Low Back Pain
Yes, Chiropractic can help Low Back Pain, but it can help with so much more.
One form of stress that is often overlooked is neurological stress caused by Structural shifts of the spine. This can cause Low Back Pain but I’m sure you’ve either heard or read about how important the ability for the body to function is. Well, the body’s command center is the nervous system, the brain & spinal cord. It controls & coordinates every function of the body. It is constantly sending and receiving messages throughout the body and it’s so important that it is protected by the strongest bones in the body.
The skull fuses to one solid piece but the spinal cord is protected by a series of 24 bones called vertebrae. These bones allow movement so we can bend, twist and rotate so we can be athletic. Since they are moveable, they are also vulnerable and susceptible to stresses & forces that can cause them to lose their proper position. When that happens, rather than protecting the nerve system it actually causes nerve injuries. When nerves are injured, the nerve systems loses its ability to send those messages which control & coordinate the function of the body.
Structural Shifts of the Spine
Structural shifts of the spine case caused by spinal stress can have multiple impacts in the body. Pain in the muscles & joints leading to degeneration. These are things like neck & low back pain, stiffness & rigidity. These structural shifts can also cause nerve obstruction or a nerve injury which lowers the body’s ability to heal, interrupts proper physiology and causes a lowered resistance to stress.
The purpose of Chiropractic is to detect & correct those structural shifts to restore the structural integrity of the spine. Restoring the nerve communication throughout the body. Many people associate chiropractic with neck and back pain or making you feel better and even though people do feel better, that is not the actual purpose of chiropractic. Its purpose is to restore and maintain function in the human body allowing the body to maintain homeostasis.
Function & Balance
Homeostasis is just a fancy way of saying balance. The brain can be complicated but lets break it down to make things a bit easier. There are two ways that the nerve system wants to function, either Fight and Flight or Rest and Digest. Every part of the body wants to be functioning appropriately: the thyroid, heart, lungs, stomach, kidneys, liver, intestines, & every muscle. They need to stay in balance between the Fight & Flight or Rest and Digest because we are never in one state all of the time. And the kicker is that different stresses & triggers that we experience will cause out brain to adapt by either kicking into Fight and Flight or Rest and Digest mode.
Nobody is really surprised that stress can contribute to health problems but the question is why is stress so damaging. Its because of how our bodies react to stress. Take for example if we went camping and a bear attacks the tent with us in it. We how two natural reactions. Either fight, which isn’t a wise option or run. In either case our body produces hormonal chemicals in the form of adrenaline that give us extra energy. Its how we hear about people doing heroic actions to save others like lifting a car to save a child. This is what we call the fight or flight syndrome. The problem is that once these hormones are released, they have to take action somewhere.
Now in the case of the bear we’ll use them by fighting or running. But think about how many times these chemicals are triggered, getting cut off or a stressful day at work will trigger these hormones to be released. But they don’t all get used off which is why so many of the classic stress relievers laughing, exercise & sex they use up those hormones. If those hormones are not used up they actually turn around and damage the body that they were designed to protect.
Cortisol is a stress hormone released during a stressful situation. But when it is triggered and created in excess and not used up, it becomes a major contributing factor to a variety of health conditions. Excess stress hormones actually block thyroid hormones and contributed to a lower metabolism & causes fatigue. Which can contribute to weight gain. It throws off our blood sugar causing muscle to breakdown to create sugar for other uses in the body. Less muscle lowers the metabolism and leads to further weight gain.
Can you see how spinal stress can affect the bodies hormones? Now put that knowledge along with the knowledge that abnormal structural configuration of the spine will lead to wear & tear that causes arthritis. Is it starting to make sense how Chiropractic can help with a whole lot more than just lower back pain?
This is why it is so important to understand that Chiropractic is not just about Low Back Pain, here are a few examples of how others can benefit from Chiropractic.
The goal of Prenatal Chiropractic care is to balance and correct structural shifts of the pelvis and spinal column creating optimal space for the fetus to develop and removing nerve inflammation, allowing the body to function optimally. For most moms establishing a balanced pelvic alignment is one of the main reasons they see a chiropractor for prenatal chiropractic care. When the pelvis is misaligned the amount of room available for a developing baby is restricted.
This in turn can make it difficult for a baby to get into the best possible position for delivery. The other major reason that a pregnant mother may seek prenatal care is because she understands that the brain and nerve system is the master communication system to the entire body, including the reproductive system; it is for this reason alone that many expecting mothers seek chiropractic care. Other reason include Sciatic Nerve Pain treatment, reduced back and neck pain and to prevent a potential Cesarean delivery.
Gaining a Competitive Edge
Athletes constantly looking to gain a competitive edge through chiropractic care, athletes experience traumas to the body that can cause the spine to shift away from a proper alignment. In Baseball this could occur when a player is sliding into a base, diving to make a catch or even standing in the field with poor posture game after game which is considered a repetitive motion injury. These structural shifts cause the bones to get stuck out of proper alignment commonly injuring the nerve system that it would normally protect when the spine is within a normal functional range. Once the spine shifts outside of its normal functional range a baseball players or any athlete for that matter may experience secondary conditions (Symptoms) caused by a nerve injury due to a structural shift of the spine.
Chiropractic & Golf
Golfers commonly experience lower back injuries due to the stress and torque that they experience during a golf round but also because many individuals forgo warming up before a golf round. 10-15 minutes of stretching can not only help to prevent these types of injuries but they also help increase distance on the golf course just by warming up the muscles that are about to be used. Warming up also aids in coordinating different parts of the body that are needed to work together when executing a golf swing giving a golfer better touch and more control when beginning a round.