Why pain isn’t a good indicator of health
A lot of people only come in to see a chiropractor when they’re in pain. So what do you do when the pain is gone? Stop seeing your chiropractor until the pain comes back again? Let’s have a look at pain and see if it makes sense to have your spine checked when you’re not in pain.
First of all: what is pain? As you may know, pain is a signal from your body going to your brain to tell you something is wrong. A lot of people measure their health by how much pain or symptoms they have. But the function of pain isn’t to warn you for disease. Its function is to warn you that something in your body isn’t functioning or healing correctly. Therefore pain isn’t a good indicator of whether or not you’re healthy!
For example, heart disease is a disease that kills a lot of people. Very often the first symptom of heart disease is death. So if someone lives a life free of pain until suddenly he or she drops dead from a heart attack, was that person healthy the day before he or she died? Or what about cancer? Cancer doesn’t hurt in the beginning. So measuring your health by pain or symptoms might not be the best way.
Obviously pain is very annoying and sometimes it can be very debilitating. Unfortunately we are culturally trained to take medication for pain. Painkillers shut down your body’s warning system. They don’t cure the cause of your pain; they just shut off the pain signals going to your brain.
We have different types of nerves for different things. 91% of nerve cells in the nerve roots that are coming out of the sides of your spine go to your organs. Only 9% signal pain to the brain! There can be all sorts of things going on with the other 91% of neurons, and you won’t necessarily notice. This is the reason that pain isn’t a very good indicator of health, and the reason chiropractors don’t just focus on pain.
Chiropractic is all about making sure your spine and nervous system function properly. As a result of better nervous system functioning, pain and other symptoms often go away. But even if you don’t have pain it’s good to have your spine checked regularly. You body is constantly changing and adapting to what you do in your daily life. Sitting down, bending, lifting, falls and accidents are all examples of daily stressors that can cause spinal problems over time.
Regular checks can prevent pain and other problems from occurring, and it makes sure your body is functioning as well as possible. Because of the close relationship to your nervous system, your spine plays a key role in your health. Pain is usually a late finding of long-term spinal dysfunction. Luckily it’s usually also the first thing to go away again. However, that doesn’t mean that when it does your spine is functioning perfectly again!
Seeing a chiropractor for your spine is the same thing as going to the dentist for your teeth. Prevention is better than having to ‘fix’ something. Make an appointment today to make sure your spine stays in perfect condition!