By Dr. Ryan Lee
Magazines of every genre, the background noise of HGTV and a nice display of health-informational pamphlets make up the aesthetic of most every doctor's waiting room.
Have you ever wondered why doctors put so much patient education material in every room?
Isn’t the doctor or therapist supposed to know what’s wrong with you?
Why should you have to spend time learning about your body?
The simple answer is that health isn't one-sided.
You can find the best doctors and therapists’ that money can buy, but if you don’t take an active role in your health, you will not live a healthy, high-functioning life.
Brushing our teeth is a great example.
If you did not understand the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth daily, no dentist on Earth could keep your teeth and gums healthy.
This would primarily occur because you wouldn’t be doing your part. Now, most people understand this concept about simple dental hygiene, but they often don’t apply it to other areas of their body.
As a chiropractor, I see this problem A LOT.
Your spine houses and protects your nervous system, (the system that controls every muscle and organ throughout your body), but because we can’t see it in the mirror, we often neglect taking care of our spine the way we should.
In addition to being "out of sight, out of mind," this is a problem largely caused by a lack of proper health education, resulting in thousands of people who don't understand the role that they play in their own health.
So, patient education is very important!
An educated patient takes an active role in their health and makes better health decisions. This naturally creates a patient who will achieve better results.
That being said, I am going to share 5 concepts that patients commonly misunderstand about their health.
My hope is that this will increase your general understanding of health so you can achieve the best results possible and ultimately get back to doing what you love to do!
1. Healthcare Is About Participation
In every field of healthcare, your participation is vital to getting the desired results you want.
Relying solely on your doctor to fix your health conditions will result in you never being as healthy as you could or want to be!
The things you do for your health outside of the doctors office are often times more important than what your doctor does in the office.
2. It Takes Time to Heal
In the age of Amazon Prime and instant messaging, we want everything yesterday. Unfortunately, our bodies do not work on that timeline.
Most health conditions are a result of the choices we have continued to make over time.
Using chiropractic care as an example, most people walk into the office hoping for a one-time fix to their health condition. But what they don't realize is that a 5 to 10 minute trip to the chiropractor will not fix a back or neck issue that has been 15+ years in the making.
Healing takes time.
3. Pain Is Your Friend
Your body uses pain to communicate when something is wrong and should be addressed.
For example, if you hurt your back while lifting something, and it results in a bulged disc; your whole back will start to cramp up and hurt, keeping you from re-injuring it.
Now if you left this back pain alone and didn’t address it, that bulged disc would continue to cause additional problems down the road in the form of painful flare-ups and structural issues.
Something else to note is that pain shows up late.
Many people think that pain shows up as a warning sign before a trauma or a chronic disease like, cancer, arthritis, etc. But pain is a sign that the health condition has already begun.
4. Your Body Is Made To Heal Itself
If you have ever cut your finger before and it healed up a few days later, leaving only a small scar, you've seen firsthand that our bodies can heal themselves.
Now we may not be able to regrow our limbs like a lizard can, but our bodies were made to heal themselves from injuries and illnesses.
As long your body is in the right state to heal itself, it will.
You can be sure to keep your body in the healing state by getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night, limiting your sugar intake, and getting 30 minutes of exercise a day. Another way to be sure your body is functioning at its best is to get checked by your chiropractor to be sure your free of any spinal misalignments.
5. Risk and Reward
Everything we do has risk and reward involved, even exercise, granted exercise has a predominantly positive reward versus the risk. But you can still injure yourself exercising.
That being said, you should always weight your risk vs. reward before make health decisions.
Most people who become more informed on risk and reward tend to lean towards conservative forms of healthcare before trying more drastic options to address their health needs, like choosing physical therapy or chiropractic care before looking at surgery.
In conclusion, patient education should always be a top priority!
We believe that once a patient understands more of the amazing ways their body is meant to heal itself, they are much more likely to seek out better health options.
For more information on the different ways that your body is meant to heal itself and holistic health options, check out these articles!
Or to schedule a time to talk to a doctor directly about what the best health options are for you, click the link below!
Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic is located in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area specifically in Collegedale, TN, a short distance from Ooltewah, Cleveland, East Brainerd, East Ridge, Ringgold, Apison, and Harrison.
Dr. Ryan Lee is the practicing chiropractic physician at Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic. For his full bio, click here. *This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Ryan Lee and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Dr. Lee does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.