Is there a CURE for that?
In my Grand Rapids chiropractic clinic, I often hear patients talk about “cures”. This is an interesting idea. My first thought is what do you mean by cure? Do you mean get rid of your symptom? Or, do you mean fix the underlying cause? What I have discovered, is when most of the people I talk with refer to a cure, they simply mean getting rid of the symptom. For example, if you have a headache and take an aspirin, you have “cured” your headache. However, if you get a headache again tomorrow, that really wasn’t a cure.
In fact, most problems have NO “cure”. Think about it, does the cholesterol medication you take cure the problem, or do you take the pill forever? Does the high blood pressure medication cure the high blood pressure, or do you take the pills forever? Does the acid reflux medication cure the problem, or do you have to take it forever? Does the visit to the dentist cure the problem of plaque on your teeth? Or, is there more plaque when you show up 6 months later? Even surgery can’t cure everything. About 80% of patients who have had a back surgery will have another. The idea that removing an organ cures the organ is ridiculous. If you remove your gallbladder or appendix, you certainly won’t have that problem again because the organ is now gone. Some problems have no cure. For example, many injuries will cause actual physical damage that rarely can be “cured” or made 100% normal again. Same with degenerative arthritis, you can often make the joint feel and function better, however, it will never be the same as before.
I was talking with a guy the other day at a store. He found out I was a chiropractor, and started talking. It went something like this. Him: “My neck is a degenerated mess. I go to so many doctors. If I thought you could cure me, I would come in to see you.” Me: “What are you doing for the severe degeneration in your neck?” Him: “Well I take oxy and get steroid shots in my neck every week.” Me: “Hmmm, how is that fixing your neck?” Him: “Well…umm…I guess it’s not.” Me: “Right, so the other doctors can’t fix your neck, but you still are going to them?” Him: “Yeah…umm…” Me: “So, let me ask you, if you could be 10-20% improved would you be interested in that? Even though there is no cure for your problems?” Him: “Well…I guess…sure.” Me: “So what is holding you back?” Him: “If…umm…I…”.
Most of the people I talk with are simply not educated on their problems and really are not informed of the expectations of results, and what is meant by results and/or cure. Really, you should be looking for improvement. Not only in symptoms, but in your mobility and function. These all combine to create your quality of life.
We all degenerate over time. So there is no cure for life. Well, there is, called death. So the answer is not to try and find cures for everything, but to try and make you last as long as possible, with the highest qualtiy of life as possible. By adopting this mindset, you will set yourself up for an attainable goal to be your best for as long as possible!
Dr. Michael Kwast is a chiropractor in Grand Rapids Michigan, and the CEO of iChiro Clinics. He is the author of the book, “7 Beliefs Destroying Your Health“. His clinics have received the 2014 Better Business Bureau of West Michigan’s Trust Award for Ethics, and Grand Rapids Magazines Best of Grand Rapids for 2014.