Have you been waiting for your back to get better and it just hasn’t improved? The unfortunate truth of the matter is that giving it more time to heal probably won’t help.
If you’ve ever cut yourself, you know that within a week or so, your cut will typically be all healed up again like new. That’s Mother Nature doing its job as intended. But what if a month goes by and the wound is not healed? You know then that something isn’t right.
Many of my patients have sustained back injuries that haven’t gotten better, and at some point realized that allowing more time to heal was not going to be the answer. So after several weeks, months, or in some cases longer, they came into my office with their pain symptoms.
Unfortunately, if an unresolved condition goes on too long, the body has a tendency to adapt to the pain and find a “work around,” like modifying movement so that the pain is minimized. But at some point, the body will let you know with more pain or less mobility that it can no longer compensate in this way and that you will need to find another solution.
Regrettably, this is also the point at which your choices for conservative or non-surgical correction vs. invasive treatment or surgery may be reduced.
Over time, the body will have started to wear away the painful (uncorrected) area, which causes degeneration, more pain, and joint limitation. So instead of something that would have been easier to correct, you will suddenly have a much bigger problem on your hands. The clock will continue to move regardless of what you do or don’t do to help heal your problem, and your body will move right along with it – healed or not.
Government statistics indicate that as we get older, we will be spending more money on chronic, unresolved conditions. This means that the time we spent trying not to feel pain by taking pain pills or limiting our activities, was the time our body was wearing out.
Here are my recommendations if you have an unresolved pain problem:
- Seek out the proper diagnosis ASAP – don’t wait. It may take seeing several doctors to get answers and a plan in place.
- Find out what your choices are for full correction.
- If necessary, get opinions from various health specialists.
- Always start with the most conservative and least invasive approach.
- Give yourself (and your body) the proper amount of time to heal.
- Always find out what you can proactively do to assist the healing.
- When the condition has resolved, get guidance on how to prevent a recurrence.
Finding a practitioner you can trust and whose treatment you will respond to can be a challenge. Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations. It may take you several attempts to find the right doctor, so start early before it’s an emergency.
The Bottom Line: Prevention is always easier than correction. Time spent now will save you loads of time (and pain!) later. Listen to your body… and Mother Nature!