So many people who have back or neck pain are not getting the help they need. I am writing again about chronic pain and our spines because it’s something we all need to keep in mind. For so long we’ve been thinking that a pain in the neck is caused by something in the neck. This gives me a pain in my neck!
I’ve had many clients over the years who have low back pain caused by an issue elsewhere, or knee pain that’s caused by their walk, or… You get the picture.
Have you ever been to a Chiropractor? They work on the premise that if there is a misalignment in your spine, it can cause issues with your hormones, heart rate, and more.
Chiropractic focuses on the relationship of structure, primarily the spine, and function, which is coordinated by the nervous system.
What does this mean, you ask?
Well, pretty much everything in the body connects to the spine. The spinal cord is a column of nerves that travels through the spinal canal. The cord extends from the skull to the lower back. Thirty-one pairs of nerves branch out through vertebral openings (the neural foramen). These nerves carry messages between the brain and the rest of the body, and are part of what’s called the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS is critical to body functions. It is composed of the brain and the spinal cord, which is protected by the spine. The CNS controls everything from heart rate, to the release of hormones, to body temperature, along with movement. Most people think only of movement when they think about the spine.
Because the spine houses one of the major components of the CNS, it aids in coordinating all the information and activity of other systems of the body. When your brain sends signals to your internal organs, the information is received via your spinal cord. Therefore, when there is a misalignment or blockage in the spine, organs and related tissue will feel the effects.
Pain signals are also sent along the CNS. If something is damaged along your spine, a compressed nerve would send signals to the CNS, which alerts the brain. The spine keeps the CNS safe and allows it to function optimally.
This is how you (like two of my recent clients) can have lower back pain and go to your primary care doc who takes x-rays or cat scans of your lower back, tells you there’s no damage, and sends you home with pain medication. The problem with that is that on both of my recent cases, the CAUSE of the pain was a shoulder injury. Shoulder injuries often get pushed to the back burner with the thought that they’ll take care of themselves later. But what happens is that then that smart brain of ours tells other body parts to compensate for the weakness in the shoulder. Posture becomes effected, how a person walks, works, etc. and before you know it there is lower back pain.
Another case I remember was lower back pain caused by an old ankle injury. The woman was in a cast for a few months from a serious break and during that time, the cast made her walk differently. When her ankle was healed and her doctor ordered PT (Physical Therapy), the order was to help strengthen her ankle again. No one paid any attention to the other leg and her gait, so she continued to walk differently for years. She suffered from back pain that no one could pinpoint, until I looked at her walk and helped her change that.
So, if you get back, neck, or hip pain, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the cause is where the pain is.
Chiropractic has known this for many years and has helped many people. Functional medical docs will also look farther for the source of your pain, but most health insurances don’t cover the necessary tests.
Please note that I think MRI and Cat Scan technology, like many other newer medical technologies, is amazing. These tools tell us a lot about the state of our body, and we should absolutely have those done when called for. What I’m saying again is that we also need to be the CEO of our own healthcare. We need to know our body better and we need to voice our concerns and request additional tests, or second opinions, etc. Too much of conventional medicine is dictated these days by insurance executives. The health care system in the US is not operating optimally. I believe that change will happen, but it usually takes a long time. So, if you want answers and aren’t getting them, don’t give up!
And, if you want to know your body better so that you can also be the CEO of your own healthcare, take one of my Yoga or Pilates classes. In every class, I give clues and exercises to help you become more familiar with your body and how it works – or doesn’t. Here’s a link to my class schedule.
I also have a few openings in my private coaching schedule.
And, a reminder that my free Weight Loss Mastermind for Post-Menopausal Women will be this afternoon at 1pm Eastern. If you haven’t signed up yet, here’s the page to do so, and if you have signed up – I’ll see you there!
Meanwhile, enjoy this exercise that will relax all the muscles in your back!
Best of Health,