Another misconception I hear about is the fact that “Once you go to a chiropractor, you always have to go.” This may be true only in the sense that as your body heals and the joints are moving, and the nervous system is working as they should, you notice the difference in your health and state of being. This difference can be somewhat addicting. People love feeling better and don’t care to return to their previous condition, so many people decide to continue maintenance care on their own accord.
In the previous article I talked about the 90-day healing principle. There is another principle to consider regarding the misconception this week. That is being the concept of sustainment. The body has a tendency of continuing “down a road” unless it has some external help to change that course. This is the case when it comes to degeneration. When a joint is damaged or subluxated, the body tries to stabilize the joint with increased muscle tone (spasm) and restricted movement. Over time, this joint imbalance begins a degenerative process resulting in bone spurring. This increased production of bone along joint surfaces is the body’s attempt to stabilize the structure. It is like the Leaning Tower of Pisa in a way. If something is unstable, you try to “shore it up,” usually by increasing the width of the base. Many people are unaware of the stabilizing process happening until the side affects of pain and stiffness show up. Now, this process often takes many years to occur. The thing to remember is that even though a person may be out of pain after some care, further care may be needed to maintain the improvements to keep the body from regressing. It didn’t happen overnight, it will not heal overnight. Be patient with yourself and your body.
This whole principle of sustainment is no different than someone losing weight by dieting. Just because a person changes their eating habits for one meal does not mean he or she will automatically loose the weight. And once results are seen, that person must maintain the new habits, or the weight will likely return. It is the same for spinal function and health; it is ideal to maintain the forward progress gained or the condition will likely reverse over time.
If you, a family member, or a friend need to have their spine checked or cared for, Dr. John Fulkerson at Tulia Family Chiropractic is ready to help answer any questions you may have. You can reach us at 806-995-4699 or www.tuliafamilychiro.com.