Why should I return if I'm feeling fine?By the time you have disease symptoms, your body could have been in a state of “dis-ease” for weeks, months or even years. Some people think pain is the only reason to visit a chiropractor. That attitude is dangerous because vertebral subluxations are often painless—they may remain within you, interfering with your life and health expression for months or years before symptoms finally appear. Pain or obvious symptoms can often be the last stage of disease, for example: would you go to a dentist who would wait until you were in pain before he checked you for cavities?...to an internist who told you to wait until you had a stroke before addressing high blood pressure?...to an oncologist who said the only time to deal with cancer was when the tumors started making you feel sick? Of course not!
In the same way, the best time to correct vertebral subluxations is now! Before pain or other symptoms develop. Now you know why chiropractors call subluxations “the silent killer.” You may have them without any spinal, nerve or muscular pains or other symptoms.
Patients are often asked to return periodically for spinal checkups even if the presenting problem(s) that brought them to their doctor of chiropractic has cleared up. Why? Your chiropractor has good reasons for requesting you to return even if you feel “fine.”
Since vertebral subluxations are often painless, your body may have been fighting them for a long time by the time they are discovered. The “battle scene” may be littered with lots of casualties such as weakened, unbalanced, and unevenly worn joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and discs plus fibrosis or scar tissue. Cellular damage to the involved nerves and surrounding tissues occurs within a week of the onset of a subluxation. Within ten days to two weeks, that damage becomes irreversible.
This damage needs to be cleaned up and repaired if your spine it to heal properly. Restore nerve function, and the cells can repair this damage. When the muscles begin to “learn” abnormal holding patterns, they must be “unlearned” before you can hold your spinal adjustments. Until the scar tissue dissolves and the tissues rebuild, your body will not “hold” its adjustments well and regular spinal correction or adjustments are needed.
Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by thinking, “I'm no longer in pain, so I’m free of subluxations.” Although in many cases, one or a few spinal adjustments may make you pain free, that may merely mean that your spinal damage is a little less severe than it was when you first entered the office, but not that you have healed completely.