In general, I believe that people take better care of their car than themselves. Indeed, we bring our car to be serviced once a year at least because of the MOT and a few more times a year when we drive regularly, at least we should or when we hear a weird sound, we are worried and we want to prevent any serious damage or breakdown so we bring the car to a mechanic to have a look at it.
Same thing for our body for any musculoskeletal discomfort , when we experience pain, when it is regular or consistent it is important to see a doctor about it and ask if there is any contraindication to see to have complementary therapy such as acupuncture, sport massage...etc
Instead, we decide to take painkillers until it doesn't work or help no more and live with that pain.
Pain that will cause muscle guarding into our nervous system, more muscle tension, muscle spasm, muscle imbalance to over protect the area and over time may cause reduction of range of movement and that can change someone life and make them dependent.
Talking about painkillers: there is nothing wrong about taking them, we need to do what we need to do mainly when the pain is so acute or intense but when the pressure goes down it is important to start moving to get the soft tissue mobile and loose. Why not get bodywork to address the issue and help the recover.
Instead, as the pain comes and goes we sometimes decide to ignore or thinking it's nothing but we deeply know that something need to be addressed otherwise, we wouldn't feel that pain: on and off.
As an example of my personal experience 10 years ago when I decided to ignore my toothache which was on and off for months, I was taking some codeine based medication when the pain was intense. The dentist was like my second home from the age of 6 to 14 years old, I had dental braces from the age of 10 so despite a great result after all, the idea of going was bringing me back to my childhood and teeth issue etc. So I preferred to ignored it until it got worst and after seeing an emergency dentist at some point, I have been told that two teeth needed to be removed as they were literally dead, so the drastic solution was to have them out. Thankfully they were in the back of my mouth.
The conclusion of this story is when you decide to ignore a signal which is here the pain, our brain interpretation that something wrong is going on, it will catch us up at some stage and unfortunately for worse.
It might take longer, it might be slower to resolve and address the issue, there is no secret: prevention is better than cure and yes getting regular massage or chiropractic adjustment or acupuncture to get a body MOT and keep everything balanced is always better.
sometimes you try a therapy or a therapist and despite many session, you don't see any changes or improvement whatsoever, change maybe it's not the right therapy or the right professional for you at this stage.
But there is someone out there who can assist you in your recovery journey.