…and Why it May NOT be a Great Idea.
Whether we like it or not, the focus of our health care system is the treatment of secondary conditions, or what most people refer to as symptoms. This is certainly the case in most chiropractic offices where the goal is typically to alleviate as much pain and discomfort as possible.
For the most part, our system is quite successful at treating secondary conditions. Very often drugs do the job. Traditional chiropractors and therapists are very good at treating pain.
Why is it then, that so many people are frustrated when it comes to their health? Why do we hear so many stories from people who have had their symptoms (both pain and organ dysfunction) re-occur again and again over a period of years or even decades? Why are most people not getting long term, sustainable resolution?
The reason is that while we are spending all of our energy treating what is secondary, we are very often missing the primary issue that is underlying the symptom, and in some cases a variety of other secondary conditions. We have become so good at treating the surface, that the actual cause is never addressed.
I currently have some pain in my wrist stemming from using some weightlifting equipment I wasn’t accustomed to in Toronto. It isn’t too severe but I have to be careful while training and it actually hurts quite a bit doing certain things at work. There are a variety of both pharmaceutical and non-drug measures I could take to relieve that pain. I COULD, but I choose NOT to.
Why? Because I know that treating the pain will not take care of what is behind it and may lead to even more trouble down the road. I could numb it with ice or Tylenol before work but then I wouldn’t feel the pain that is telling be to back off because I am causing damage. By leaving the secondary condition more or less alone, it will allow me to know if the primary injury requires rest to heal, a change in my diet to reduce inflammation or hopefully not, but orthopedic intervention if necessary.
Most people completely understand this concept of primary and secondary conditions in other areas of their lives. They know that they have to address the cause when they have trouble with finances, relationships, children or even their automobiles. When it come to health? Most people just chase the symptoms and pay for it down the road.
Now, I am not suggesting we should never treat symptoms. When our lives are in danger it certainly makes sense and I suggest you find someone very good at it. Most of the time, however we would be much better off by asking “what is primary to this symptom?” Of course, sometimes taking care of underlying causes takes a bit more effort than patching up the surface. It sure is worth it, though. Wouldn’t you rather change the faulty wiring in your house than have to buy all new appliances every 6 months?
At Nexus Chiropractic we focus on detecting and addressing a primary condition known as a Neurospinal Shift which is very similar to having faulty wiring in your house. When a Neurospinal Shift is present, a variety of secondary conditions may arise such as pain, poor posture, muscle spasm, and organ issues as all of these functions are mediated by the nervous system.
Our care is designed to address the NS Shift, which when successful it stands to reason that what is secondary often resolves as a result.