It’s human nature to ignore pain, to wait and see if it eventually goes away. I’ve done it myself and now I’m paying the price – an achy shoulder has turned into not being able to work out. Please don’t follow my bad example. As a doctor who works with people that are in pain, I implore you to seek treatment immediately for pain rather than wait for any reason. Keep reading to find out why.
Pain is a warning that something is wrong. Pain may come and go – but the underlying problem will still be there.
Your muscles, tendons and bones create an incredibly intricate system that allows your joints to move with perfect coordination and very little stress or friction.
When something is off, the muscles will not be in sync when they pull on your bones and this will put stress on the whole system and create small amounts of damage (microtrauma) wherever the problem is occurring – neck, low back, shoulder or hip are all common places where stress builds up and arthritis develops over time.
This process may go on for years without you ever knowing it because your body is adept at compensating for problems. At some point, pain may occur. Perhaps for just a few days, or maybe longer. Did the problem start when the pain did? Nope – it began long before.
What caused the musculoskeletal system to get out of sync? The list of possibilities is long – spine misalignment, poor posture, one wrong step, repetitive movements, long drives, hours in front of a computer, a bad mattress, an old car accident, getting jerked suddenly by your dog or child, and past injuries are just the tip of the iceberg.
Have any of these ever happened to you?
Once the musculoskeletal system gets out of sync it puts increased stress on muscles, tendons, and joints. Muscles become stiff and sore, tendons become frayed, and joints wear down. Eventually there will be pain. The pain is a warning! Don’t ignore the pain. The pain may come and go, but the problem continues even when you don’t feel it. This is even more true for athletes who place high demands on their body. High intensity workouts will cause damage to accumulate much faster when a system is out of sync.
Most people take an over-the-counter pain medication like Tylenol or Advil when they have pain. These drugs simply “block” the pain signal from getting to your brain. The problem is still there and it continues to progress and get worse. It’s akin to cranking up the radio when your car is making a funny noise. It doesn’t fix anything! The sooner you take care of the problem, the easier the fix will be.
Pain is something to be taken seriously. When you have a toothache, you go to the dentist quickly and hopefully it’s just a cavity that requires a small filling. The longer you wait the larger that cavity becomes. Soon you’ll need a crown, maybe a root canal – or maybe you’ll just lose that tooth. Back pain is equally serious.
At my clinic, I assess the entire musculoskeletal system to determine what is truly causing the pain. I find problems in areas far away from the site of pain. I use gentle chiropractic care to correct these problems and then teach patients exercises and lifestyle changes so that they can continue to build stronger, healthier bodies. The goal is always to relieve the pain and prevent reoccurrence.
You take your car to the mechanic when it starts making a funny noise. Go to your chiropractor when your body starts making a funny pain. Don’t wait!