I Want to Feel Better… NOW!

Every so often I’ll encounter a new patient who schedules an appointment with me because something “randomly” started hurting (neck, shoulder, or arm pain for example).

As soon as they arrive, they attempt to bypass important office procedures. They’re not interested in providing the very relevant health history that’s asked of them, or receiving a thorough examination that must be performed to help identify the cause of their problem. Some are even tempted to think that x-rays are strictly optional.

All that’s on their mind is, “I want to feel better now!”

The desire to feel better is a perfectly reasonable request from any patient. After all, pain can be scary… especially if it’s a “new” pain you’ve never experienced before. A very unrealistic and unreasonable expectation, however, is assuming that one hurried spinal adjustment will lead to an instantaneous and miraculous recovery.

You see, the pain that recently developed might only be a week old, but the cause of that pain may have been “in the works” for much longer. Health problems develop very slowly. Consider heart attack victims… the first symptom they have is often the heart attack itself!

Chiropractors like to compare this situation to getting a flat tire… Not all flat tires are caused by punctures from a sharp object. Many times they result from uneven wear and tear on the tire surface. This develops very slowly after driving a car with improper wheel alignment.

So if the driver thinks that “more air” will do the trick, he could be completely missing the cause of the flat tire.

That’s why receiving a proper evaluation is critical to not only relieving the pain, but also correcting its cause. I’ll always be an advocate for patients taking control of their health care, but I strongly discourage taking shortcuts by compromising the safety and efficacy of your doctor’s care.

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