances the solution is simple. Change your mindset about health and pain. Be more proactive and seek appropriate care. Listen to the recommendations of your practitioners because they have your best interests at heart.