3 Types of Stress that Cause Nerve Interference

Today I was talking with a practice member and they were saying that OUT OF NOWHERE, they were experiencing back pain. I explained to her that it is never out of nowhere. For many of us, we are accumulating stress and strain on our spine through daily physical, chemical , and mental emotional stress. Examples of each of these stresses are shown below.

Physical: sitting, bad sleep position, weak muscles, falls, injuries, repetitive strain.
Chemical: medications, environmental, and food chemicals
Mental/Emotional: Daily tension can affect our physiology by triggering chemical reactions and creating changes in our physiology.

It’s impossible to avoid stress! To be alive is to be under stress. The question becomes what do you DO with the stress? Does it make you stronger or weaker?
We are all unique individuals and the same stress which makes one person sick can be invigorating experience for another (distress vs. eustress). It’s not the stress but how our bodies respond to the stress that matters most in our overall health.

Imagine three dolls: one made of glass, one of plastic, and one of steel. If you were to strike each with a hammer, what would happen???

The glass one shatters. This is similar to a person who CANNOT adapt to life’s stress. This person is the type who gets ill and/or dies as a result of increased stimulus in their life.

The plastic doll will scar. This type of person is not deeply damaged but they are hurt. They will recover but never completely heal.

The steel doll rings with a pleasant tone. This type of person adapts to stress quickly and thrives. The idea is this analogy is to think about what things help you to adapt to stress and be more of a steel drum. Do you deal with life better when you have a good night’s sleep? Eat good food? Take vacation? If you understand this concept, then you must be aware that your spine is VITAL in your ability to adapt.

Stop letting life work “your last nerve” and help yourself to adapt and respond to life appropriately by regularly getting adjustments to take the pressure off your spine. BE a steel drum and make great music in this world…

Is Your Laptop Making You Lean?

Often when we do spinal exams on new patients, we find that their heads are leaning forward in front of their bodies. Your head weighs about 11 lbs, similar to the weight of a bowling ball. Imagine trying to walk around all day carrying a bowling ball about six inches in front of you. This would take a lot more effort than carrying the bowling ball right next to your body.

Forward Head Syndrome was commonly seen in older people. However, with the widespread use of laptop computers, extended sitting, handheld video games and smart phones, we are seeing more and more patients who are beginning to show symptoms at much younger ages. Forward Head Syndrome effects much more than just posture. Dr Rene Caillet, a Medical doctor at The University of Southern California, wrote about the following effects of Forward Head Syndrome in his book, “Rejuvenation Strategy.” You might be surprised to learn how many bodily functions are affected:

1. Incorrect head positioning leads to improper spinal function.

2. The head in forward posture can add up to 30 pounds of abnormal leverage on the cervical spine.

3. Forward head posture results in loss of vital lung capacity. In fact, lung capacity is depleted by as much as 30 percent. Loss of lung capacity leads to heart and blood vascular problems.

4. The entire gastrointestinal system is affected, particularly the large intestine. Loss of good bowel peristaltic function and evacuation is a common condition that comes with forward head posture and loss of spinal lordotic curves.

5. Forward head posture causes an increase in discomfort and pain. Freedom of motion in the first four cervical vertebrae is a major source of stimuli that causes production of endorphins in production many otherwise non-painful sensations are experienced as pain.

6. Forward head posture causes loss of healthy spine-body motion. The entire body becomes rigid as the range of motion lessens. Soon, one becomes hunched.
Forward Head Syndrome can be prevented and corrected by using technology properly and in moderation, getting regular chiropractic adjustments, and doing a simple exercise to help maintain your natural cervical (neck) curve.

Use a desktop computer at a proper height as much as possible. Laptops should be reserved for occasional offsite use if possible. If you use a laptop as your primary computer, shop around for a good laptop base that props it up on a table, so the screen is closer to eye height and your head and neck can remain upright. Do not use a laptop on your lap. No matter what kind of computer you use, get up and stretch at least once every hour.

Limit the amount of time spent playing with handheld video games. This is especially important for young children whose spines are still developing! Also be conscious of the time spent using your smart phone to browse the web or text. Think about how often you are looking down while engaging in these activities.

Try this simple exercise to help restore the natural curve of your neck:
Lay on your back and put a rolled up towel beneath your neck. In the beginning of doing this exercise, use a hand towel rolled up to the size of a lemon. Rest your head back over the towel and allow it to rest there for up to five minutes. Over time you can increase the thickness of the towel and the length of time you hold the position. This exercise is most effective when done consistently over a period of a year.

If you or one of your loved ones clearly has a forward leaning head, get adjusted soon. Adjustments and a simple accompanying exercise can create a tremendous change in your spine and overall health and wellbeing!

The Doctor Inside You!

Your body has an intelligence inside of it that has helped it to grow from two cells into the amazing, complex, dynamic being that you are today!  These two cells have created a body that:

  • Came complete with 100 billion brain neurons that can send impulses at lightening speed to every cell, tissue, organ and system in your body
  • Came complete with a very sophisticated nerve system that stretches for miles and stores over 100 trillion bits of information
  • Produces 8 million new red blood cells every second
  • Contains 100,000 genes with more than 50% designated to the structure and function of your nervous system

Your body has created the perfect amount of adrenaline, the exact right amounts of stomach acid and just enough insulin to keep you healthy.

But sometimes, it seems to us that the body is not smart.  It keeps not working the way we want it to.  Something is interfering with the body’s natural ability to heal, self regulate and mend.

Perhaps the years of physical, chemical and emotional demands that we place on our system have caused a “fuse to blow” and the natural healing ability of the body is now diminished.  Get your spine checked today and turn the switches back on so that your inner doctor can get back to work!