“Side Effects” Are EFFECTS.

By Dr. Jason Slagel | March 13th, 2023

When the term “Side Effect” is used, it seems to attempt to downplay the unwanted effects of a drug or procedure. It’s an attempt to pretend like those effects are little footnotes that can be ignored if you would like to. In reality, our bodies don’t make any distinction between what is called a “Side Effect” and what is called an “Effect.” It all just happens. Our body has to deal with every aspect of that drug or procedure, regardless of the intended purpose. Our body doesn’t focus on one aspect as if it’s the main positive effect and then treat other negative effects as if they don’t count. Our body deals with all the effects simultaneously and without prejudice. From our body’s perspective, there is no such thing as a “Side Effect” because everything is just the “Effect”

We have to stop using the term “Side Effect” and instead just use the term “Effect” because that’s what it actually is. If you take a medication for blood pressure and it makes your mouth dry, then the dry mouth is not a “Side Effect.” It is simply another “Effect.” That medication made your mouth dry AND lowered your blood pressure. You might as well reverse the wording and it makes no difference. What if you were taking a wet mouth medication (to dry out your mouth) that had the “Side Effect” of lowering your blood pressure. It would be the exact same drug. You would need to change nothing. And it would be the exact same thing to your body, regardless of what some TV ad or drug company representative says. 

Now here’s the next step in this discussion. Almost anything that a doctor does has the potential of creating unwanted negative effects (formerly known as “Side Effects” back before you knew better.) The doctor’s job is to do everything they can to minimize any negative effects and do everything they can to maximize the positive effects of any intervention. There is inherent risk there. And there is a certain threshold that different people are comfortable with, depending on the situation. For example, the many negative effects of chemotherapy can absolutely be worth it for someone with stage 3 cancer, but the negative effects from chemotherapy would probably not be worth the risk for someone with a cough and no positive cancer tests.

Another factor to consider is what the research has shown. This is usually something that is developing and being improved upon constantly, so we as doctors just have to look at the best available evidence that we have at the moment, which most of the time is plenty, to come to a reasonable conclusion. 

SO… here’s the interesting part…

There are a few things that have NO risk. These zero risk things will either have no effect or positive effect. One example is taking vitamin C. When taking a vitamin C supplement, you can’t overdose because you just urinate out the excess, so you can’t take too much. If you take none, then you are in the same place as before, so taking no vitamin C is not worse for you. When you take the vitamin C supplement, your body will take in and use whatever it needs, and it is not damaging to the body to take it in and use it. Also, if you are not deficient or low in vitamin C, then supplementing it will simply accomplish nothing, so there will be no change, and nothing will be any better or worse. So, there is zero risk with a vitamin C supplement. Only potential benefit. At best, benefit. At worst, no change.

One other thing like the Vitamin C supplement that has zero risk is the NUCCA Technique that we do at Structural Spinal Care. Besides the mountain of research behind it, there are two important reasons why NUCCA is zero risk.

  1. The x-rays that are taken are so far below the threshold for risk of radiation exposure that they are negligible. We would have to take over 1,000 x-rays in a row with our machine to reach the minimum level of risk for the most minimal condition. You get more x-ray exposure on a short plane flight or an afternoon in the sun than with a full set of x-rays at our office. This is not true of all x-rays, but Dr. Slagel has done extensive work on customizing his x-ray unit to not only decrease exposure down to these negligible amounts, but also this renders much clearer, more precise images. 
  2. The NUCCA correction is done with no twisting, cracking, popping, drugs, or surgery. The correction is done with about the same force as taking someone’s pulse. Therefore, there is no risk for damaging anything by doing the correction. No risk of stroke, no risk of muscle strain, no risk of ligament sprain, no risk of bruising, nothing. Also, when the correction is done, if it is done correctly, then the structures of the head and neck will be in the appropriate positioning. If it is done incorrectly, such as on the wrong angle, then it will simply regress back to where it originally was, being no better or worse than before. So, the potential outcomes are either positive or no change, with no risk of the problem becoming worse from NUCCA.

In conclusion, what were formerly known as “Side Effects” are actually just “Negative Effects” and NUCCA, the technique used in our office here at Structural Spinal Care, has no risk of negative effects.

If you are interested in a NUCCA examination to see if you are a candidate, please contact our office at (954) 842-2677.

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