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I don't know how some doctors do it.  Most oncologists have never had cancer.  Most orthopedic surgeons have never gone under the knife.  Few therapists have ever fought overseas and experienced post traumatic stress disorder.  It must be hard to have empathy if you've never experienced the condition for yourself.

Certainly, I have not experienced every single condition my patients walk in here with.  I've never had a migraine.  I can only imagine what fibromyalgia feels like.  However, I do know what it's like to have spinal problems.  I know what it's like to be told by medical doctors that it's "only a sprain/strain" and be fed medications that only mask the problem.  I know what it's like to have that fear that maybe no one can help me and this is something I may have to learn to live with.  Fortunately, when all else failed, my mother took me to a chiropractor and I got my health (and my hope) back.  That was nearly 20 years ago and it was the reason I do what I do today.

This past Tuesday was like any other day.  We got the kids off to school.  I had a morning meeting with the team at Zehr Chiropractic.  I saw patients.  However, right before I started seeing my first patients after lunch, something happened.  I felt my upper back tighten up.  It felt like someone just hit a pause button on my nervous system because I froze.  That was followed by a sharp pain between my mid spine and right shoulder blade, like someone stabbed me with an ice pick.  I knew right away that something was wrong, but for the life of me I had no idea what may have caused it.  If I were to chart my own condition, it would read: "insidious onset."

This has happened to millions of people throughout history.  And although I was very uncomfortable and it took all my energy to focus on my patients and ignore the pain that afternoon, I knew what I had to do.  I needed to have my back adjusted.  Having the piece of mind that I knew what I needed was calming.  All I had to do was get through the day and get checked by Dr. Zehr the following morning.  That's exactly what I did and I'm happy to say that I had 90% relief within minutes of that adjustment with some mild residual soreness.  By the next morning, I had no pain whatsoever.  How awesome is chiropractic?  No drugs.  No needles.  No masking the symptoms.  No side effects.

But what about those people who don't even consider chiropractic for these problems?  I thought "What in the world do these people do?"  How do they play with their kids, get anything done at work, or just generally engage in life?  Do they just suffer?  Pop pills constantly?  How miserable is that?  How miserable are the people AROUND them because of it?  What about when it gets worse?  Nerve root injections?  Brain-altering meds?  Drug abuse?  Surgery?

It's sad to me that so many people suffer needlessly when there may be hope for them.  However, there are many entities that want to maintain the status quo.  Pain medications (prescription and OTC) are a BIG business.  Just count how many ads you see for pain meds when you're watching TV this weekend.  "Pain clinics" (who dispense aggressive drugs like methadone and perform steroid injections) are stacked to the ceiling with people who are trying to escape their pain.  There may be an alternative for these people.  And we owe it to ourselves and our society at large to educate people.  If you have been helped by a chiropractor and you know someone in need, tell them!

It's funny to me that people RAVE about the latte they had at the new coffee shop in town.  They just can't wait to Facebook and tweet about the reality show du jour.  But people don't share good news when it comes to health.  In case you haven't noticed, folks, we are experiencing a health crisis right now.  Ask yourself this.  How many obese people would get out and exercise if they could get help with their back pain and sciatica?  How many depressed people would love life just a little more if they didn't have crippling headaches every day?  How many sedentary shut-ins would get out and play golf again if their hands weren't going numb all the time?

When we as a society don't step outside our comfort zone and we don't get involved and try to help , we are just as much to blame as the pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, fast food restaurants, and (insert special interest here) for the mess that we are in.


Dr. PlemonDr. Jared Plemon BS, DC is a doctor of chiropractic at Zehr Chiropractic in Norton Shores, Michigan.  He specializes in the treatment of neck pain, back pain, and extremity pain utilizing cutting edge, non-manipulative chiropractic techniques.  He blogs about nutrition, exercise, and how chiropractic care fits in with the overall health landscape.  He lives in West Michigan with his wife and two children.



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