Four Sundays ago I was standing in a check out line with my wife and children. Our two year old just wanted to be held and kept climbing up my and my wife’s legs. I decided to lift him up onto my shoulders as that is one of his favorite places to sit. The moment he sat on my shoulders, I felt a strong, sharp, stinging sensation race down my arm, through my elbow and into my pinky finger. I urged my wife to hurriedly take him down and for the rest of the day my arm hung limp and in immense pain.
Like any good American would, I went to my Chiropractor the next day, Monday, to get checked. I was adjusted every day that week and began to feel some relief and regained the ability to use my arm and hand by Wednesday. By the weekend the pain was completely gone and I had better use of my arm and hand. Knowing how this goes for our own patients, I was thankful that it only took a week or so to get “back to normal.”
It is what happened next that has now caught my attention. Instead of following my own advice and continuing at that three times per week frequency for another month or so, I slipped right back into my routine of once per week as I have been for 16 years. But it made me wonder, what happens to folks who haven’t taken care of themselves like I do. Those folks who have never been to a Chiropractor prior to hurting themselves and then arbitrarily decide they feel better and therefore are done with their care… what happens to them? How do they feel?
I received my answer this past weekend. We were at the Canton VFD Jamboree on Friday night for their fireworks display and our 6 year old wanted to climb onto my shoulders for a better view. “Feeling OK” as I did, I agreed and hoisted her up for the half hour show. We went home and to bed and when I woke up on Saturday, I had the same shock-like pain in my elbow and pinky finger again.
Thankfully, I was attending an adjusting seminar for license renewal credits and was able to get checked and adjusted on Saturday and Sunday. I then saw my regular Chiropractor at lunch today. The whole experience was a great reminder for me that Subluxations are more often asymptomatic (having no symptoms) than symptomatic. It is also a great reminder that pain is a horrible way to determine the need for an adjustment. Be sure that I’ll be getting checked every day this week, next week and until I KNOW FULL WELL that my subluxations are fully corrected before reducing myself to my regular maintenance schedule again.
To think that even with regular once per week checks and adjustments, I still needed more care than I gave myself after such an acute injury. So how about those folks who have never seen a Chiropractor prior to a similar acute injury? When they “get better” and then have a recurrence, do they think to themselves “it didn’t work?” Or, are they as smart as the rest of us and realize that healing takes time and the injury wasn’t fully healed the first time around just because the pain was gone and that more care is needed?
If this can happen to me, someone who is on regular maintenance care, who knows full well and practices what he preaches, how much more so someone who doesn’t fully understand Chiropractic? Or how about someone who utilizes Chiropractic improperly on an “as needed” basis? These people need our help both for care and education of how the body heals and works. Please be sure to send them in so we can help them, regardless of their symptoms.