Have you ever been to the dentist and – after taking x-rays – the dentist says, “Hmmm, it looks like you have a cavity in this tooth back here. We need to do a filling to make sure it doesn’t cause further damage to the tooth.”
I know I have.
In that moment, I usually think, “But I’ve been doing so good! I brush twice a day, I floss every night, I use mouth wash… and I haven’t had any pain! How could I have a cavity?”
In the same way, we frequently find subluxations that have given the patient zero indications that they have a problem. No pain, no numbness or tingling, no reason to believe there is a problem. But through routine testing on their initial visit, we find that there are subluxations present.
Sometimes patients come in for low back pain, and we find subluxation(s) in their neck. If they don’t have pain in the neck, should we leave it alone?
Whether a subluxation is causing pain or not, we want to correct those subluxations.
When we have a bone that is out of place, it will cause abnormal motion in the joint. Abnormal motion means that over a long period of time, the joint will have abnormal wear and tear, eventually leading to arthritis.
Nobody wants arthritis in the spine. If there are some simple things we can do now to prevent arthritis later, shouldn’t we do that?
Beyond the long-term effects, frequently patients actually are experiencing symptoms of subluxations, but they may not be pain symptoms.
When we have a subluxation, it reduces the communication between the brain and the other parts of the body. As a result, we might experience internal organ dysfunction such as constipation or diarrhea, acid reflux, shortness of breath, difficulty controlling the bladder, problems with the reproductive organs, vertigo, and more.
Another commonly ignored symptom is muscle weakness. It may not be significant enough to cause people to worry, but they notice that one shoulder is “stronger” than the other. Or one leg has better balance than the other. Many times, that muscle weakness is caused by decreased nerve signal from the brain to the skeletal muscles.
A lack of pain is not an indication that there are no problems. Frequently pain is the last symptom to appear and the first symptom to go away. If pain relief is the only reason you want to see a chiropractor, you may miss out on all the other benefits down the line: healthy joints and better function.