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My doctor said..

My doctor said I have {insert genetic defect/non traumatic structural change} and therefore I will always have bad {insert joint}. Is this true?

My answer -

While it is impossible for me to answer this question without knowing the details of your case, more than likely the answer is yes and no. Our bodies are very complex and can compensate in ways we don't even know about. However, the answer is that when not addressed, our bodies usually compensate in ways far past what is necessary.

For example, have you ever gotten a bad paper cut on your finger? Then gone to do something in the kitchen and you barely use that entire arm in order to avoid getting something in it? Or gymnasts - have you ever gotten a rip on your hand and then used your opposite arm to shampoo your hair in the shower or brush your teeth? So while yes, the cut may limit some use of one finger, our body compensates everywhere from our shoulder down.

This is often the case in orthopedic/internal structural defects as well. Many of my patients tell me they have "flat feel" so they will "always have foot pain." Now, I'm not here saying I can correct flat feet. But flat feet usually come from a combination of structural issues (the actual bones are moving - I cannot do anything about that ) and functional issues (we use our foot differently and the muscles weaken - I can do something about this). If we can work on the functional stuff - lets just say thats 50% of the problem, and decrease your pain by 50%, I'd say that is significant, wouldn't you?

So, while we may not be able to correct structural problems entirely, I wouldn't say they are worth ignoring, because some pain relief is better than no pain relief!

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