How Healthy is your SPINE?

Spinal Care and Past Trauma

Spinal care is one of the most important areas of your body you can take care of. It does not take much effort to maintain, but if you have had a past trauma like a car wreck, fall or sports injury it might be something you want to have examined. Most of us go through life and say; “hey if it ain’t broken don’t fix it.” Although that thought may have some truth to it, this especially does not count when it comes to your spine.

Many years ago I was thrown from a vehicle over 100 mph. Yes, wow – talk about an out of body experience! I was not trying to be superman, just had a friend who was drinking too much and thought he was a stunt driver. This was during my high school days, so not much thinking was put into my spinal care while in the hospital. The lacerations around my neck and upper torso were quite severe. As I was catapulted from the truck I also was thrown through a barbwire fence in the process. I literally almost lost my head! It was not until a few years later that I began to have spinal issues. Lucky for me, our home town chiropractor had already seen me as a child so he knew just what to do. It was not until I was 24 when I found out what a herniated disc was, let me tell you this…..it is one of the most excruciating pains you can ever have in your body.

Now after having a disc trauma to the spine, all other activities seem to diminish from my life; water skiing, horseback riding, martial arts, even just sitting in a vehicle was unbearable. It took me over 20 years to finally end the low back pain, I don’t wish this kind of pain on anyone. If I had only known to have my spine checked out and maintained more often this could have been avoided, but heck it did help me on deciding a career. It’s like the hair club commercials on TV, not only am I the owner, I am also a client.

My point in telling this story is for you guys reading this to avoid ever having an injury like this. It is too simple to avoid – but a little small pain can mean nothing to most guys out there, but bend and pick up something at a wrong angle or SNEEZE! BAM! You are down for the count, just like a patient yesterday – all he did was sneeze and herniated his low back disc. When you look back in someones history, there is usually an old trauma that was never treated and that is where it all began.

So – PLEASE do your best to avoid this, if you know someone who complains but never gets checked out, just share my story with them. Even someone with mild scoliosis should be see and evaluated, we check kids at early ages for this. Once something becomes a problem, it takes much longer to bring it back into balance.

Neck Pain & Tightness

Those of you with neck pain or just tightness, usually you have lost your curve in your neck, you now have what we call; “TECH NECK.” Looking down at your phone or computer too long has created an issue. But here is the story, once you loose a curve in one place in your spine, you loose it in another. The low back and the neck both talk and communicate to each other. So what happens above, also happens below…I think you know the saying. Loss of curvature is an accident just waiting to happen. Curves are your shock absorbers for the spine and the disc in between. This is how someone gets a degenerated disc, loss of the curve puts unequal pressure on the disc below.

One day while drinking your coffee/tea the cup just slips out of your hands for no reason and then you find out you have actually lost strength in your hands and maybe your arm as well. You see your doctor and now you find out you have a loss of disc height or degenerated disc. What do you do? A surgeon will tell you surgery, a chiropractor will tell you lets naturally treat you in a non-evasive way first. Surgery should always be your LAST resort. I am not saying to never have surgery, just have several other doctors see you first. I was seen by several doctors who all told me I needed surgery years ago, but all gave me different reasons I had the pain. Even acupuncture along with massage would be better options than just running off to surgery. Now, if these options do not give you relief, then surgery would be next. Just don’t be like some patients who say; “I tried Chiropractic and it didn’t work,” I ask them how many times did you go? They say I went once or twice. I know miracles happy every day, but the miracle of changing a curve in your spine usually takes longer than that. If God blesses you and it happens overnight – I am happy for you.

Disc Injury

For a disc injury, it may take you 3 to even 6 months to feel “normal” again, some cases even longer. What usually happens first is you regain mobility, you are able to move better, but still have pain. Some experience quicker relief than others, but it just depends on your overall condition. A surgery may be a year before you are feeling yourself again, but remember the problem from loss of curve has not been handled yet. This can lead to more problems. Surgery does not fix this, getting your curve back again is essential! Yes, you can still be worked on even after your surgery, even if your Surgeon says, “don’t see a chiropractor.” I get that often by the way…my response is; I don’t give surgical advice since I am not a surgeon, so your surgeon should not give chiropractic advice since he is not a chiropractor. If you are this patient who is told to not get “adjusted” then ask that doctor when did he get a chiropractic license? I think most of you who know me, realize that I always have something to say about just about everything. I get that from my Mom, just ask her….

Slow down, take a deep breath and life will be more enjoyable. Running and destroying your body over a job is not worth it. If your job is keeping you in pain, then change jobs, if you are not resting and stressing about life then it is time for CHANGE in your Life. It takes making ONE step at a time.

Please take a moment and take care of yourself, you only have ONE spine, take care of it. Your body will thank you.

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