Stress, Back Pain, and Chiropractic

According to experts, there are 3 basic forms of stress...Physical, Chemical, and Mental. And...experts tell us they are all interconnected. Another-words, one can lead to the other. Lets take a look at each one of them and see how stress relates to back pain, which is one of the most common physical ailments patients present with at a chiropractors office.

Physical stress can come from sitting all day at a desk in front of a computer with poor ergonomics. Auto accidents. Sports injuries. Physical abuse. Slips and falls. Carrying a heavy bag all day. Knapsacks in kids. A bad mattress or pillow. Shoes that don't fit right. Manual labor...and more.

stress and chiro

Chemical stress to the body can result from drugs and alcohol...even prescription drugs. In fact, there are way more deaths and addictions to prescription drugs than street drugs. Environmental and workplace pollutants like asbestos, mercury, and lead. Toxins and preservatives in our food chain and water. Chemicals in our homes in the carpet and paint...even some of the things we buy like plastics, cleaning supplies, personal care items, and rubberized (cookware and toys) items are loaded with chemicals. An often overlooked source of chemical stress is the food we eat (the typical american diet is loaded with processed foods and chemicals).

Mental stress is what most people associate with the word Stress. Mental stress can come about from being at a job you don't like. Being in a bad relationship. Financial problems. Problems with your children at home. An illness in the family. Harassment at home or at work. Or just feeling like you don't have enough time or energy to get through the day...or you have no control over your life. In fact, when they study cancer in the lab with mice...the mice that are unable to exert their will to stop a spin wheel produce the highest level of cancer producing stress hormones than any other activity. It appears that not having control is the ultimate mental stress.

So how does this tie into back pain and chiropractic?

Well...all 3 stresses can lead to a malfunctioning nervous system and are primary sources of "vertebral subluxations" which is what chiropractors treat. For instance...mental stress can cause muscle tension that can pull bones of the spine out of alignment, irritating spinal nerves, resulting in back pain, neck pain, and headaches...along with many other painful conditions. This can lead to the chemical stress of pain medications.

Physical stress can cause spinal degeneration and lead to painful back conditions such as disc herniations and spinal stenosis. Back pain can then cause mental stress from the inability to perform normal daily activities at work and home. This tends to get progressively worse as time goes on...especially if pain medications are involved (which adds chemical stress to the mix).

When chemical stress is put on the body from poor lifestyle choices such as alcohol, drugs, and tobacco...it can actually weaken the immune system predisposing the body to all sorts of physical ailments including back pain. Things that would normally not cause physical stress, do when the body is weak. Nothing is worse for back pain than cigarette smoking. And a chemical stress dependency can lead to excessive mental stress as the patient copes with the problem.

So...as you can see...all 3 types of stress are interconnected. Heck...you can be healthy as a horse...get hit with the shell shock mental stress of a death in the family, not be paying attention and step off a curb and break your ankle. The mental stress lead to the physical stress...which could now lead to chemical stress from pain killers and most likely more mental stress from depression and loss of control. It can be a vicious cycle.

However, for the most part, you do have control over the decisions you make day in and day out. And it's those decisions that steer you either in the direction of health or illness...it's up to you.

Sure...there are obstacles, and STRESS, and accidents, and things that seem to be out of your control (but are they?)...and some people seem to have it easier than others...But in the end, it's the choices YOU make that mostly determine where you go (in health and wealth). In fact...you are the end product of your decisions...so make them good ones. Be the paddle...not the ball...and include chiropractic in the mix. Not only can chiropractic help remove pressure off of the nervous system (physical stress). We can help teach you about the things that cause what we treat (Vertebral Subluxations)...physical, chemical, and mental stress.

We can help reduce physical stress from your nervous system with our treatments, which will help the body adapt to all 3 stresses at optimum levels. And, we will do our best to educate you about vetebral subluxations and the stresses that cause them. Our goal is to help you find that balance point where health and stress co-exists. There is no way to escape the forces of stress. All we can do is learn to manage it in the best way possible.

Health is a spontaneous occurrence when the conditions are right. We just have to learn what the conditions are and seek to create them. They are a little bit different for all of us.

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