Pain is inevitable. How we deal with pain can make a big difference in our quality of life. Most pain is manageable. If you are experiencing pain that interferes with your ability to function or if you have questions about your pain, you should consult a healthcare professional.
Surgery can have many potential benefits, but each benefit comes with a cost. Unless your problem is life-threatening or you have some very special circumstances (some professional athletes with devastating injuries, for example), surgery should never be the first option to treat it. The role of preventive care cannot be over-emphasized. Staying healthy is so much better than the alternative. Encouraging healthy living and routine check-ups should be the primary tenets of modern healthcare.
Stretching can be a worthy and justifiable goal, but there should be a clear reason for stretching, a clear target tissue, a rational stretching technique and a measurable endpoint. Stretching a “muscle” without understanding what is tight and why is a Sisyphean task, and can cause unintended and unwelcome consequences.
Exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. Even a little exercise is better than no exercise at all. Both aerobics and strengthening should be part of a comprehensive exercise plan. Exercise should be done carefully, regularly, and for most of us, in moderation. If you are just starting an exercise program, or if you have questions about your program, you should consult a healthcare professional.
The healthcare system in the U.S. began essentially as an “old boys’ network”, which relied on the good will, camaraderie, and integrity of the physicians who were its originators. Over time, as healthcare became more specialized and divergent, the basic relations became more fragmented. Today the average patient is faced with multiple challenges to obtaining good healthcare. As a country, we face three main challenges: Cost, Equity and Availability.