Phrase of The Week: The First Symptom

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By: Dr. Jim Bodoh, Chiropractor at River City Chiropractic

What would you say if I asked, how healthy are you?

This week the phrase of the week is “The First Symptom.”


This phrase relates to the question of how healthy are you? When you ask the average person walking down the street how healthy they are, they generally say, “I feel okay.” That is an adequate answer, but I didn’t ask how you feel today, I asked how healthy are you? People seem to relate how healthy they are to how they feel that day. No one really wants to say “I’m in terrible shape” or “I don’t take very good care of myself.” In thinking of how healthy you truly are today maybe you should ask yourself how healthy have you been in the last few months and more than just how you feel today.

Along this line of thinking is the idea of the first symptom. When you look at the most recent data from the CDC on 3 of the top 4 causes of death they are: Heart disease, Cancer, and Stroke. You can then ask yourself what is the first symptom of each of these causes of death? It is not a stretch to assume in each of these diseases that once you present with the first symptom, it is already too late. This is why heart disease, cancer, and stroke are 3 of the top 4 causes of death in America. The most deadly forms of disease are ones that are considered “silent killers.”

Now coming back to my first point, if you asked someone the day before they collapsed with a stroke, “How do you feel?” They would probably respond that they, “Feel okay.” Whereas if you asked this same person how healthy they have been over the last few years, you might have gotten a different response.

Health problems can sneak up on you, what are you doing to prevent it?

In the media you are now hearing a catchy buzz word, that people are interested in “Preventative Health Care.” This is where you are screening for problems before a person feels that they are sick because it is easier to treat them earlier in the disease. This makes problems more treatable and is a more cost effective approach to health care. This type of approach has been used for many years in the chiropractic field. We screen for problems throughout your spine to catch and correct them before the little aches and pains turn into big problems such as not being able to move or function without pain. It is much easier to keep a person well than it is to get a person well.

When a person comes into our chiropractic clinic with back pain, one of the first questions we ask is, “What do you think caused this pain?” To this many of our patients reply that, “I have had back pain all my life.”  To this I generally respond, “Well, where have you been?” It would have been a lot easier and cheaper to get this patient better if they would have come in before the problem became so bad that they could barely walk.

Just remember that many conditions start before there first symptom presents.



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