In Pain? Why Medication Isn’t the Answer to Physical Problems
By Dr. Molly Casey
People want a quick fix. Whether it’s internet speed or frozen dinners, society wants things faster. Feeling better and healing is no exception. If you pay attention to any advertisements on television, radio, or anywhere else, there seems to be a pill for every conceivable issue out there. There is a time and a place for everything, including chemicals in the form of medication, so do not confuse what I’m writing with “there is no place for medication.” It’s simply not the case. However, there is a need to understand the difference between feeling better with chemicals and correcting the problem by addressing structural issues that cause you to feel bad in the first place.
Structure Affects Function
The health of any structure affects the ability of that structure to perform its function optimally. Think of a car. If it is not maintained properly, if it’s out of alignment and the wheels have not been rotated in a timely fashion, the ride that the car produces will eventually take a hit; it won’t be as comfortable and, at some point, you’ll need new tires and other things because of the damage from the alignment issue. Although the negative effects may not be immediately visible, they will come.
The spine is no exception to this truth. The health of the structure affects the function of it. The spine houses and protects the nervous system. When the spinal joints are not moving through the full range of motion or they get stuck (spinal subluxation), the structure of the spine suffers. This often occurs with no pain. After being present long enough -- just like the car -- the spinal structure begins to degrade and joint motion worsens. And then the cycle goes deeper. There will eventually be pain and symptoms. This lack of function and resulting changes can interfere with the nervous system function.
Chemical Doesn’t Fix Structural
In a society built around the quick fix, there are important distinctions to be made when addressing issues with the spine and one’s health. Yes, faster is sometimes surely better. But not always, and it doesn’t mean the problem is fixed.
First, it is important to note that 90 percent of the nervous system does not transmit pain; it can’t, because it is not the function of 90 percent of the fibers. So a lack of pain is not equal to being healed or correcting the problem.
Second, one must look at what the intervention corrects or addresses. Chemical intervention or medication addresses the symptoms -- pain or inflammation. If you’re taking medication because of structural issues such as spinal joint subluxations, the chemical processes may reduce pain but do nothing to address the structural problem. The problem never gets fixed, only the symptom. Therefore, only addressing the symptoms with chemical intervention can trick the person into believing they are healthy and all is well -- it’s the quick fix people are looking for -- but poses a greater problem. Chemical intervention does not address structural problems.
Addressing Structure Promotes Function
Chiropractic care addresses the structure and function of the spine, in turn affecting the health and function of the nervous system. Chiropractic care looks to promote optimal spinal structural curves, joint motion, and bone health through delivery of the chiropractic adjustment. The adjustment is performed with the ultimate intention of optimal nervous system function through proper spinal joint motion and health. In time, pain and other symptoms often diminish and go away.
The main point of chiropractic is to increase overall quality of life and health through proper spinal structure and function. This does not occur through chemical intervention; rather, it’s through chiropractors who address the physical structure and how it’s performing. This can take time. Humans use the mainframe of their machine (aka, the spine) every single day in everything they do. It’s important to note that it took time to reach your point of pain, and it takes time to heal the structural issues that are a result of your life and health up to this point.
Chiropractic care is not a quick fix, although pain relief often comes rapidly. The correction of the issues follow in time with consistent repetition of the adjustment, which addresses the structural elements causing the problems. Yes, faster is sometimes better, but it is not always the answer to the problem.
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