It is around this time of year, with so many people preparing for vacation that someone invariably hobbles into my office and says, I need to be better tomorrow we are leaving for vacation. Better yet, is the patient who crawls into the office and says, “You think I could play golf tomorrow?”

There are occasions when someone in such acute pain and discomfort comes into my office and receives almost immediate relief from one or two visits. This however is not the majority. It would be nice if chiropractors could undo the results of injuries, a lifetime of neglect and poor lifestyle choices with one magical click of the spine. This however, is not how it works. The healing process is very complicated and can be influenced by many factors. What the adjustment does, is allow this healing process to be as efficient as possible by releasing the proper nerve supply needed for the job. Remember chiropractic care deals with the underlying cause of the problem and doesn’t merely mask the symptoms. These problems will continue to be a nuisance as long as the contributing factors are not modified. In other words, if you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, are 50 pounds overweight and too busy for exercise, it is very likely that the healing process will be prolonged. The perfect metaphor is buying a new car and driving it without ever thinking of bringing it in for service, because service is expensive and time consuming. This is true and you will be able to drive the car well past the recommended service date, however when the car finally just quits running, the service required will be significantly greater, more expensive and take much longer. In some cases, there will be irreparable damage to the vehicle. This is much the same way the body works. And no matter how quickly you want the mechanic / chiropractor to fix the problem, it may require some serious time and effort to correct the problem. The moral of this story of course is that ‘prevention is the key’. With proper lifestyle choices, proper exercise, and a healthy diet, many of these ‘breakdowns’ can be avoided. If not completely avoided, it is for certain that their recovery time will be reduced. Regular chiropractic care is a healthy lifestyle choice that can help resolve many problems and avoid future episodes.

So remember the old saying, ‘a stitch in time saves nine’, which holds a lot of merit. Visit your chiropractor before a major breakdown occurs. Because it never happens in your driveway, it’s always when you’re on the freeway, just before vacation.