"Primum nocerum." That's Latin for "Do no harm." This is considered to be the primary dictum for medical doctors, written by the Old Man himself, Hippocrates. (He was, of course Greek. Why the expression is known to us in Latin, I dunno.)
"Corticosteroid therapy is the refuge of the destitute." This is in the introduction to a classic medical textbook, Boyd's Pathology. This is a medical doctor talking to, writing to medical doctors and students. What it means is that the doctor pull out the cortisone when he's got nothin."
The topic today is corticosteroid injections of joints, a common procedure of orthopedists.
Yesterday, I was talking to one of my favorite practice members about the very sad state of his knee. The knee joint was subluxated for years, as was the nerve supply the the knee, above and below, and the nerve supply for posture, coordination, balance, etc. That much is commonplace. What puts him, and his knee, in a very bad way is that he has had several cortisone shots there. Disastrous!
I explained that this kind of treatment, shots to the knee, or the hip, or the spine, etc., may be a good deal if one is planning to die in a few months. HUH? Well, often the shots "work," they kill the pain. How? Cortisone and related compounds are the most potent of the anti-inflammatories. Since inflammation is the most common cause of joint pain, get rid of the inflammation, you get rid of the pain, sometimes even completely, sometimes for several months.
So what's the problem? Inflammation, like every other symptom, is the body's effort to heal itself. If you interfere with this healing, you've got big trouble. That's why Vioxx, an oral anti-inflammatory, was taken off the market because of damage to the heart and circulatory system. And that is why cortisone shots are a very bad idea. While they can sometimes offer very good relief, they leave your joint, that is already in trouble, with further damage. The more shots, the more damage.
Could they, the orthopedists, be drumming up surgery business by destroying joints?
Why not get to the cause? Bad knee? Get adjusted. Allow your body to heal. Yes it can, even if you've been told your knee is "bone-on-bone."
Don Harte, D.C.
Marin Straight Chiropractor
Liberator of Innate
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
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