Why go to a chiropractor when I'm not in pain?

"I feel great! I don't need to come in anymore..."

is something that we hear all the time. While I am always happy to hear that we have helped the patient, I also cringe when I hear it as an excuse to discontinue care. Here's the deal. Pain is a very poor indicator of health, but it is how we are taught to judge our health from day one. Our current health care model is completely pain and symptom based. You go to the doctor because you're in pain, you get a pill, and the pain stops. Voila! You're better! The pain is gone! But wait, are you truly healed or did you just manage to cover up a symptom? 

Most people are living at a mediocre level of health.

Because the majority of people use pain as their health gauge, they don't know how great they are actually designed to feel. At AHCC, yes one of our goals of treatment is to get you out of pain, but the more important goal is to increase your quality of life. For example, think about a woman with headaches. These headaches cause her to lose sleep and keep her in a constant fog all day. They cause her to have a short temper and snap at her children. This is about so much more than just being in pain! As we work with her and treat her she is no longer kept awake due to the headaches, she is no longer waking up at 2:00 a.m. to take another Tylenol just to get back to sleep, she is more productive during her day, and she is able to enjoy her family. Consider a man who has chronic shoulder and mid-back issues. He can not throw a ball to his kid. He has a hard time picking up his toddler. If we were just managing the pain, it would come back. Since we're treating the issue, he has an increased quality of life. 

Pain management is a cycle. Wellness is a lifestyle.

So why continue chiropractic care even when your pain is gone? It's simple. Pain management is a cycle. You feel discomfort, you treat the pain, you feel better for awhile, and then it comes back. I can just about guarantee it will come back. 1 week, 1 month, 6 months, a year...it always comes back. We see these patients all the time. They are on the pain management roller coaster. We get them feeling better, they take it as a sign that they are "done" and they wind up coming back for the same issue. Wellness is a lifestyle. It is about choosing to live at an optimal level of health, not a mediocre one. When we see people for maintenance care (this is what we call it after the pain is gone) we rarely see the same problem arise again. We stay ahead of the cycle by treating the person; adjusting them, soft tissue work, exercises, etc so that they can function how they were designed to. This not only keeps the pain at bay, it keeps their body working how it should! 

Get off the pain management roller coaster. Try a leisurely walk with wellness instead. Find out how great you are meant to feel.