Regularly, I receive an email from a patient asking a health question. Well, most of the time anyway.
Sometimes these emails are sharing a recipe, sometimes talking about the latest Hawkeye news, many times a funny joke, and sometimes an invite to a cool event happening in the area. But mostly, about health.
I have decided to write a weekly blog entitled "Ask the doctor...things in my e-mail inbox." Each week I will choose one of these emails and answer it right here.
You don't have to be a patient to ask a question...just send me an e-mail to email@example.com.
I will post your question and an answer (without your identifying information, of course). If you have a joke to share, do so! If you have a burning question that you have over-Googled and still want to know more, just ask! So with no further delay, here we go!!!
This week's email reads..."Dr. Karrie, I heard a chiropractic joke today. Q: How many chiropractors does it take to change a lightbulb? A: Only 1, but it will take you 40 visits!..."
Hahahaha, ol' patient of mine! Although funny, this joke is also contains a very negative stereotype of chiropractic treatment, brought on by chiropractors themselves, no doubt.
Have you ever heard the old saying "once you go to a chiropractor, you have to go forever"? Does it take 40 chiropractic treatments to see a benefit in health? Absolutely not. Do you have to go to a chiropractor forever once you begin treatment? Of course not!
In my office, treatment plans are written depending on the patient's goals. For example, if their goal is pain relief, it may very well only take the patient a couple of visits. But let me be clear here, and I tell my patients this as well...just because you are out of pain, doesn't mean you have fixed the problem.
Look at all of the abuse we put our bodies through from the time we are born until whatever age you are. Typically, by the time you are in pain, you are years past the point of injury! I can relate this to something everyone will understand. Weight.
You skip a workout. Do you immediately gain 20 pounds? That's ridiculous! You start skipping more and more workouts and before you know it, well, hello 20 new pounds! Now you decide to start doing something about it. So you get back into the gym. You feel great after the first, second and third workout. But that extra 20 pounds is not going away so easily. The same is true with chiropractic adjustments. It takes work and committment to ensure that your spine is in line and your nervous system is functioning the way it should be.
Now let's use another analogy. The dentist. You take care of your teeth. You brush, floss, use mouthwash and visit the dentist a couple of times a year to prevent problems.
If you have been doing these things religiously, things can still go awry in your mouth. However, using prevention, it will take the dentist much less time and fewer visits to correct the problem.
The same is true with your chiropractor. You eat right, work out, have your own form of stress relief, and get regular spinal checkups and chiropractic adjustments. But one day, you notice a twinge in your lower back because you were moving and lifting lots of heavy stuff. Off to the chiropractor you go. Three to four visits and you are feeling normal again.
Let's say the same person doesn't eat right, doesn't work out, has a high stress level, and does not take care of his/her spine. Still off to the chiropractor you go. Now it will more than likely take twice as many visits to correct the same problem!
It's your choice. Would you choose not to see a dentist until your teeth are falling out? No.
Should you choose not to see a chiropractor until surgery has been recommended to you? I hope not!
So the "answer" to your joke, dear patient, is: treatment plans are made on an individual basis and dependent on the patient's health goals. See your chiropractor regularly. Take care of your spine. It is the foundation on which the rest of your body is built!