Chronic degenerative diseases have many causes, but nothing amplifies their ailments like negligence. Dr. James Stirton from Winters Chiropractic emphasizes how detrimental negligence can be, as well as the importance of regular wellness maintenance. Essentially, chronic degenerative diseases are wear and tear of our tissues, organs or skeletal structure. These diseases include arthritis, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis to name a few. Their symptoms vary from mild to severe, and how — and when — one addresses these health issues plays a huge impact on overall quality of life. “What I’m seeing lately is people neglecting the start of the problem, even avoiding it. If they do get treated, they get better and then go back to neglecting it until something breaks again,” Stirton said regarding the painful cycle of negligence. “I’ve had a couple patients I’ve had to send to the emergency room. People are coming back from COVID resuming their normal activities and breaking more quickly and severely,” Stirton said. “I want to reach out to people and tell them to take regular care of themselves and their body regardless of how bad their symptoms are. They need to stay motivated and do things that have worked in the past, so they don’t create a chronic degenerative disease.” There are many reasons why people neglect taking action to alleviate their health issues — none of which, however, are because people want their condition to worsen or because they want to endure more pain. “People will call in feeling bad. They’ll come in and get relief, then they flare up again and that tears them up. It’s just a bad cycle of doubt and fear and uncertainty which keeps feeding the neglect part of what I see,” Stirton said, giving his insight into why people neglect their health. “Ultimately, I want people to know neglect is a big problem in muscular-skeletal disease. It’s the one system we neglect in our culture and when it breaks down, we’re minimalistic when we take care of it.” In a previous article “Catch scoliosis early to avoid complications,” Stirton explained the role neglect plays in youngsters addressing scoliosis. Neglect is not age exclusive, however. It’s a habit people develop that feeds directly into the symptoms of chronic degenerative diseases. “I’ve touched a few people in my 20-plus years of doing this. They see the value in caring for their body regularly. The value of having normal, pain-free function of their body,” Stirton said about changing one’s mindset on health and wellness. “The healthcare I provide is a home run because a patient is the best ‘them’ they can be, and they stay optimistic. That’s the change that needs to happen in the fight against the epidemic of chronic physical muscular-skeletal disease.” At the end of the day, bad stressors and habits plague our wellness. Living unhealthily wastes our energy, wears us out and causes pain to the point that breaks any motivation to do better for ourselves. Stirton says a change of mindset can undo the epidemic of neglect. Turning wellness into routine and putting a little effort into oneself every day will undoubtedly make positive differences in quality of life. Stirton is offering half-off a wellness exam through July when you mention this Winters Express article. If there’s any lingering questions the good doctor says: “If you’re not certain, ask Dr. Stirton” at 530-795-4500.