“Feel” vs. “Function”

“Take this drug, you’ll feel better”
“How do you feel about that”?
“I feel your pain”
How did our culture get so wrapped up in feelings? It’s a national obsession. Don’t get me wrong, I want to feel good. I want all of us to feel good.
Is how you feel the best indicator of how you really are?

Consider the following questions:

  • If my teeth don’t hurt, do I have tooth decay?
  • If my heart doesn’t hurt, do I have high blood pressure?
  • If my bones don’t hurt, do I have osteoporosis?

Answer? We don’t know. A more detailed investigation is required in each of these cases to determine what is really going on.
A far more useful question is “how are you functioning?”.
When everything is working well, it usually feels pretty good. If you have some dysfunctional system; digestive, muscular, nerve or whatever, it may not hurt…. now. But, eventually it will.

If we’re talking about spine pain (neck, mid-back or lower back) the pain you feel is statistically most often from irritation of the joints. The second most common cause of spine pain originates in the disc. Either of these can cause reactive muscle spasms that can be painful in themselves.
Now, you could take a pill and in about 20 minutes you will feel better, for a little while. Now you have two problems; the original dysfunction and the side effects from the pills.

Much of our current opiate crisis stems from our national obsession with treating mechanical lower back pain (the most common reason cited for doctor visits) with a chemical solution. It just doesn’t make sense, does it?
So, when I tell you ‘I don’t care so much about how you feel’, I will always follow up with ‘…but I really care about how you function!’
Regular check- ups are vital for your eyes, your teeth, your heart…and of course, your spine.

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