From the time we are born we start with periodic visits to various healthcare providers. These visits aren’t because you are sick, assuming you had no birth injuries or congenital conditions. These periodic check-ups are designed with intentions on keeping you well. Certain times of life call for certain doctors and it starts at birth.
About three to five days after you were born you visited your pediatrician for the first time. Pediatricians are doctors who manage the health of your child. They’re trained to diagnose and treat childhood illnesses, from minor health problems to serious diseases.
By the time you are a half way into your first year on earth it is recommended that you visit an optometrist. American Optometric Association (AOA), infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. Children then should have additional eye exams at age 3, and just before they enter the first grade. You will have yearly check-ups for the rest of your life.
Around one year or 6 months after the first tooth has come in it is recommended that you visit a pediatric dentist to have your teeth and gums checked. A check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems.
Thirteen years old
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that girls first see a gynecologist when they’re between the ages of 13 and 15.
Forty years old
As early as 40 years of age it is recommended for women to have a mammogram for the first time and for men to start have their first prostate exam. For men and women, at age 40, it is time to have their first colonoscopy.
These visits are in addition to your yearly check-up with your medical doctor and are done in order to take a pro-active approach to your health. They are considered preventative medicine.
When it comes to being proactive in preventing degenerative conditions there is a condition that affects 40% of children and 80% of adults that is a relatively ignored until it is a problem. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), low back pain is a leading health-related economic drain, with annual U.S. costs exceeding $100 billion. Low back pain is the leading cause of lost work days and activity limitation (WHO), and is responsible for about 40% of missed work days. Spinal disease is the most common cause of disability.
We have been taught at a very young age that back and neck pain are no big deal. If you have pain just take some Tylenol, Advil or Aleve. For way too long we have had the mindset of “have back pain, here is a pill for that”. It is no secret that America has an opioid problem and it is because of this mindset.
What if we started screening for potential future spinal problems?
In a study involving 2,300 children it was found that 50% of children aged 7 already have a major indicator of a Structural Shift. A structural shift of the spine is the most common cause of spinal disorders.
What if we started protecting our spines like we do for our teeth and eyes? It’s this author’s opinion that we would be saving a lot of money and agony if we did. After all, we are born with the only spine we will have for the rest of our lives.