So there is a commercial here in New Zealand that always irks me. It starts with a man and a woman discussing how important it is to treat injuries immediately. Ok, I'm with them so far. This is by far the most common thing I tell my patients. The commercial continues to describe what can happen when injuries are left.... prolonged pain, arthritis, stiffness. Still with them. Starting to sound like the Report of Findings I go through with every new patient. Ready for it..... The commercial recommends using a specific over the counter medication to treat the injury! This is where my jaw drops.
Let me ask this question..... How exactly does a medication treat an injury? They don't mend torn muscles or ligaments. They don't change altered biomechanics of the affected joint. I will concede that they may decrease inflammation, but so does ice and correcting the movement of the joint. It may temporarily "numb" the body from feeling the pain, but this can cause problems. Pain is one of the body's ways of warning you there is something wrong. By ignoring this warning, you run the risk of making the injury worse. Imagine a minor back muscle spasm being ignored and the faulty mechanics being allowed to continue. Over time, be it days, months or years, more stress is put on the disc. Eventually it will give out and a herniation forms creating a much larger more difficult problem to solve. Funny thing is the original injury if treated properly to begin with would have been solved quickly and possibly prevented any further injuries.
Now we all know people who say they have no problems, but they take pain meds on a regular basis for back or neck or knee pain. Hmmm, sounds suspicious.... if they had no problems, they wouldn't need the pain meds. Remember any pain or stiffness that comes and goes on a regular basis, or due to an injury, or seems to come on for no reason is a problem and needs proper treatment. And again I reiterate, meds do not treat anything! They merely "numb" the pain and possible temporarily reduce inflammation. For people in my region, give me a call to come in. I will treat the problem so it heals properly and doesn't lead to life long issues.
In the Best of Health,
Dr. Karyn Brents (DC)
Road to Wellness Chiropractic