At least once a month, a new person will walk through the door of my office either bent over or holding their head with their hands. They have shooting pain down their legs or their arms. And, more often than not, the last thing they remember is that they heard a “pop” in their back or neck and then they were thrown into debilitating pain.
In previous emails, I’ve described how a lack of motion in the spine and injuries can cause scar tissue to accumulate in your joints. Over the years, if the spine is not regularly adjusted, this scar tissue continues to constrict, harden and tighten around the joints and discs in your spine. Then, one day a quick turn of the head or bend of the back and…
The scar tissue tears; spilling chemicals onto nerve endings, sounding the alarm that a joint very close to your spinal chord is injured! Mayday! Mayday! Your body goes into full “protection mode”.
Blood floods the area causing swelling and edema. The muscles around the joint splint and spasm, locking down the joint from further motion and possible injury. Your brain goes into fight or flight mode. Within a split second, you go from another day of activity, to Quasimodo screaming…
Well, maybe not that dramatic, but pretty close. The shooting pain down the arm or leg is due to the inflammation and muscle spasms clamping down on the nerves that exit the spine. Sometimes the disc can be so injured, it will actually bulge like a flat tire, squishing the nerve or spinal cord. We call that a “disc herniation”. Other times, the amount of scar tissue has caused the bone to grow and push down on the nerve. Most of the time, people are bending over or holding their own head because that’s the only way to relieve the pressure.
This can seem like something that sneaks up on someone. But, typically, there is a history of years of chronic neck or back pain that were either ignored or treated with medications. It’s like taking pain killers for a toothache, but never going to the dentist until the tooth is rotten and needs to be pulled.
One stop chiropractic care can not be completely successful in treating these types of low back and neck pain problems. Only through regular spinal maintenance adjustments can these types of flare-ups be avoided.
Ask me about what else you can do to keep your spine moving and healthy on your next visit.
IF you have questions regarding low back or neck pain call our office at 623-587-7463 or check us out online.
Dr. Aaron L. Wiegand, DC