Let's get away from the term “Your _______ is out.”
If you have been to a chiropractor or know someone who has been, you will undoubtedly hear the term “my ________ is out, and that’s what is causing my pain.”
As a chiropractor and a functional movement expert that phrase is like nails on a chalkboard to me, because in most instances that is far from the truth.
I understand why people say it, but rather than getting to the actual cause and problem, it gives the patient a generic answer without educating the patient on what is happening and how chiropractic can fix it. Frankly, it comes down to it being easier to explain and thus easier to understand, however that doesn’t mean that it is the correct thing to do.
Instead, I believe it is very important to educate our patients properly so that they can gain a better understanding of their body and thus their learn about their pain.
Lets use the classic “my rib is out” scenario. Instead of utilizing this verbiage, I believe it is more beneficial to educate on the proper mechanics of the rib cage, how it interacts with the spine and what chiropractic does specifically to decrease that pain.
It would sound something like this:
“Your ribs need to move in two distinct motions, 1) a caliper type motion and 2) a bucket handle motion. These motions occur mainly around the connecting point of the correlating thoracic vertebrae. If one of these motions doesn’t occur, pain is present. This pain is our bodies mechanism to tell us something isn’t moving correctly. We can utilize very specific and direct chiropractic adjustments to aim at allowing that joint to regain the motion that it is lacking thus reducing your pain.”
Then, we can dive into breathing mechanics and core stability and all that fun stuff that will help you manage the dysfunction you are experiencing.
Bottom line, whether you are at a chiropractic clinic, physical therapy clinic or your medical clinic-- ask questions. If that doctor or professional seems to be giving you generic answers, maybe its time to get a second opinion.