Hi again! As this is my first practice related story, I want to raise the subject of who looks after us with regards to back pain, whether lower, middle or the upper back. Also, I would like to ask; how many pills do you think cures back pain? Do we adhere to TV ads saying ‘…just pop in and we’ll rate your pain and administer some suitable pills!’ Can you understand my frustration here?
Looking after ourselves is about being a little selfish, or in some instances (and more often than you can imagine), loving ourselves enough in order to put ourselves first. We do this by managing this wonderful body of ours with the right ingredients: food; thought; exercise and rest. It takes a little discipline to put everything else to one side and cook a healthier meal, rather than a quick fix dinner, read up on how to improve our minds, join a class with some physical benefit, or meditate. Whatever suits your tastes!
A typical case I come across is where someone is totally at their whit’s end. They’re depressed (often on antidepressants), in physical pain, and don’t know where to turn. They are either over-worked – due to a burning desire to achieve beyond their tolerance – or they have so many tasks that they simply put themselves last and end up totally burnt out. Usually these people are mothers, professional people, or grandparents! Does this sound familiar to you?
Today I saw a lady in her 30s. I’ll call her Mrs. Y. You might ask why she got herself in this mess, but if you relate to this character, you may believe everything is out of your control and ‘life’ just happens to you. Like juggling too many balls and then someone tosses you yet another! Somewhere, something has to give. In her case she was all of the above: depressed, in pain in her lower back, chest and neck, and couldn’t stand being touched for fear of more pain. She is a professional saleswoman with a character that enjoys taking on challenges in her career.
On examining her, I found she had a short leg – something she wasn’t aware of – which was causing a lifelong distortion in her pelvis and spine. She had a food sensitivity to her most common daily food, wheat and gluten (also found in oats) which would potentially link to brain chemistry and depression, poor absorption of minerals and vitamins, poor blood sugar balance – which could lead to exhaustion. Finally, changes to her hormone balance, due to the crossover between blood sugars and hormone release, consequently left her with irregular periods.
The solution? Traditionally she would be prescribed pills for each ailment. This solution is relatively simple, but not immediate.
I asked her to avoid ALL wheat and gluten for one month and put a heel lift in her shoe. I then softly and moderately manipulated both joints that had been misaligned for years. A plan for more treatment was made along with confirming that she was seeing a councillor to resolve the historical issues that drove her to work beyond her tolerance levels and into burnout.
I am using various therapies with her, from chiropractic to cranio-sacral, and am anticipating a great journey for this lady. I hope she’ll reach a place where she has changed her life, is off antidepressants, enjoys abundant energy, beams with health and probably suffers manageable, but minor pains – one tenth of what she’s experiencing now. I have recommended more, infrequent visits to us throughout the year – like a physical MOT. This will keep things rolling and keep her on track with her aims; similar to a dentist check up. This treatment, although relative to her discipline, is one hell of a change, and. as a chiropractor, very satisfying; helping turn a life around.
The alternative? High street pharmacy or GP administered painkillers, which are akin to covering up the red light on a car dashboard and driving on. This is a sure fire way to an early demise, more pain, more depression, and a deeper misunderstanding of the subtle communication between ourselves and our bodies.
This communication only occurs if we start the journey of self repair, self management and optimization. Prioritising some time for ourselves isn’t selfish, it simply respects what has been given to us and helps us love ourselves more!
So who looks after us and where and when do we go for help? This is where a good chiropractor or alternative therapist comes in, so why not give one a try? The journey begins by simply picking up the phone!