Do you have tension? This is why…
Back pain and neck pain almost always have some level of tension associated with them. The muscles are tight and the neck or back feels restricted. Why is that?
The answer is not complicated yet few people seem to understand its significance, doctors included. Fortunately, the answer uncovers what is necessary for effective treatment of back pain and neck pain.
The muscles are the only way your brain and your body know how to protect or deal with damaged or injured tissues. This is other than the chemical system that first creates inflammation when an accident, injury, or aggravation occurs.
The muscles also try to compensate for or manage the part of the body that is not sitting or moving right. In order to get you through your day, the muscles do whatever they can to help.
Sometimes, even though something can be done to help the muscles feel looser and the tension to “disappear” like a massage or a stretch, the pain, stiffness and overall problem remains and returns. That’s because the tension itself as well as the muscle tightness or soreness is a symptom of the underlying problem.
The body does not know how to release something that is locked.
But it does enjoy symmetry and balance. So, instead of unlocking something, it will tighten a related area to bring stability.
The brain will hold this tension for a reason, and that reason is what everyone with back pain, neck pain, headaches, sciatica, etc. is looking for. When it’s found and corrected, relief will come and not be temporary.
The answer lies in the joint motion and position. For a joint to be happy and feel great, it wants to be in the center of its full range of motion or in the middle of what it’s capable of doing. It’s like having a circle and putting a dot right in the middle. That’s where the joint will work best. If that dot is anywhere but the middle, the function and potentially the feeling will be affected.
Science calls this normal joint function “centration”.
From here, the joint can move and function fully.
In other words, if that joint is like a circle and the dot is somewhere near the outside of the circle, there’s definitely going to be a limitation on how well that joint can work and how long it’s probably going to feel “OK”.
Your brain may be causing that joint or that dot to not be in the middle of where it wants to be due to some kind of problem it’s compensating for. This problem and habit or control may have come from accidents, injuries, use over time, or most likely a combination of all these factors. It’s called life.
The good news is that there is a way to check the joints in the body to see how well they’re sitting and moving, how well they’re “centred”. Then, based on any joints not sitting or moving right, they can be released from their current position and re-centred.
This has been the mainstay of chiropractic treatment for over 100 years. It’s the only healthcare profession that focuses on the structure and function of the joints in the body, especially the spine, to improve how the body is working.
Once proper alignment and movement is restored, tension is released and sore areas feel better. Typically, a person will notice that their body is moving better and is looser when the parts are more similar to how they were designed to be.
Then, if a person so desires, they can support that healthy joint position and function by staying active and/or doing specific exercises. However, many people notice that it doesn’t take much to go about your daily routine when those joints are centred and happy.
There are 3 parts to this particular discussion.
The passive parts include the bones, ligaments, tendons, discs, etc. The active parts are the muscles. And the control part which is your nervous system. In a subsequent blog, we’ll look at the nerve reflexes from this joint function that can have far reaching effects on other parts of the body and how they work.
For now, know that getting the sore areas of your body checked for how they’re sitting and moving (functioning) will lead to a treatment that can not only bring relief but also to help them sit and move better for a long time to come.