Just because doctors can prescribe drugs (hammers) doesn’t mean that your condition is a nail.
Think of the opioid epidemic and how patients got treated with substances not designed to cure their conditions (nails), but to subdue their pain, allowing their problems to further deteriorate.
If the only goal is to give you pain relief and no attempt is made to correct the underlying problem then this cannot be called a treatment; Treatment implies an attempt to fix the condition. If you badly cut yourself, simply covering it with a bandage is not a treatment.
Prescription drugs by the cartload were not the appropriate treatment for many of the people affected by the opioid crisis, and they fueled a major health crisis by creating an addiction for millions of people now dependent on the medication. By the way, these patients and still living with their pain because the original problems were not treated.
Doctors are trained healthcare providers who do great work with infections, diseases, and traumatic situations. As I see it, the opioid problem was created by giving doctors the authority to prescribe medications for conditions they were not trained to treat… doctors prescribing hammers when the conditions were not nails.
Getting a prescription can be fast, cheap, and easy and actually overcoming your pain problem may take longer, cost more money, and require some effort on your part as well.
For you to function at your best, you must get the correct care. Pain is not only a signal of a problem, but also that your body is suffering due to poor function somewhere.
Here are the questions I ask myself when meeting a new patient:
- Am I the right person to treat/ fix his/her problem?
- If so, am I the right person for him/her?
- Is there a colleague that is better-suited who’s approach might work better than mine?
- Will my treatment be the most conservative and least invasive, but ultimately result in the patient’s improvement and better health?
Not feeling the pain because you took a prescription pill does not mean that your function has been fully restored, and therefore should not be your main goal. I have yet to see a patient in pain who did not also elicit some other sign of having an imbalanced body.
The Bottom Line: Remember that pain is just a signal that something in your body needs your attention. Don’t turn it off without fixing the problem. It will turn off on its own when the problem is resolved.