I have performed thousands of examinations on patients over the course of 23 years of chiropractic practice. I may learn slowly but I do learn. One thing I have learned is that while the patient is always right, he/she is also always wrong. Huh? But it is true. You are always right in that what you feel is what you feel and it is right. No one can argue that you do or don’t feel what you feel or that what you feel is mild or moderate or severe. It is what you say it is because it is you. In that respect you are right, always.
OK, knowing that you are right let’s consider a scenario. Three patients come in for a subluxation examination and all three have the same results; The same postural distortions, the same loss of motion, the same nerve interference, the same muscle spasm pattern, the same spinal inflammation, and the same level of subluxation degeneration. But patient 1 has migraine headaches. Patient 2 has low back pain and sciatica. Patient 3 has no symptoms at all and has come in for wellness reasons. One exam, three different symptom patterns. All respond to the same adjustments to correct the same subluxation. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? All three are both right and wrong.
They are all right in that what they feel is what they feel. Each has his/her own pain tolerance, pain threshold, and personal history. And they are all wrong in that they use their symptoms to be the primary monitor of improvement. This is not to say that we don’t want you to feel better. Of course we do. But, since the same subluxation pattern can cause a multitude of health problems, just because your particular symptom has improved (or not) does not tell us how much subluxation you may still have. It does not tell us about other potential subluxation-caused health problems just around the corner. What good is less low back pain if disease is building inside your body? (See #5 What Will I Die Of)
So while symptoms are what usually starts our relationship, we must use the subluxation examination findings to measure the progress. It’s only the RIGHT thing to do.