As a CHIROPRACTOR I have often been at the end of this very popular joke that I'm "NOT A REAL DOCTOR because I do not prescribe medication". Now I can understand why people would say this based on how our society currently operates but I would like to pose a thought experiment to give the 'chiropractor's' logic on this topic.
When you prick your finger with a pin, the signal from the finger to the nervous system is not PAIN. The signal would be one of TISSUE DAMAGE or CELLS ARE BEING DESTROYED HERE and the nervous system then CREATES THE PAIN and sends it back to the finger in order to give you a SIGNAL to rapidly remove your hand from the pricking stimulus and prevent further damage.
Now let’s use an analogy to make sure this makes sense. Say your brake disks on your car start to wear thin, and you have a sensor to tell you this. The way it works it that the THINNING OF THE BRAKE DISK (AKA Tissue damage) gets picked up by the sensor (AKA nervous system) and this means that there is a problem. But the driver doesn't yet know that the problem is there do they? NO. The sensor (AKA nervous system) has to send a SIGNAL to you and so it turns on the brake disk WARNING LIGHT on your dash board. You see the warning light and now you know there is a problem and where it is and you can respond.
Good, so say you had a pain and you went to the DR to get a prescription. You both agree that the PAIN is the problem and that by REMOVING the pain the issue is resolved. But we just saw that the PAIN actually means something, it is the SIGNAL that there is a PROBLEM. There must be some tissue damage or a thinning break disk right? Let’s go back to the analogy- If the WARNING LIGHT came on in your car you would go to your mechanic and he would say don't worry here is a STICKER that fits perfectly and will cover up the WARNING LIGHT so you cannot see it flashing anymore. ''Have a great day, take a sucker''. It doesn't really make sense to do this with a CAR right? So why do we do it to our BODIES?
Another example is in the gym; how do you know when to stop doing bicep curls? Your biceps burn and pain more and more the closer you get to tearing the muscle. Would you like to NOT FEEL THIS and just keep going? What are the benefits? Perhaps when you get back pain your body just might be saying ''somethings not right'' and then you go and turn that message off with a pain killer. Pain killers inhibit the feeling of pain, and in traumatic cases this is very useful but DOES IT ADDRESS THE CAUSE?
So as a chiropractor if I cannot inhibit the pain signal by prescribing medication, that would have to mean that the only way I could turn the signal off would be to fix the cause for it being on in the first place? This is exactly what chiropractors are trained to do, we pick up mechanical imbalances and correct structural misalignments to restore balance to the body and remove the stimulus that causes the pain.
Without PAIN you would die, you would never know when you were damaging your body-
PAIN IS YOUR FRIEND, THE CAUSE OF THE PAIN IS NOT.
As a chiropractor I look for the cause of the issues, I don't try hide them, because that's how I was trained.