One of life's challenging lessons is mastering 'patience'—with our kids, spouses, health, cars, and various aspects. As a chiropractor, practicing patience with my patients is sometimes demanding!
Exercising patience in regaining health or waiting for improvement after injury or illness is particularly tough. A fundamental truth is that every process takes time. Due to our impatience and reluctance to wait for the necessary time, we often anticipate or demand quick solutions, like over-the-counter pain remedies.
Clinical experience reveals that the most prevalent issue, demanding time for correction, arises not from a major injury but from a neglected spine that eventually succumbs, causing severe nerve compression and painful symptoms.
In essence, most problems are 'progressive,' starting quietly and escalating. Over the years, both minor and major stressors accumulate on the spine. Many individuals we see have endured sports, work, slip/trip and fall, and auto accident injuries, which are understandable. Equally common, however, is someone entering the office in severe pain, unable to pinpoint the cause.
Patients often find relief from the first visit to a few weeks later. The response time depends on the condition's severity, duration, complicating illnesses, age, hereditary factors, and other underlying elements. Consider the common cold—each person heals at a different rate, and each cold varies until recovery.
Defining "better" is crucial. Our aim is to collaborate with each patient to achieve treatment goals—some seek pain reduction, others improved function, strength, and body restoration for work or enjoyable activities. For some, the goal is overall well-being amidst a busy, demanding lifestyle.
As a chiropractor, we frequently encounter dramatic stories like "I bent to pick up my shoe and couldn't straighten up" or "I reached to open the fridge, and now my neck won't turn." These exemplify the "straw that broke the camel's back," a common occurrence.
Nothing valuable and of quality in life escapes regular maintenance.
The spine requires it too. Without maintenance, vulnerable areas and supporting muscles weaken, making your spine less stable. That seemingly benign act, like stooping to pet the dog, could be the last straw.
For those accustomed to quick fixes, the reality is that full recovery takes time, diligence, and regular care. Imagine joining a fitness club in September and telling the trainer you want to resemble them by year-end, committing to monthly sessions. They'd likely suggest stand-up comedy!
After a thorough chiropractic consultation, examination, and possibly x-rays, chiropractors often inform patients that their condition can improve with specific recommendations and patience. If a problem took years or decades to build before reaching a crisis, resolving it will also take time. Fortunately, recent research on spinal rehabilitation provides practical insights.