Amnesia (Greek) is a memory condition in which memory is disturbed. In simple terms, it is the loss of memory.

Every now or then a patient will enter the office that I classify as the amnesiac patient. Now, typically you wouldn’t consider chiropractic or acupuncture as the first treatment of choice for a person suffering from amnesia. But, the amnesiac’s I treat are suffering from selective amnesia generally exhibiting a partial memory loss.

This is the part I don’t understand. This particular amnesiac suffers from loss of the memory of what worked before. They usually are a former chiropractic or acupuncture patient, (not necessarily my own) who is suffering from some sort of physical pain. Pain that they have suffered from before. Pain successfully treated with either chiropractic or acupuncture. Then for whatever reason it happens the pain reoccurs again some time later.  Instead of doing what works, this patient has an amnesiatic (I think I just coined a word) episode. He or she forgets what works.

They then seek treatment from a health professional who is probably better suited for treating undiagnosed jungle diseases, mysterious upper respiratory ailments, chronic hemorrhoids or giving you useless swine flu vaccines (sorry, I couldn’t help but take my shot at that one). The patient of course is given some sort of pain medication which is worthless at best and addictive at worst. Of course it doesn’t work.  After a week or two they are then subject to all sorts of medical imaging, mostly unnecessary since for the most part unless you are suffering from something really out of the ordinary (read tumor or disease process ) this will have little effect on the course of treatment. Generally their medication is changed to something a little stronger (more addictive). And if your physician really frustrated you are referred to physical therapy to do exercises for 8 to 12 weeks. The kicker here is that you can do these exercises at home by yourself after one instructional session. At this point you are 10 to 14 weeks into your treatment.

It’s usually somewhere along this time-line the patient wakes up from their episode of amnesia and schedules an appointment with me. With few exceptions in a week or two these folks are on their way back to normal. They are being treated in a safe effective manner and are taught how to take care of them selves through the use of chiropractic, acupuncture and self care at home that includes stretching, exercise and the proper use of heat or ice.

All that time effort and money spent on ineffective treatment. Listen, I know coming regularly to my office for a while can be a drag. Especially with the pace of our lives in the 21st century. But at the end of the day you only really get out what you put into taking care of your health. And if you think the magic pills your physician is pushing on you are the answer I hate to be the one to tell you that are sorely mistaken.

Moral of the story is do what really works unfortunately there are rarely any shortcuts that work with regard to physical pain. 

So next time a  pain reoccurs don’t suffer from amnesia and make matters either worse or more complicated. Do what works and is safe.