The 4 Types Of People I Can’t Help
By Dr. Jason Slagel | October 24th, 2022
Care in our office looks different from what most people are used to, so to help clarify who would be able to benefit and who would not, we have put together this list of the types of people we CANNOT help. Let’s jump right in.
- We cannot help people who are unwilling to change their behavior to protect their alignment. When we see a patient with a spinal shift, we take the appropriate x-rays and measure how to fix it. When we reposition their spine back to normal, then it is the responsibility of the patient to protect it. This means that they will need to be careful not to hit their head, for example. Or they should not sleep on their stomach. Or they should not twist, crack, or pop their own neck and back. These are a few examples of things that some people need to change in order to hold their alignment and heal.
If someone is unwilling to make these changes, then they will keep undoing the correction that we do in our office. It’s like if you break your arm they put a cast on it, and the next day you cut the cast off. Or if you get a cut and they give you stitches and the next day you rip the stitches out. You cannot expect to heal if your behavior is counterproductive. These types of patients do not get much better in our office and many times we must release them and no longer see them as a patient. The patients who make the changes in their behavior that are necessary to protect their alignment will hold their alignment and heal and many times do not need to have any corrections for months or even years.
- The second type of person we can’t help is someone whose problem is too far gone. If the condition is so bad that their body can’t heal naturally from it anymore, then they will need some type of more invasive intervention such as surgery.
A good example of this is if someone has a paper cut. Their body can heal that naturally on its own with no help. If the cut is a little bigger, then the person might benefit from a band-aid. If the cut is bigger, then they may need something more invasive like stitches. If the cut is big enough, that person might even need something even more invasive like a blood transfusion. So having a cut doesn’t tell you the correct intervention. Knowing the severity of the cut leads you to the correct way to handle it.
Now, let’s say that someone has a spinal shift out of place. Many times, when we correct that spinal shift, the spine can heal on its own. But sometimes, if that spine problem has been there for a very long time or the spine is severely damaged, even if we would reset the structure of the spine back to normal, it still may not be able to heal. In these cases, that person would simply need surgery for their spine. It’s important to note that this is based on severity of damage, not on severity of pain. So, someone with a 10 out of 10 pain level should not assume that they are too far gone for us to help. The only way to know for sure is to do an exam on a patient in our office to determine the severity.
- The third type of person we cannot help is someone who has multiple conditions simultaneously. For example, if someone comes to our office and has a spinal shift out of place, and also has a brain tumor, then we would not immediately accept them as a patient because the brain tumor is potentially more immediately life threatening. So, if we found both, we would send that patient out to another doctor first to get more advanced imaging and have that taken care of first, and then once that tumor is fixed, then that patient would come back to our office to have the second problem fixed. We would fix the spinal shift and then that person would be good to go. The order the problems need to be solved should go in order from most severe/life threatening to the least.
On the other hand, if someone comes into our office with a spinal shift out of place and a mild skin rash, then we would first correct the spinal shift and then if the skin rash is still there, we would look into potential interventions for that rash. So, instead of saying that we can’t help someone with multiple conditions, it may be more accurate to say that if someone has multiple conditions, sometimes we will fix their spine first, and sometimes we will address the other problem first.
- The fourth type of person that we can’t help are people who have an entirely different problem from what we fix. An example of this is a patient who comes in with a torn meniscus. What we do in our office is correct the position of the spine back to normal, so if someone has a torn meniscus, then our office is simply not a good fit, and we would send that person to a different place for help with the torn meniscus. Or if they have an infection, broken bone, nutrient deficiency, etc, etc, etc. So, in our office we do not simply accept everyone as a patient unless we are confident we can actually help them with their problem.
Talking about all the people we CAN’T help begs the question:
“So who CAN you help?!?”
We can help people who have an injury to the spine that causes it to shift out of place. This can happen from birth trauma (like c-section births), car crashes, contact sports, any whiplash damage, getting hit in the head, and many other things. When the connective tissue that holds the body in place becomes damaged, then the bones shift out of place, which compresses nerves and causes lots of dysfunction and pain in the body. This dysfunction can cause many different conditions to develop including migraines, headaches, neck pain, low back pain, and sciatica. What we do is measure those spinal shifts on x-rays, calculate the angle they are shifted out of pace, and then correct it back to the normal positioning again. This is done with no twisting, cracking, or popping. Once we correct the spine back to the normal position, then we simply monitor it over time to make sure everything finishes healing up.