Aches and Pains
As a chiropractor every conversation I have with my patients involves their aches and pains. I must have heard every type of ache and pain that a person can have. The most troublesome aches and pains are the ones that come and go, sometimes for no apparent reason. There may have been an injury in the past, even decades earlier. Often an early strain or sprain is not remembered.
My chiropractic treatment has been pretty effective in eliminating or at least minimizing these occurrences. What I’ve come to realize is that there is more going on than just simple ache and pain. The other side of the coin is that most people also comment that there under a lot of stress. Those are the key words, constant and stress. Stress can either be physical (back pain), emotional (I have to call out of work again), or psychological (will I be unable to support my family).
The human body has a great mechanism for dealing with stress but when it becomes chronic we have a problem. Stress releases cortisol, a stress hormone that changes the physiology to deal with stressful situations. When there is a continued release of cortisol due to chronic stress, it causes many negative effects. Increased levels of cortisol cause prediabetes. Prediabetes can result in chronic pain. This becomes what is called a feed-forward cycle. The more chronic stress, physical, mental or emotional constantly releases cortisol causing prediabetes causing more pain. If this cycle is not stopped pain persists to eventual long-term disability.
There are a few things you can do to break this cycle. Omega-3 fatty acids, a broad-spectrum antioxidant as well as a supplement called phosphatidylserine will reduce cortisol. For stress reduction the herb ashwangandha root and magnolia have been found to be effective. Also lavender in tablet form or aromatherapy is helpful. It’s very important to use a high quality, professional grade supplements to ensure consistency and purity.
Lifestyle factors such as quality sleep, stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing and what I call unplugging, that is getting rid of all the electronic gadgets at least 15 minutes a day. Proper hydration is another important factor. The proper amount of water to drink daily is one half your body weight in ounces of filtered water. Example, if you are 120 pounds you should be drinking 60 ounces of filtered water daily. And don’t forget a diet rich in fruits and vegetables while eliminating processed foods.
Chiropractic care with the recommended home care will remedy the physical part of your aches and pains. Focusing on reducing cortisol and stress as well as other lifestyle factors should prevent them from returning.
I would like to thank those who have been emailing me with questions. I will continue to answer questions personally by email. I also plan to include the answers to questions I receive on my weekly newsletter.
If you have a question, you’re probably not alone. There are many people with the same questions. Please email your questions. I know you have a lot.