I’ve had this conversation a thousand times….. it goes something like this…
“Well I’ve had the odd grumble in my back before, but all I did was bend over to pick up the paper and BOOM my back went…it just doesn’t make sense”
What they did varies but this happens over and over and over.
So was really going on, and can this be applied to most people?
What shows up first?
When you actually get down to it, most people with rapid onset low back pain had plenty of warning signals. They often have a history of low grade back pain. They just hoped it would go away (because normally it does), or they were too busy with life to stop and rest or change the activities that were aggravating. Or sometimes, life just simply doesn’t allow us to stop.
If you examine the spines of most people you will find tension and areas of the spine that are either very tight or don’t move properly. Most people actually have areas in their spine that aren’t working to full capacity. So actually, spinal dysfunction often shows up way before the painful injury. But most people are aware of it to some degree in that they may feel a reduction in flexibility or certain things become harder to do, or they feel “stiff and old”. It’s very individual.
And what we tend to do with low grade irritation is we ignore it or take painkillers. We rarely see it as something that should be sorted out before it becomes a problem.
So what triggers the injury? What is the tipping point?
Many people with an acute injury have just gone through or are in the midst of multiple stresses in their life. It may be emotional such as illness or loss of a loved one. It may be work stress, with pressure to perform or earn. Or postural stress with a body not coping with hours at the computer or driving for too many hours. A poor diet lacking in vitamins and minerals can also be a stressor, as can obesity. Lack of exercise, over excising or the wrong kinds of exercise can also put inappropriate stresses on the spine.
So over time tension and dysfunction builds up in the spine. But we are amazingly good at adapting and some people will go for years without experiencing symptoms, and then BOOM!
So what can you do?
Stop. Pay Attention. Listen to your Body.
Find a healthcare professional, such as a chiropractor, who is an expert in the spine and can help you to heal from the injury, not simply mask the pain with drugs and hope it will go away. Because function is rarely restored without changing how your body works. And painkillers mask the problem, and may buy you time for the pain to reduce, but they rarely change the underlying pattern.
Network Chiropractors not only help your body to release built up tension, but over time they can help you change how you respond and react to stresses so actually your capacity to handle stress can increase - something many of us need in the modern crazy world.
Look at your lifestyle and ask - what can I do to promote healing in my body? You may need to look at diet and nutrition, exercise, stress triggers which may include things you can’t change.
So if you have the warning signals of spinal problems which include back pain, headaches, fatigue, stiffness and so much more, think about dealing with it before the crisis hits. And if the crisis has hit - call us now.
But we live in a culture where you look after your teeth, but only look after your spine when it screams loudly at you.