I think our weathermen have one of the most difficult jobs out there. Have you ever heard someone say “they NEVER get it right!” or “I wish I could get paid for being wrong all the time.”??? Maybe you’ve even heard these words coming out of your own mouth?
But have you ever stopped to think that its improbable and likely impossible to ever predict the weather with 100% accuracy. Even with the best technology and the smartest meteorologist cannot predict mother nature.
There are just simply too many variables at play…temperature, pressure, air density, humidity, etc. A change in any one of these variables may dramatically change the forecast.
So why am I talking about this??? Well being a Chiropractor has a lot of similarities.
As a Chiropractor I get a lot of questions. What’s my problem? Where is my problem? What do we have to do to fix it? Why did this happen? These are all important questions and I try my best to answer each of them.
But one of the most common questions that I get is… “how long is this problem going to take to fix?” If only people knew how loaded this question really is.
If only people knew how loaded this questions is.
So let’s dig in.
First and foremost, when I first start working with someone I try to gather as much information as possible. Information can be collected in many ways…your history of symptoms, examination, posture, palpation, and what I feel is the most important and most objective…a detailed spinal x-ray analysis.
This is the equivalent of a meteorologists collecting as much data as possible about a potential storm system. Based on this data, as well as their experience and judgment, they are able to make some assumptions by following the best forecasting model.
Just like the weather, there are a lot of variables when it comes to someone’s health picture. Lifestyle, injuries, accidents, etc may contribute to how fast someone my heal.
Each person is a unique individual with different problems. Just like no two snowflakes are identical and no two storm systems are ever the same, no two people ever have the same exact problem.
Certain storm systems may have similar characteristics and may be categorized into a nor’easter or a hurricane or a blizzard. Certain medical diagnoses or conditions may have similar characteristics, and be grouped together as things you may be familiar with as sciatica or headaches.
But one person’s sciatica is not another person’s sciatica. One person’s headaches are not another person’s headaches.
This is important to understand because someone may come to me with headaches. And I helped their Aunt Peggy get over those headaches in just a couple of visits. Now if you heard this, what would you expect? Of course you would think that you would have the same response. Unfortunately this is just not the case.
Based upon all the information I gather I am able to make some educated opinions as to how long it may take to correct their problem.
This doesn’t always hold true, but there are some common trends that I see:
- The longer the problem has been there, usually the longer it will take to resolve it
- The more damage that is present, the longer it will take to heal.
- The more effort and proper action someone takes, the quicker the problem will resolve.
- Failure to identify and modify lifestyle behaviors that may be contributing to the problem will slow the healing process.
- The more consistent someone is with their care/ care plan…the faster and better their results.
So what’s the bottom line of all this? Most people, myself included, are impatient and want results yesterday. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.
The spine and body take time to heal…I don’t make the rules and neither do you. There are no quick fixes.
Speaking of “fixes”…
Just because people get out of pain, in most cases this person is not “fixed”. For example someone could come to me with neck pain. Their x-rays could indicate a reverse curve (one of the worst things I can see on x-ray), yet after a couple of visits they could be feeling much better.
Does this mean that they are fixed? Nope. Not even close. Fixing a curve reversal takes much more work and time than this, but it can be done.
Everybody, especially truly motivated people, want all of the answers to their problems right now. Quite frankly, it’s impossible to teach everyone everything in one visit. There is no way anyone could understand, comprehend, and retain everything anyway.
Becoming educated about your problem is a process. I have found that those people who stick out their recommended care plans will absolutely learn the most about their health. Most people don’t even realize the long term value in this.
Unfortunately, I have encountered far too many people that have come and gone in my office. I knew they were in the right place, getting the right care, but for whatever reason they didn’t stick it out.
This is one of the most frustrating things I encounter. There is nothing more helpless than having the power to help someone, but yet they are not willing to put the work in and follow through.
Alas, just like the weatherman I can’t 100% with certainty predict the future. But with the right game plan and the right action steps we can get a good idea of what it takes to get someone back on the path to health.