Sunday, February 1, 2015

Prevention Kills

Over the past few months I've been spending quit a lot of time visiting a Chiropractor.  In addition to these visits I have also been spending a lot of time with the more conventional side of medicine, neither has provided the relief I had hoped for but I still have hope and therefore I continue my visits.

On the one side, the Chiropractic side, the manipulations continue as he (it just so happens to be a he but could just as easily be a she) continues to crack my back, stretch my neck and attempt to realign my body in ways that make me wonder if my body was ever aligned that way.

The mainstream Medical side continues to poke and prod, inject and prescribe, again with marginal results in relation to my ongoing maladies.  Just recently I underwent a procedure, an injection,  a very long needle, was places into my lower back, through my coxes and up toward my forth and fifth vertebra in order to attempt to relieve some of the chronic, lower back pain suffered from a sports injury years ago.

The Chiropractor is pursuing the same goal as the Medical doctors but in a decidedly different comportment.  He (again it could just as well be a she) believes that the body is a connected unit with each muscle and bone interrelated in such a manner that when one is out of line the others have a tendency to misalign as well.  This method prompts them to manipulate your bones and soft tissues in such a way as to realign and restore your mobility back to some past perfect state.     

Modern Medicine relies almost entirely on pharmaceuticals to provide the relief and supposed cures for what ails us.  The medicines are truly remarkable but the side effects can be, and in many cases are often just as bad as the original problem. There attitude toward homeopathy is almost non existent with their approach being segmented and separate from each issue, with each problem dealt without association of any other issues.

The injection I received the other day has had no immediate side effects and the claim is that about 70% of those undergoing this procedure will experience some relief from the ongoing issues of back pain.  It is estimated that between 70 and 100 million Americans suffer from significant and chronic pain with most back pain emanating from the lower regions of the back.  That is approximately 1/3 of the entire population of America, considering that there are hundreds of thousands that suffer silently and never report their pain and are therefore unrepresented in the above statistic.

The problem is not in how the disease is treated ….but how those who treat it characterize those that do not prescribe to their adopted method of practice, hence the growing rift between “mainstream Medicine” and everyone else. 

The above mention of a disease in relation to a specific injury creates issues unto itself but it’s considered a disease primarily due to the numbers of afflicted and not by the strict definition of a disease, which for those who really care is:  

disease dis·ease (dĭ-zēz') A pathological condition of a body part, an organ, or a system resulting from various causes, such as infection, genetic defect, or environmental stress, and characterized by an identifiable group of signs or symptoms. )
  
The obvious split between the Chiropractors and the MD’s are palatably vicious with claims on both sides that bring to mind medicine from the old west with hawkers and manipulators selling and claiming miraculous cures simply by ingesting some home made concoction.  The MD’s are hostile towards the Chiropractors to such a degree that even my doctor warned me from getting “manipulated”. My Chiropractors  is seething with frustration over the insensitivity of the rhetoric from the MD’s over their staunch and immovable inability to accept anything to do with Chiropractic and in the same breath promoting the use of physical therapy as a “mainstream and acceptable mode of treatment.

The similarities between the accepted “Physical Therapist” and the not acceptable “Chiropractic” are far more numerous than any differences with the majority of both modes of treatment dedicated to the increased movement and mobility though safe and proven methods.  Why then do the MD’s despise the Chiropractors?  Politics is the answer.

Let me further expand my answer by describing another similar situation in the early to mid 1960’s.  A DO (doctor of osteopathy) is a Doctor just like the MD but forty or so years ago they were at war with each other.  Just like the chiropractors of today the DO’s had to fight for their rights to survive and for acceptance.  The Medical Board and MD’s in general wanted to put them out of business.

In the past the philosophical differences between the two groups, the MD’s and DO’s and the current differences between the MD’s and the Chiropractors (DC’s) prevents them from seeing the benefits of each others skills and actually harms patient outcomes because of the open animosity that prevents an open dialogue that would only expand the patient options and improve the overall health of all concerned.

These issues are not unlike the differences between democrats and republicans.  Not one is entirely right and neither has a monopoly on what should be followed or believed and in fact it is my contention that they are both severely flawed because of their inability to accept and understand the positives of the other.

I’m not suggestion that MD’s are Democrats or DC’s are Republicans but they might as well be, especially in relation to their current attitudes toward each other and the open futility of expecting either side to act civilly or rationally for the benefit of those they serve.  And their in lies the crux of the issue, they have failed to realize that they need to serve us for our overall benefit and continue to selfishly exist for their own well being, over and above the health and welfare of the public at large.

Perhaps in politics there is some hope, not much but  the Osteopaths did it and I assume in the future the DC’s will do it as well the only problem is hoping that the DNC’s and the RNC’s can do it, I doubt it.