"I have a high pain tolerance."
"I thought it would just go away."
"I just got used to living with it."
"Chiropractic hasn't really worked for me."
These are all things that I hear from people regarding their chronic spinal problems that I often find on x-ray. Many people ignore health problems, especially chronic ones, unless they begin to get worse. This strategy can have some significant consequences, some of which are irreversible.
Lets take a look...
Untreated chronic problems eventually lead to a downward spiral of difficulties. Some recent studies have even show that chronic pain can alter a person's brain chemistry, in effect, "re-wiring" their nervous system. As a result of this, they can have a difficult time processing and reacting to multiple things at once. The part of the brain that processes emotion can also deteriorate quicker than normal as a result of chronic pain, leading to an exacerbation of depression-like symptoms.
As it relates to your spine, I see the damaging effects of uncontrolled chronic problems everyday in the office. Allowing chronic stress to persist in your spine drastically speeds up the deterioration (spinal degeneration) in your spine. It is not uncommon, even with someone in their 20's and 30's, that I will already begin seeing the signs of spinal degeneration developing in their spine as the result of chronic stress.
What Can You Do?
Don't wait! As I mentioned above, many will wait until problems progress quite far in order to begin to address them. The best option is providing your spine with regular maintenance. This includes but is not limited to routine chiropractic check-ups, yoga, exercise, and stretching. I also emphasize with patients that it is much easier to stay well, than to get well. Once damage develops in your spine it will NEVER go away. So ideally, you want to take every necessary step in order to minimize it's development. Beginning chiropractic care at a very early age, and staying with it throughout your lifetime can go a long way to accomplishing this. Just this week, as we often do, I saw a 3 week old baby for her 1st spinal check-up. Thankfully she had only minor problems that were easily corrected.
It's never too late to start! Maybe you have never seen a chiropractor and are worried that the damage is already done, so what is the point. Not true. Yes, there may be damage, but managing that and preventing more is extremely important. You are never too old, and you are never too young. If you have been on the fence about starting chiropractic care, don't wait.
Start living the life you deserve!