It’s hard to argue with the concept of taking an active role in your health. Your doctor, therapist, dentist, eye doctor, and other members of your health care team are undoubtedly very well qualified. But if you aren’t doing your part to take care of your body, mind, teeth, and eyes, well, you’re setting those professionals up for failure. Even the world’s best dentist will have a hard time keeping your teeth in great shape if you never brush or floss. The same logic applies to your spine, but it seems to be much harder for people to understand. With that in mind, here are five things every chiropractic patient should know.
YOU MUST BE AN ACTIVE PARTICIPANT
Healthcare is not simply your doctor’s job. Without some level of participation from you, you’re limiting your ability to be truly healthy. What’s more, your participation in your own health will likely have a more significant impact than anything your doctor does.
SEE PAIN FOR WHAT IT IS
When we are in pain, it’s a signal that something is wrong. Pain is often late to the party – the tenderness and bruising after the fall, for example – and it’s usually what keeps us from hurting ourselves even more. The goal is to address whatever’s causing the pain, instead of merely treating the pain itself. Popping OTC painkillers every other day to manage a sore back isn’t solving the problem. And in fact, it’s likely creating more issues.
HEALING ISN’T INSTANT
Not everything happens at the speed of Amazon Prime. Remedying health issues isn’t an instant fix. The body needs time to heal itself, and there is no benefit in trying to rush the process. Practice patience, and recognize the issues that have been steadily worsening for weeks, months, even years, aren’t going to be resolved in a single visit.
EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED
The bones in our bodies are stacked on top of one another. with muscles and tendons and ligaments that are likewise connected. Treating one area of the body is very likely going to cause a reaction in another area. That’s why posture can have such an impact on not only your neck and back, but your pelvis and hips. When you come to the chiropractor with an aching back, it’s likely that she’ll look at more than just your back. Everything is connected, and these connections really matter.
THE BODY IS DESIGNED TO HEAL ITSELF
What happens when you cut your finger, or come down with a cold? With time, your cut will heal and you will recover from that cold. That’s because the body is designed to heal itself. If your finger didn’t heal, or your cold didn’t go away, both would be signs of a big problem. Because, again, one of the body’s main functions is healing itself. Sure, there are instances in which we need outside help for recovery, but without your body doing its job, surgery, medications, or treatments just won’t help.
We impede or enable this healing ability with various lifestyle choices. Things like your level of activity, quality of sleep, stress, nutrition, medications, and anything else you do or put into your body will impact its function – for better or for worse. It’s an important realization for people to have, and sometimes, that clarity alone can be the incentive for leading a healthier lifestyle.