Recently the concept of communication came up and it was opined that I ought to go into my website and change a large percentage of my message as apparently many people don’t comprehend what I’m talking about so here goes an attempt to clear up some confusion.
I often talk about postural correction and have been told lately people don’t understand what that is or the why one would do it. It was suggested I talk about “Chronic Pain” instead. Yes that’s the crux of this biscuit all right.
An enormous percentage of my patients present with pain syndromes that have been constant for more than three to six months or… in many cases off and on for a few years duration. Often they have tried drugs or other types of typical intervention to no avail. In fact many times they come in as a treatment of last resort and I often think to myself they could have saved time, aggravation and pain had they started with me.
These conditions are often accompanied by the comment “I carry my stress in my shoulders,” “I have migraines often times daily or weekly,” and “I rarely have more than a few months without low back pain.”
These comments are also accompanied by statements like “I slept funny and woke up with this pain with no apparent cause” and or “I bent over to pick up a feather and… .”
Could these chronic headaches or pains be caused by the nocturnal gymnastics while unconscious or the adverse mechanical stresses placed on the body by that feather. No not likely. More often than not it’s the adverse mechanical stresses of poor posture affecting both the muscles and nervous system.
There is an MD of note by the name of Alf Brieg. He’s a Nobel Prize winner and neurosurgeon located in Sweden. The sort of lazy slouch you’d expect to virtually disappear in the medical literature.
His pet issue was posture and how it stretches nerves beyond their normal capacity to do what they need to do. He dare I say it…. Recommends postural correction and is credited with the following statements.
“Pressing on a nerve stretches the nerve; stretching the nerve reduces its ability to carry nerve impulses (conductivity); and if the nerve is not damaged, taking the stretch off the nerve will relieve the symptoms and restore normal nerve function.”
“What presses on these nerves is usually a spinal column that does not have proper structure and posture.”
“Eighty percent of the people studied with chronic pain syndromes, have a postural component that has to be corrected for them to fully recover.”
What this premise begs you to ask yourself is, do you have the proper spinal posture? If you suffer chronic headaches, store your stress in your shoulders or have intermittent recurring low back pain of more than a years duration, chances are that the answer is no! This can be very unhealthy. Most people don’t even know how to go about implementing positive changes in their posture.
There are two reasons posture changes: The first is plastic deformation of tissue, the I got in an accident, fell down the stairs, or engage in sports with repetitive falls such as skiing, snowboarding and windsurfing. Yeah… that sounds like many of us doesn’t it?
The second method of change is visco-elastic deformation of tissue. Viscosity is the relative thickness of a fluid. The human body is 70% water. Yes we are fluid creatures and flow into the positions we hold ourselves in for hours at a time.
Think of the using of a laptop for hours at a stretch or perhaps reading for hours like people who study or prepare reports do as the culprits of visco-elastic deformation of tissue. Sound like anyone you know?
Suffice it to say most of us fit one or all of the above and therefore the alteration of posture is rampant in modern society and needs to be addressed to truly relieve many of these chronic pain syndromes.
Here are some choices available to you, and in combination, they are much more effective than doing any one alone.
(1) Chiropractic care – Helps to improve posture, balance, and function of the nervous system and the entire body. Chiropractic is very successful in managing posture, particularly when traction is applied to correct the alteration, which sadly is absent in most Chiropractic approaches. Yes it’s somewhat medieval but it really works.
(2) Preventative lifestyle – Helps to insure that you will lead a healthier and more productive life as you enter into your later years. This includes raising your computer monitors, taking care to avoid falls and other injuries and proper diet.
(3) Muscular strengthening and stretching – This will allow proper function and balance in the musculoskeletal system, as well as affecting spinal posture in a positive way.
I hope this explains a little better how CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROMES can be affected by posture.
As always, thanks for reading and feel free to contact me in my office at 415 922-2225 if you have any questions or concerns about your posture.
Yours in Health, Dr. Camp