What does "being healthy" mean to you? I often ask this question of new patients in my office, or just of people in general.
I get a wide variety of responses. Some people answer along the lines of, “Being healthy means being able to do the things I want to do,” or “it means eating healthy and exercising.” But the most common answer, by far is, “Being healthy means that I feel good.”
AND THAT MAKES SENSE, doesn't it? I mean, if you feel good, then your body must be healthy, right?
Actually, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, if you know anyone who has ever died from cancer, you probably understand that many symptoms (depending on the specific type of disease) don’t even show up until it’s too late.
I had a family member who had been dealing with prostate cancer that had metastasized to the liver. By the time the symptoms became severe, the cancer had replaced 90% of the liver!
Another example: Have you ever woken up with a toothache and went to the dentist, only to find that you had a cavity and the tooth had to be drilled? That tooth had been rotting away on the inside for weeks or even months before the pain showed up.
So I think the myth of “I feel good, therefore I must be healthy,” is out the window. Waiting until our condition reaches a fever pitch before addressing a problem can be disastrous.
This is why regular spine check-ups and routine maintenance are a good idea.
As the old saying goes: "An ounce of prevention is a pound of cure!"
If you haven't had a spine exam in a while, it might be time. ;)