In our clinic, we are very fortunate to have patients who are very invested in their health. Many of you are involved in your care, and have excellent questions about your condition, and how your body works. We thought that this month, we’d share some of the great questions our patients have been asking, and our doctors have answered.
Q: Why do I feel pain? Is that a signal that something is permanently damaged?
A: Pain, and your body’s interpretation of pain, is like the alarm system ringing in your body, telling you that something else needs your attention. In most chiropractic cases, a joint dysfunction (sometimes called a chiropractic subluxation) irritates the adjacent spinal nerve. This “pinched nerve” then conducts the pain signal to your brain to prompt you to do something about it. The sooner you seek care, the faster the nerve will recover and the pain signal will go away.
Our bodies are very resilient, and are “self-healing” machines. Chiropractic care can help to speed your body’s process of healing. Very rarely is there permanent damage, and with proper chiropractic care, stretching, and strengthening, your body will restore itself to its normal state.
Q: I hurt my back and I didn’t do anything stupid!? I didn’t fall, and didn’t pick up anything heavy. It just started when I bent over to get my sock! Why would that hurt me?
In many cases like this, there is a “mismatch” between your body’s capacity and the demands you are putting on it. The normal demands that you put on your body (sitting, carrying your child, reaching down to grab a sock, deadlift 150 lbs) may be too much for your body when your capacity is lower. Capacity means how well your body has recovered, and is a combination of how well you’ve slept, your nutrition, if you’ve been sick, overworked, stressed, etc. There is nothing wrong with your body when you hurt after an incident like this, and there is nothing wrong with picking up your sock off the floor. Simply, your body is trying to tell you that you are not recovering the way you should be to strive for optimal health.
Q: How long will it take for me to get better? Why am I not getting better as fast as my friend?
How long you will take to feel better depends on several things.
- The TYPE of problem you have will dictate how long it takes – usually conditions with numbness and tingling along a nerve take longer than a sore neck, for instance.
- How long the problem has been there. Longer-standing problems take longer to resolve. More recent health problems tend to resolve faster as your body is not as used to being in this painful pattern.
- Your age is also a factor in how fast you will heal. Older patients are often at a slight disadvantage in healing. Factors that can improve your speed of healing include good nutrition, sleep, moderate exercise and regular chiropractic care. Dr. Hubbel is the true example of this!
- Your attitude – patients with a positive attitude who BELIEVE they will get better are the patients who heal faster. Your compliance to our recommended care including adjustments, rest, and home exercises will give you the best results.