Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I can crack my own back thank you very much

I have never used any sort of chapstick or lip balm. It seems completely unnecessary. My lips become chapped two, maybe three times each winter, and while it’s unpleasant it isn’t something so horrible that I need apply any type of salve, it goes away on its own in a few days. Also how many people do you know constantly use lip balm? I don’t think that I am some sort of statistical anomaly; I don’t have super lips that are resistant to chafing and dryness. So if my lips are only chapped a few times a year that would lead me to believe that it is the same for most people. So why the chapstick everyday? Clearly its habit forming, which is another reason I would never bother with it. The point is that it is something you never knew you needed until you used it, you would’ve been perfectly fine without it, and now you’ve formed a habit that you can’t stop because it’s almost unconscious on some levels.

I feel the same way about chiropractors. I’ve always been very skeptical of those guys. I’m sure they can provide temporary relief of certain back pain, but I doubted that they truly provided solutions to many back problems. It’s the same thing as chapstick, cracking your back feels great, but it’s not healing anything and you’re only going to have to continue, with greater frequency. My skepticism of the chiropractic industry was somewhat confirmed this week.

Leslie has been having a lot of back pain for the last few weeks and decided to make an appointment with a chiropractor to see if she could resolve the problem. Monday she went and got a few x-rays taken. While waiting in the lobby I happened to notice the receptionist seemed to know all the other patients really well. Someone would walk in the door and a receptionist would say something like, “Oh Mr. Johnson you seem to be making it in a lot earlier than usual did you find a new route?” That was sort of strange to me, I know over time you can get to know the people in a doctors office fairly well, and they know you, but should they know you well enough to notice subtle changes in your routine? That set off the radar a little bit. When her appointment was over she set up another consultation for the next day to review the x-rays. He told her that in the mean time to ice her back, don’t use any heat, that she may need to be fitted for orthotics (or something, I have no idea what that means), and a few other basic treatments. He gave that same advice to three other patients. That set off a few more blips on the radar screen. So you’re telling me that all the patients have the same problem and need to be treated in the same manner? That seems unlikely. Upon her visit the next day she received a packet with the chiropractors proposed treatment plan. I expected it to be sort of stretching regimen, maybe some kind of realignment or massage maybe. Nope, after one half an hour visit it was determined that Leslie needed to schedule 50 more appointments as a course of therapy for her aching back. So that’s why everyone knew each other so well. He said she has a subluxation*, which apparently everyone who goes to a chiropractor has, and that he recommends she come three times a week for five weeks eventually tapering down to once a week, 50 appointments in total. I don’t think victims of some sort of paralyses have that many physical therapy appointments before they can walk again**, who in their right mind would do that for a back ache. I don’t think chiropractors are in the business of hurting people, but they don’t seem to be in the business of healing people either, its seems as though the goal is to make people feel better until it gets the point where they think they can only feel better if they continue to give a chiropractor money.

*Word doesn’t even recognize subluxation as a work, and it’s spelled correctly, should this be another red flag?

**That is pretty insensitive to victims of paralyses, but I’m trying to make a point here.


Baha said...

The use of chapstick results in sikly smooth lips, keeping them soft and moist to the touch. This can come in handy in many situations. In your case, I imagine even more so when you are B-ing the S out of someone.

Before you respond, I love you.

mike said...

I only use chapstick for about a month in the winter when it is really cold, otherwise I agree that it's used excessively.

Are chiropractors certified physicians or do they just slam your spine around? Either way, I don't think I'll be going to one any time soon, thanks to you.

Eric said...

I don't think they go to medical school or anything like that so I guess they aren't physicians.