The famous psychologist Abraham Maslow once said: “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”
You might not think this applies to healthcare but in many ways nothing could be more on point. Just look at different types of doctors and what their hammer is:
- General MDs: their primary tool is drugs. They don’t operate or do procedures. If you show up at a Family or General Practitioner’s office there’s a very high probability that you will walk out with a prescription for a drug.
- Orthopedic Surgeon: their name says it all. These doctors operate and believe largely that surgery is the answer. You would think that we have solid proof of the benefit of all their surgeries. Not so. Of the 10 most common orthopedic procedures only 2 are supported by clinical trials.
- Physical Therapists: what do PTs do with pretty much everyone. It’s all about exercise even if the problem is not primarily muscular. Yes, they also do ultrasound but the evidence to support that is mixed.
So, what about chiropractors? Obviously the primary hammer of the chiropractor is the adjustment and the nail is anyone with neck or back pain. What’s the problem with this?
The problem with far too many chiropractors is how they apply their hammer, the adjustment. Many do not have a system to determine where to adjust, when to adjust, and most importantly when not to adjust. Have you ever been to a chiropractor and they seemed to adjust your spine from the top of your neck to the bottom of your low back?
What’s the problem with that? While it might feel good and it might even relieve your pain, the big problem is that it is doing nothing to correct the underlying problem.
How could that be a problem if you feel better? Great question even if you didn’t ask it. The problem is that the underlying imbalances continue even if the pain has been relieved. Imbalances in the spine and pelvis are what lead to the development of degenerative joint disease, or simply arthritis.
What’s a Better Approach with Chiropractic?
I’m going to assume that if you have an issue – neck pain, back pain, headaches, asthma, anxiety – that you would rather have the cause of the problem corrected than to have to continually revisit the problem again and again. And, that you’d prefer to avoid the problem only worsening over time.
Does that sound like something that would interest you more than a simple short term patch that not only guarantees that the problem will return but that it will worsen over time?
After all, everyone with a chronic illness either was unaware of the illness as it developed or chose to ignore it. They hoped and prayed on the 5 most dangerous words in health, “Maybe it will go away”.
Chiropractic is not much better than medicine or physical therapy if all it is used for is short term pain relief. Why? Because that does nothing to correct the underlying problem. And, if you go to a chiropractor and the primary adjustment is in the area of pain you know that to be true because 90% of the time the painful area is not the cause of the problem.
Balance and Correction
True chiropractic is based on the understanding that the body is self-healing. If you are having chronic or recurrent issues it is clear that your body is having a difficult time returning to a state of balance and healing.
The chiropractor’s job is to identify areas of the spine that are out of balance, putting pressure on the nervous system, and interfering with the healing process.
My job as a chiropractor is to help your body return to a state of balance so that your body may resume the healing process. Depending on how far out of balance you are and how long you have been out of balance determines the necessary frequency of care to bring you back into balance.
Why Settle for a Patch?
Not everyone’s problem can be corrected but everyone’s can be improved. If all you do is seek out short term pain relief the problem will get worse. What do I mean by worse?
I just saw a woman today who is 36 years old. She has a number of old injuries ranging from athletic injuries to a car collision 20 years ago. She’s experiencing neck pain and pain down an arm. We had x-rays of her neck done and they showed some arthritis and a complete reversal of the healthy normal neck curve.
Had she received the proper care 20 years ago she wouldn’t be experiencing these problems. I can help her. We can slow the development of the arthritis and improve her neck motion but there is no reversing the damage that has been done.
About the author:
Bringing more than 3 decades of practice experience, Dr. Bill Berkowitz focuses on balancing and corrective care, applying his expertise to provide patients with predictable, repeatable and measurable results.
Dr. Bill consistently strives to enhance the well-being of his patients by addressing the root imbalances of their problems and promoting optimal balance, alignment, and function of the spine and nervous system.
Bill’s wealth of knowledge and experience has allowed him to develop a nuanced understanding of the human body and its intricate connections. With each adjustment, he supports the body in returning to a state of balance that goes beyond mere symptom relief, focusing instead on long-term correction for his patients’ well-being.
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Schedule your first visit here: Life Chiropractic