I see it all the time. The wait to get treated until the discomfort is more than that person wants to deal with.
By the time you feel that level of discomfort, your body is already at the point where its ability to compensate is being tested. And, generally, the time it takes to treat that issue is more complicated, and the problem may no longer be local, so treatment takes longer.
Here are some examples of this:
Case study #1: An older gentleman was referred to me for severe sciatica, interfering with his lifestyle. He had suffered with back pain for over 40 years, but only sought help when the sciatica was so long-lasting and severe there was nerve damage resulting in loss of feeling and strength in one leg. MRIs showed remodeling in the spinal vertebra resulting in anterolisthesis – a condition where the upper vertebra slips forward onto the vertebra below. This gentleman, at this point, was desperate for pain relief and sought no other opinions or alternative treatments, and underwent a spinal surgery known as laminectomy. This surgery creates space by removing the lamina — the back part of a vertebra that covers your spinal canal. Also known as decompression surgery, laminectomy enlarges your spinal canal to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.
The surgery gave him temporary relief, but when the pain returned, it returned with a vengeance. Had this gentleman taken advantage of alternative treatments, had he been educated in the self-care he needed to aide in his recovery, his outcome might have been much different, But, this gentleman was looking for the “magic wand”, was not invested in doing exercises, was not willing to learn how to make his recovery successful.
He came to see me originally for relief from the sciatica. That didn’t take long – a few visits. I warned him the results would not last unless he was willing to correct some other musculoskeletal imbalances, or really put effort into strengthening his core, the muscles supporting the spine and correcting his very poor posture. He needed to be on a regular treatment schedule. But, whenever we achieved his goal for pain relief, he’d stop exercising, forget about the effect his postural distortions were having on the spinal column and leave off treatment. Before long, he was again in severe pain and at that point, he’d go back to seeking medical advise: epidurals, physical therapy, etc. He was looking for the “magic wand”.
This gentleman was any medical practitioner’s worst nightmare – Waiting to get help until it’s too late.
The moral here is don’t wait years before seeking treatment – while you’re “toughing it out,” the damage inside continues.
Case study #2: Another older gentleman was referred to me for low back pain. He had “thrown his back out” the week prior. Assessment showed a tortioned pelvic girdle so severe, one leg was 1-1/2 inches shorter than his other leg. One of his body’s compensations was to develop scoliosis (curvature of the spine). After determining the scoliosis was functional, muscle testing showed how to unravel the muscular imbalances that led to the pelvic torsion. The first treatment saw much improvement, and his back pain was reduced by 60%. I had him return within the week, when full correction was achieved and his pain was gone.
The moral here: Even though this man’s musculoskeletal imbalances had been in place for many years, he sought help when he developed pain. Don’t wait to seek treatment – while you’re “toughing it out”, the damage inside continues.
The best way to keep your body balanced and reduce your risk of developing long-term, musculoskeletal issues is to get on a regular schedule of self-care. But, don’t expect that a monthly massage will do it all – You’ve got to do your part with exercise and eating right, too.
Waiting to get treated, delays recovery.
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