Issue 147    Sept 1st   to December 1st 2020

Would you rather have a brain problem or a back problem?

Back pain and associated problems may be the leading cause of disability WORLDWIDE and will affect 1 in 10 people. Arthritis Research UK estimates this disability costs the UK economy £20 billion and the NHS £2.1 billion per year (these costs are only continuing to rise with reduced activity and an ageing population).

The standard thing to do now would be to highlight why people get low back pain, what stretches, and exercises people can do to help ‘fix it’. The truth is you will find multiple practitioners from medical doctors to massage therapists who have helped people ‘fix’ their backs. Sometimes even the strange posture correctors and “neck reliever 3000” will have positive effects on people. What is true is there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. 

Lower back pain is rarely down to a serious life-threatening condition, but often is seriously life limiting. Returning to the question I posed to you earlier, would it surprise you to know that most back problems are actually brain problems? I’m sure you would agree that if the brain’s not functioning properly it would mean your body is unable to function properly too. 

A crucial part of having a proper brain function is to have the nervous system communicating effectively and efficiently. The spine aligning, moving and adapting optimally is critical to this happening. When the spinal joints get stuck as an adaptation to stressors (falls, sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, poor posture, emotional stress, gravity!) then the communication of the nerves to the brain are negatively impacted. Think of a dimmer light switch being turned down, the brightness of the bulb fades, this is what happens to the electrical signal, blood flow and nutrition flowing to our brains. So how much harder do you think it is for your brain to keep you up against gravity when the spine is stuck in multiple places? It takes more energy for the brain to make this happen, so it redistributes energy from elsewhere in the body to help with the fight against gravity. So, a brain that is having to work harder is going to be more stressed (think tension, irritation, irritability, pain), leading to stooped posture, inflamed joints, inability to relax, low functioning immune system and, you guessed it, low back pain and more.

Whether it is reduction in pain, increased performance and/or increased brain perception of your internal and external environment, having a spine that is moving and functioning at its best is vital for great health. 

Rebecca Mitchell DC Chiropractor at Hungerford Chiropractic Healthcare

01488 683666