Medication, Symptoms, and Chiropractic
Updated: Feb 19, 2020
You arrive at your car first thing in the morning on your way to work to hear the unmistakable sound of the alarm system blaring. Upon further investigation, you discover your window has been smashed. It's the middle of January and the air is crisp. You turn off the alarm and in an attempt to be on time for your meeting, brush the glass aside and continue to work. The trip is freezing and stressful but you arrive. The problem is solved. The alarm is off and all is well, right? Obviously not the alarm sounded because the window was broken and you will continue to freeze until the window is fixed. The broken window is the problem. The alarm is the warning.
What does this have to do with medication, chiropractic, and for that matter anything else?
We have been conditioned to believe that at the first sight of pain or discomfort to reach for a pill or potion to shut the signal of pain off. I want to challenge you to think that maybe pain exists for a reason. Maybe pain is the body's alarm warning us that something is amiss. Instead of searching for something to shut the alarm off maybe we should be searching for what's causing the pain in the first place.
I often have patients who come into my office with excruciating pain only to reveal with a further investigation that they have been experiencing this discomfort for some time now but ignored it. This is like shutting off the alarm and not fixing the window. Their body was sending warning signals along that were continually ignored and masked with medications. All leading to them being debilitated by this condition. Many times if addressed earlier these issues might have not become so severe.
Timing matters. Medications have systemic effects. NSAID's do not only affect the area that is hurting you but travel throughout the body. Medications can delay healing. These are all things we have known for some time now but we have been lead to believe that pain is always a condition and not a symptom. That by stopping pain we are stopping the problem.
The Detrimental Effects of Systemic Ibuprofen Delivery on Tendon Healing Are Time-Dependent Conclusions
Early administration of ibuprofen in the postoperative period was detrimental to tendon healing, while delayed administration did not affect tendon healing.
Historically, clinicians have often prescribed ibuprofen after tendon repair, but this study suggests that the timing of ibuprofen administration is critical to adequate tendon healing. This research necessitates future clinical studies investigating the use of ibuprofen for pain control after rotator cuff repair and other tendon injuries. -Clinical Orthopedics Relat Res 472, 2433–2439 (2014).
As a chiropractor, we are trained to look for the source of the pain. It is important to properly evaluate each patient to see what might be causing their pain and address not only their pain but correct the underlying dysfunction as well. Often time pain does not point to the source of the dysfunction. This is why it is important to not only consider a person's pain but past history, lifestyle, and habits.
Pain can be good. It is our body's warning and way to protect us from further injury.
Dr. David Satterfield, Chiropractor