“If you don’t have the [guts] to brake late, that’s your problem.”
-Lewis Hamilton, current reigning and 3 time Formula 1 World Drivers Champion
Mr. Hamilton’s Mercedes AMG W-06, considered by many to be the most advanced and powerful (by weight) racing car in the world can stop from 60mph to 0 in less than 50 feet. I drive a full size, super crew Ford truck, it takes 129 feet to stop from 60mph and Dr. Lam (our other Bel Air Chiropractor) drives some sort of highly engineered Subaru which stops much sooner, but still not that fast. Of course all this also depends on maintenance, tires, weather etc. In other words, nothing stops on a literal dime. Once you hit the brakes, you keep going; nothing happens instantaneously. This is also true for your body. Once you go on a diet, you don’t instantly lose weight, and once you start treatment, you aren’t instantly healed.
What do we mean by “healed”?
Many people believe being healed is to be become pain-free. Not true. Pain is not a disease, it’s a symptom. A sign if you will; if you have pain, you’ve got a problem. Healed is when that problem is fixed or at least stabilized. As per the AMA (American Medical Association) that means:
- Perceived Activities of Daily Living Disability less than 4%. Basically, can you perform everyday tasks with little to no pain or interference? This is one of the forms we ask you to fill out.
- Full functional range of motion measurements. Do your joints move as far as they should?
- Proper muscle strength ratios, extensors (muscles that open a joint) should be a specific percent stronger than flexors (muscles that close a joint).
- Resolving of functional limitations. You can physically do everything you did before.
Unless the above are resolved, the joint’s not fixed. The problems just fester and ferment until they boil over and strike again; be that days, weeks, months or even years later.
In cars, braking times vary depending on make model and level of maintenance; your body is the same. Healing times vary with age, genetics and lifestyle. Healing may take weeks to months. It involves reducing inflammation, rehabbing muscles, tendons and ligaments; restoring motion to the joints, hydration to the discs and proprioception.
This may often involve combining care with all our providers. For example, as the TMJ specialist in Bel Air, not only will we prescribe chiropractic, but also massage, acupuncture and physical therapy to restore the joint to its proper working order, as well as ease the pain in your jaw.