“Why do I need treatment if I’m not in pain?”…..One of the most common questions I get as a chiropractor. I always wonder if the dentist ever gets asked the same question… maybe, but probably a lot less. People understand the need for dental care, that by the time the tooth hurts, the damage has been done. But for some reason, we assume that the scenario only applies to our teeth. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is imperative in being good stewards of our bodies to understand the role of physical pain in our management of our health and wellness.
First, ANY AND ALL PHYSICAL PAIN IS A SYMPTOM! A symptom is, by definition, something that indicates the presence of bodily disorder. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something ELSE is wrong and it is not working the way it’s supposed to be working. Pain is your body’s way of communicating with you that something is “out of order”. By definition, this makes pain a trailing indicator . . . meaning it follows something else and it results from something else . . . it is CAUSED by something else! Take any pain that you might have, from toothache, to heart attack, to headache, to back pain, the list goes on and on, and all of them are a result of something else out of order, they are NOT the problem!
In our society, it seems the two greatest motivating factors in our behavior and choices are to seek pleasure and avoid pain. I want to offer an alternative way of looking at things. If we do indeed believe that we were created by a higher being, isn’t it safe to say that our bodies are not our own? As a matter of fact, they belong to our Creator, and we are merely borrowing them . . . for a short time . . . the same way we would borrow a lawn mower from our neighbor. Now, depending on the type of neighbor we want to be, are we not obligated to take the best care of the item that was borrowed? Ideally returning the item back in at least the same, or even BETTER shape than we first received it?
Now, I understand that we grow old. We can’t turn back the hands of time. But when we accept certain aspects of our health as “givens” as we grow older, that is just plain wrong. One of those aspects that we accept as a given, but truly isn’t, is that as we grow older our bodies WILL develop arthritis/joint degeneration . . Which ironically looks a whole lot like a cavity in a tooth. Now surely our Creator would have given our body some way of communicating with us that our bodies were headed down an arthritic path . . . an engine light to tell us the engine is not in proper order. . . Well, He did. It’s called pain.
But where so many of us miss the mark is that we treat the pain, as if the pain is what the problem is . . . We take a pain pill. We wait it out. We get adjusted!!!! We do whatever so the pain is no longer there. We ASSUME that if the pain is gone, the PROBLEM is gone! We couldn’t be further from the truth. As I said before, pain is a trailing indicator. It’s the last thing to show up and the first thing to go away. Some people have high pain tolerance, some low.
If you take away anything, take away that we were never designed to be pain avoidance, pleasure seeking beings. We were not designed to just treat pain. If we want to be good stewards of our bodies, then we HAVE to treat the CAUSE of the pain! And that is where chiropractic shines!
Dr. J. Hunter Owen D. C.