FOR YOU TO SHARE WITH YOUR PATIENTS- Why Things Don’t Hurt Where They Should.
Hi, everyone, this is Dr. George Birnbach and, you know, let me take a guess. You may have a back thing, or maybe it’s your hip, or maybe it’s your shoulders, and when you were younger you bounced back fairly quickly, right?
Tension in your body didn’t last long, but the older that you get, the more frequently you begin to feel it and the harder it seems to get over it and recover. Does that sound familiar? Well, when it comes to our bodies, we all experience limitations from time to time. You see, our brain gives us reminders like aches and pains or tightness or loss of mobility, but we’re used to putting on a brave face and pushing through because we don’t wanna break down at work or on our sports on the weekend, right? Often we hope our situation will magically improve on its own, or worse, we accept these limitations as the new normal and that’s the worst thing to do, because in reality, unless you’ve suffered an acute or a violent injury, there is not reason that you need to live with discomfort or a restriction to your movement.
In most cases there are simple steps that anyone can take to correct imbalances and to really make positive changes. Now, identifying the real cause of the imbalance or the breakdown is the essential first step to improving the way that your entire body moves. When you focus on these areas of opportunity, small changes can actually have a pretty significant and real impact. Let’s talk for a minute about what it means to find the root cause. We’ve all seen it in ads, we’ve heard it online, what is the root cause?
Well, when we experience muscle tension or discomfort in any specific area of our body, it is natural to assume that that’s where the problem came from and that’s the place where you need to solve it. For example, if your back is feeling tight, you go and you get a back massage, right? Doesn’t that make sense? Well, while this may provide relief in the short term, it almost never addresses the root cause of the issue and after a while that tension will come back. The tension returns and you start right back where you started, only now you’re more frustrated. The truth is the working parts of your body are all very literally connected, your shoulders, your neck, your ribs, your back, your hips, all of it.
So when one part of your body is not functioning well, you may feel the effects elsewhere, but if your back is sore and your movement is not restricted, that soreness is probably originating somewhere else. You see, your brain is real smart. When something is out of whack with your body, it takes the path of least resistance to keep you moving with a minimum amount of energy or a minimum amount of discomfort. This means that one area of your body will overcompensate for the problem area in order to protect you from the injury or at least preserve some of your innate functionality.
The problem here is that each part of your body is built to perform a specific function really well. And when an area starts working overtime to compensate for other areas, it inevitably causes problems. Now you start to experience a limited range of motion, weakness, localized ache, or a general discomfort. To find the solution that will last for a long time, you have to figure out where the actual issue is starting from, where it’s coming from.
Now, these days we tend to spend more time on our seats than ever before, but our bodies, well, they’re designed to be mobile, they’re designed to move, and this sedentary lifestyle can be surprisingly hard on you. Luckily, the solution is a whole lot simpler than you think. So here are three simple solutions to eliminate that chronic pain.
Number one, when you spend a lot of time in your seat, your hip flexors shorten, and that forward posture pulls the muscles around your pelvis unnaturally, and this tension can quickly lead to discomfort and lower back pain, right? So to make sitting more comfortable in the short term and less painful in the long term, try exercises that open up the front of your hips and can help stabilize your core, okay? This will take pressure off your low back, it will enable you to stay seated in an upright posture that feels as good as it looks, okay?
Number two, get a hold of those achy shoulders. This is important, if you spend a lot of time click-clacking on a keyboard, chances are your shoulders spend a lot of time tilted forward. This puts a strain on the supporting muscles of your neck, in your shoulders, on your upper back. So first focus on light corrective exercises that open up your back and help your shoulders relax in their natural, neutral position. And then with the tension off of the supporting muscles, you can begin to stabilize your shoulders and release this tension.
Now, number three, your hips were just made for walking. You see, when you spend a lot of time seated, your hips don’t get to move, they don’t get to extend the way they were meant to. Your hip flexors shorten and your hips lock up. This makes them prone to feeling tight or feeling sore. So the best thing you can do for your hips is to get up and move, you see? Find exercises that help you lengthen your hip flexors and reintroduce some natural rotation in your hip joint. You’ll be shaking those hips like Elvis on stage before you know it, all right?
So what’s the bottom line? Well, honestly, the bottom line is your body is designed to be straight in alignment with the weight that gravity puts upon you and your body is designed to move freely. And then once it’s done moving, it’s designed to return to a normal, tension-free resting state. So do me a favor, don’t try to do this alone, call your chiropractor and have them help you sort out this posture, balance, and freedom of movement, all right?
My name is Dr. George Birnbach and this is your best next step to getting back to a full life, free of pain.
All right, I’ll talk to you all real soon, bye-bye.