Tag Archives: Function

Pain Measures Inability, Function Measures Ability

Pain is a measure of inability, function is a measure of ability.


Our current system is poorly named.  We call it “health care” when in reality it would be better named “sick care.”  We have been taught in this system that you should see your doctor when you have some sort of inability or impediment to your daily routine.  Our system is VERY GOOD at sick care.  It is not focused on health it is focused on eliminating sickness.

If you focus on health you have to start where ever you are at in the spectrum of wellness and aim to improve it.  If you are “within normal limits” that doesn’t mean you are healthy it just means that you aren’t sick enough to require medication.  We can easily see this principle in the people around us.  Some people aren’t sick, but you wouldn’t call them fit or vibrantly healthy either.  Some people you look at and can tell that they take care of their body, and some don’t, but the vast majority of them aren’t “sick.”  Health care should be about getting you as healthy as you can be.

Going to a chiropractor only when you have back pain is like going to a dentist only when you have tooth pain, or only going to the gym when you feel fat.  Chiropractors are about more than just “sick care,” though we do care for people when they are in pain, we also will encourage and recommend health care to help you be as vibrant as possible.  You see pain can measure how unable you are to do something, but we want to measure how able you are to do things.  How fast can you run?  How much can you do?  If you would like to improve your ability see your chiropractor.  Olympic and Professional Athletes do it because even though they are not sick and their ability may be above yours and mine they want to max out their ability.  How able do you want to be?  Your chiropractor can help you achieve that level of health/function/ability.

Why Do Some DCs Claim to Cure Diseases?

To clarify, this question was asked regarding cancer, and other such diseases that don’t seem related to chiropractic.

The answer is, that they should not be. It is illegal to make fraudulent or misleading claims especially in advertising. My suggestion if you run across a chiropractor making claims like this, is get it in writing, then make some good money in court.

Seriously though, chiropractic is based upon the idea that we cannot cure disease, only the body has the power to heal it’s self. When a chiropractor treats he is simply helping the body to function at its best so that it can do what it needs to. As much as you tell people this, it doesn’t stop rumors from flying.

I have pregnant patients who come to me to induce labor. Chiropractic does not induce labor, and I inform them of that. Chiropractic does align the body and improve function. It can help prepare the body to go into labor on its own, but it does not induce it. The problem with me telling this to people is that they still want to be treated for their pain, which I happily do, and after I treat them a high percentage of them will go into labor within 24 hours, some within the hour, and they tell everyone that their chiropractor got their labor started.

Things like this happen in every profession, in medicine they call them miracles (just because we don’t yet understand them). I’m not opposed to miracles, I pray that all of my patients receive miracle cures, but I base my treatments on prior evidence and have faith that positive results will occur.

You may have seen charts like this one with nerves from the spine running to different organs of the body. That is true, and nerve conduction is key to organ function. It is also true that an adjustment may have an effect on nerve conduction that causes a chain reaction and your body is able to heal it’s self. We don’t fully understand the mechanism of these things. If your chiropractor claims to “cure” you of any disease this way you should probably find a new chiropractor, or at the very least demand that he publish his findings so that everyone else can understand how and begin curing the world. Chiropractic can provide relief from some of the symptoms of cancer and other such diseases, and has definitely been shown to improve the standard of living of these patients.

Most chiropractors do not treat illness, they attempt to help the body function better so that it can heal its self.