treat pain quickly, chronic pain, long-term pain

Why You Must Act Urgently To Treat Pain Quickly

Chiropractor in Amarillo TX discusses why it is to your disadvantage to think it will just go away

Why do we wait to try to get out of pain and does it even matter how long we wait? The short answer is an absolute YES! It most certainly matters if you wait too long because waiting too long allows pain to transition from something new, innocent, and easy to treat into something that can be very difficult to get rid of. Worst of all, this transition can happen very quickly without you even realizing it.

Reasons Patients Wait

I suppose there are plenty of reasons why patients wait so long before actually taking steps to get out of pain. One of the most common reasons is that patients think it will just go away naturally. And, honestly, they are usually correct. We cannot always explain why pain comes on, exactly the cause of the pain, or why it just seems to go away as quickly as it appears. Spinal pain can truly be a bit of an enigma sometimes and each patient is different with their own secret code to getting rid of the pain. This is why it is a good idea to go to a highly trained expert in spinal pain once you decide it is time to do something about it. 

Another reason why patients wait to be treated may be that they do not feel like they have enough money to pay for care at the time they are hurting. We all know what healthcare costs in America mean to us all. In spite of the Affordable Care Act, costs continue to rise. The good news, and argument for treating with a chiropractor, is that in nationwide comparisons with physical therapists and usual medical care, chiropractic care was not only more effective and patients were happier with their practitioner and their progress, but the care with a chiropractor also costs less. Quite a bit less as a matter of fact.

Yet another reason patients wait to be treated may just be that they think they are simply too busy to take time to take care of themselves. When a patient tells me they have been too busy to take care of themselves, all that means is that taking care of themselves was just not a priority. Be honest, if something is important to you, do you not make sure it is at the top of the list? You make sure it gets done. That is because you made it important. For a healthcare practitioner, not having the time does not hold a lot of water as an excuse. Resolving pain must be a priority to keep it from turning long-term (chronic).

Long-term Chronic Pain

While the reasons for waiting too long to be seen may vary, the outcome is consistent. The common thread I see in our clinic every week is that patients have been hurting for far too long and they do not know how they ended up at the point they are at. Certainly, some more than others.

Unfortunately, there is a timetable on pain and how effectively pain can be treated. The National Pain Strategy defines chronic pain as pain that is experienced at least every other day for six months or more. Other respectable publications say that pain turns chronic in as little as only three months. That is highly concerning. Mostly because once pain turns long-term/chronic, it becomes much more difficult to treat and resolve. Think about that for just a second. If patients allow pain to persist for just three months, the chances of knocking it out completely begin to decrease. Wow! That is pretty sobering when you consider that, in the grand scheme of things, three months just is not very long at all. 

One week turns into one month before patients even know it. Then one month turns into four or five months. Patients get better but then they get worse again. Pretty soon, the patient is sitting at six months in pain and now it is extremely difficult to get rid of. That is the exact reason the global population needs to have a higher level of pain literacy. Patients need to be educated to understand that you cannot allow pain to persist beyond just a month or two and go on thinking it will just go away. It has to be attacked promptly and effectively. 

If the patient simply understood the rapid transition of pain from short-lived (acute) to long-term (chronic pain), they could have been proactive and could have been treated quicker and much more effectively. That is basically my message for prospective pain patients.

There is absolutely a timetable on pain and you simply cannot allow it to persist for three months or more.

It is in your best interest to have any pain you may experience treated fairly promptly if you want to get it resolved and move on with your life. 

What Kind Of Doctor Should You See?

The largest medical industry groups and associations, not to mention national polls, state clearly that nonpharmacological, noninvasive treatment is the first kind of treatment. But, what does that mean exactly? Fortunately, the American College of Physicians breaks it down for everyone. In no particular order, a patient's first treatments should be as follows:

  • Spinal Manipulative Therapy (go to a chiropractor)
  • Exercise/Rehabilitation (go to a chiropractor)
  • Soft Tissue Manipulation/Massage (go to a chiropractor)
  • Low-level Laser (go to a chiropractor)
  • Heat (go to a chiropractor)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (the right chiropractor can offer guidance)
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi

While I may appear to be a biased chiropractor (and that's a fair assessment), it is also a fact and very honest that these recommendations come from one of the largest medical groups in America and that chiropractors perform the majority of them. 

Does The Type Of Chiropractor Matter?

Quickly though, the type of chiropractor you choose is extremely important. You should make sure you are visiting an evidence-based, patient-centered chiropractor. A good start to finding such a chiropractor is by visiting the member map at These chiropractors typically follow the research and current guidelines and implement them into their daily patient care. 



Dr. Jeff Williams, DC, FIANM is a Fellowship-trained Neuromusculoskeletal specialist and chiropractor in Amarillo, TX. As an Amarillo chiropractor, Dr. Williams treats chronic pain, disc pain, low back pain, neck pain, whiplash injuries, and more. Dr. Williams is also the host of The Chiropractic Forward Podcast ( Through the podcast, Dr. Williams teaches fellow chiropractors and advocates weekly for evidence-based, patient-centered practice through current and relevant research. If you have any questions for Dr. Williams, feel free to email at [email protected] Learn more about Dr. Williams and his practice at

Dr. Williams was voted Best Chiropractor In Amarillo in the Best of Amarillo 2020. Dr. Williams's full-time Amarillo chiropractic practice is Creek Stone Integrated Care at 3501 SW 45th St., Ste. T, Amarillo, TX 79109. If you are searching for a chiropractor near me, Dr. Williams is your Amarillo Chiropractor.  



Jeff Williams, DC, FIANM

Jeff Williams, DC, FIANM


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