Get properly better

Get properly better or face the possibility of becoming a chronic pain sufferer.

There's always the temptation, once you know a condition is resolving, to try and save a few cents and forego your doctor's directions. And, yes, sometimes it's fine to do that; but usually it's not. It may mean that you are not given the proper rehab to prevent the condition returning next month. And whilst Maintenance Chiropractic Care remains controversial it is vital for some folk with chronic conditions. Medicine too rightly uses regular maintenance care for serious chronic medical conditions. Shouldn't the same rules apply to dentistry and chiropractic conditions?

Whiplash chiropractic

Whiplash chiropractic doesn't just happen in motor vehicle accidents. Diving into shallow water is also notoriously dangerous.

In the weeks after the pain has nearly gone many conditions remain in a vulnerable state for a few weeks. Ongoing care, even if it involves no treatment, is often prudent. Your doctor simply wants to see you get properly better, not deprive you of your hard-earned money. Don't assume it will be fine. It's been known to make an ass-of-u-and-me!

Get properly better

Get properly better because chronic joint conditions usually arise from neglected care.

"I injured my ankle falling down some steps in December. I didn't go to my follow up appointment and took off my own cast as I assumed it would be fine.

Since then the pain seems to be getting more and more so and I sat down the other day and made to move my ankle when it made a loud crunch and it was very painful. And has become worse since, especially when resting. What should I do?"

Dear C,

I think you know what to do! Go back to the doctor who treated you.

Getting properly better after any condition, or injury, is vital, otherwise you're faced with an injury leaving a permanent mark on you.

What was the diagnosis? Sprain? Fracture? Many fractures are missed on plain X-ray. I'd ask for a CT scan. Or MRI if his assessment is a soft tissue injury. But this sounds like bone.

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. I will book an appointment with my doctor and ask him to arrange the things u suggested.

Let me know what the CT shows. Fractures in the ankle are notoriously difficult to see on plain X-ray. So often there's a fracture lurking. How long did you wear the caste?

Dr B

The long and the short of it is that, regardless of whether you have a neck or back injury, a sprained ankle, or whatever, you must get properly better.

Chronic pain is frustrating and to be avoided at all costs.

When you know that something is going wrong and your doctor or chiropractor simply wants to ignore your inner sense, after a period you MUST be pushy. Don't be simply put down by Dr Know It All.

April of 2009 I slipped and fell from the top step of a flight of stairs and landed on my back/hip onto the concrete below. I immediately went to the emergency room at the time and they said I would just be sore, and the xrays did not show any damage.

I have been to multiple doctors all of which have said there is nothing wrong with me. I know something has to be wrong, I never had these symptoms or anything close to it before the fall.


Left Shoulder: I have a burning feeling that starts in my shoulder blade when I do any activity that requires moving my arm. Simple things like driving, typing, doing dishes, walking, swimming, and especially sweeping. These activities make my shoulder blade feel like it is on fire. After doing these activities it sends pain to the surrounding area whenever I simply move my shoulder at all.

Right hip: Starts stinging and tingling sending a electric like feeling down my right leg all the way to the toes. This happens after walking and swimming or by sitting on a hard surface. If I have been sitting longer than about 20 minutes when I go to stand up it feels like this section of my hip/tail bone area on the right side just doesn't want to move, kind of a feeling of being "bent in half?" if that makes sense...

Before this fall down the stairs I didn't have any pain at all. The onset of the symptoms were immediate after the fall. I am about to graduate college and pursue my lifelong educational dream of being a nurse specializing in kidney care, and I would really like to get some answers before I go to work in pain all the time.

Thank you so much for any ideas you have. I truly appreciate your time.

50 percent less pain

One of the great confusers is that pain diminishes must faster than conditions heal. As a result patients often stop doing their exercises, and may cease following their chiropractors advice long before they should. The result is a setback so often, and chronic pain. And there certainly is a place for maintenance chiropractic care for many of us.

In fact, I need it myself since a serious femoral nerve injury that very nearly placed me under the knife.

Wisdom demands of her children...

Do understand that if you practise being your own doctor, there are pitfalls. Common sense demands that you be wise and if you know that all isn't well, do the right thing. The Dutch have a wonderful saying:

"He who won't hear, must feel."

And so it is. Be wise.

When your instincts tell you in loud and clear tones that something is wrong, don't ignore that inner voice like this poor lady has done. "All the doctors said there was nothing wrong." And clearly all the doctors have little idea of what's going on with musculo skeletal injuries.

But brought up in the medical world, she's been taught that doctors know everything and if they say there's nothing wrong, then there's nothing wrong. Bullshit, right! Trust your own instincts and get properly better. Regular exercises will be a part of it.

Useful links

› Get properly better

Find these pages interesting?

Have you enjoyed reading pages like Get properly better at Chiropractic Help? Then you'll certainly enjoy my third book of Chiropractic anecdotes. Walk with me through the polders of Holland and meet a very different people. See what Chiropractic could do for you and your family and friends. Stones in my Clog is only $2.99 on Kindle, or the Kindle app on your computer or smartphone. No more wasted hours standing in queues and travelling on planes and trains.

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Did you find this page useful? Then perhaps forward it to a suffering friend. Better still, Tweet or Face Book it.

Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti-inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He is doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost pain-free. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily stroll has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift; he has a short leg.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. X-rays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65-year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88-year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done. 

10. Mr X is a 71-year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a few months ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It is a non-complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she is doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38-year old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he could not sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71-year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

Do you have a problem that is not getting better?

Are you looking for a different slant on your pain?

Do you want to pose a question?

Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.

You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70 percent of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there is a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong. Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what a DC does.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my eBooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful from the life and work of a chiropractor, you will love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the amount without telling me.

Disturbing letters from readers