Maintaining Your Health
A chiropractor often sees patients whose spinal problems have been present for many years. Frequently we wish that we could turn back the clock to a time when the problem first began and could have been more easily corrected. The admonition "you should have come in twenty years ago" may be true, but the fact is that often people don’t feel the pain until years after the abnormal movement began. That is why doctors of chiropractic encourage their patients to consider bringing in their children and grandchildren for spinal checkups so that in another 30 or 40 years, they won’t be hobbling in to see the next generation of chiropractors and hear the same comment.
More and more people are discovering the value of spinal health maintenance. You may suffer from the effects of spinal misalignment or fixations for years before symptoms appear. The body is very good at compensating for a while. By the time back or neck pain is felt, some degenerative changes and nerve irritation may already have begun, and the ligaments and muscles attached to the spine have become "used to" their abnormal positions. At that point, correction requires re-educating stretched muscles and ligaments to regain their normal elasticity and shortened ones to lengthen. The longer the spinal problem is left untreated, the longer it will take to correct it. If left too long, complete correction may not be possible.
A good analogy to chiropractic care is dental care. We know we should see our dentist regularly to detect cavities or other problems before they develop into something more serious. Like spinal problems, dental problems develop slowly and silently, and it can be a long time before you have any painful symptoms. If you wait until you have pain in a tooth, you are facing extensive corrective care.
In the same way, spinal stress is often insidious, building up slowly. We’re often unaware of small health problems or we’re so busy with work or school that we forget about or ignore the body’s warning signs, hoping they’ll go away. What usually does go away is our sensitivity to our own discomfort. It can become lost in the background noise of our lives until the onset of severe pain forces us to finally pay attention.
Why wait until you have a health problem to see a chiropractor? Why not practice preventive health maintenance, having your spinal column checked before you suffer pain and disability? You are never too young for a spinal check up. True health is not just the absence of symptoms - it is all body systems working properly, including the body’s framework and the nerves which arise from the spine. See your chiropractor for a health maintenance program suited to your personal needs, and start your children on a schedule of regular checkups to give them a head-start in preventing spinal problems.