1. Physical Trauma- Trauma can be a major event like a car crash, slips and falls, sports injuries and lifting injuries. Trauma can also be a minor event such as repetitive movements over time or poor posture while working on an assembly line. Most traumas can be prevented with some training, knowledge and a preventative approach. Trauma is perhaps the most common cause of pain. Very often a car crash causes spinal misalignments that most always go undetected even by emergency room physicians. ER doctors are trained to look for life threatening injuries. I have reviewed hundreds of X-rays from the hospitals that demonstrate spinal misalignments and the patient was told that they would only be sore for a few days since no bones were broken. The patient went to an orthopedic doctor and was prescribed pills for pain and inflammation and maybe sent to physical therapy. But since chiropractors are the only specialists trained to detect and correct spinal misalignments, the patient many times continues to suffer with pain six months or even one year later. These types of injuries usually heal within two to three months with proper Chiropractic care. Another common problem is misdiagnosis. Disc herniations are often overlooked in motor vehicle accidents and especially in work injuries where the injured employee is sent to the “company doctor” and told that he/she has a simple back strain. Company doctors do not want to complicate things for the company. The injured employee is given pain meds and told to go back to work. If they are lucky they might be given light duty. When these injuries are not diagnosed correctly the patient suffers and their pain can become chronic and severe. Fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome or reflex sympathetic dystrophy can develop from improperly treated pain and injuries. Misdiagnosis and improper treatments are huge problem in America today.
2. Poor Foundation–The feet are the foundation of the body. If the feet are not supported properly, this can lead to many problems, which can be prevented. Wearing good arch supports are important to stabilize and support the feet, ankles, hips and back. One leg might also be slightly shorter than the other. A simple heel lift in the shorter leg can correct this problem. These two corrections help level the foundation and prevent micro trauma to the ankles, knees, hips, back and shoulders. It can also prevent heel spurs and foot pain. The foundation of a building needs to be level. If the foundation is not level what happens to the walls? They begin to crack. The human body is similar. If the feet, which are the foundation of the body, are not level and well supported, the knees are usually what begin to ache and break down first. Pain can occur in the feet, ankles, knees, hips, low back and up to the shoulders. There needs to be proper alignment and foot support, which in turn creates balance.
3. Poor Body Mechanics / Improper Lifting -Many people have not been taught the correct way to lift. You lift by bending at the knees and squatting. Some people think you should lift with the legs when lifting only big heavy things. You should make it a habit to lift even the smallest things correctly to protect your back and spine. Repeated bending over at the waist to lift can strain and injure your back muscles, loosen the ligaments that hold the spinal vertebra in place. Improper lifting is the most common way to herniate a disc next to trauma. Improper lifting can cause mild to severe pain to the muscles and spine.
4. Lack of Exercise / Improper Exercise – When muscles are not used, they begin to weaken and atrophy. There is a saying that is so true, “Use it or loose it.” Lack of exercise causes poor muscle tone. Poor muscle tone contributes to poor posture. Poor posture causes spinal distortion and spinal problems. Spinal distortion causes nerve interference. Nerve interference can cause pain and many health problems. Improper exercise is walking or running if you have bad knees, hips or ankles. This will only aggravate your problem and make it worse. You need to find the right exercise for you. If you have bad knees or hips what you need are good mineral supplements, maybe bicycling or swimming, and arch supports (See # 2). Exercise and proper nutrition (See # 8) keeps your joints well-lubricated, circulation good and helps balance your hormone levels. Muscle toning, especially the abdominal and lower back or core muscles, is vital for a healthy spine and body. Proper exercise is medicine to the body, mind and soul. There are hundreds of books written on the many benefits of exercise.
5. Poor Posture/ Gravitational Compression - When was the last time you saw your posture? Look in the mirror and be sincere and honest with yourself. Have someone that loves and cares about you give you some honest feedback about your posture. Do the same for them. How is your posture when you are sitting, driving, working on the computer, working at home, playing sports, hobbies, sleeping, lifting or when you’re reading? Household chores like washing dishes, vacuuming; making the beds, picking up dirty clothes doesn’t have to strain your muscles if you use good posture. If it needs improving work on it. Have your spouse or children help you by having them remind you when they see you slouching. Proper head posture while reading is to hold up whatever it is you are reading while holding your head straight. Look down with your eyes instead of tilting your head down. Gravity also effects posture. Gravity’s compressional force is acting on our spine and muscles approximately sixteen hours a day. Our spine is being compressed when we are sitting or standing. There is nothing better than good Chiropractic care and inversion therapy to reverse the negative effects of gravity. Poor posture and gravity are the most common causes of pain next to trauma.
6. Lack of Love and Nurturing-There has been many studies performed on the effects regarding the lack of love and nurturing. The lack of love negatively affects the immune system, stress levels, blood pressure, longevity, IQ and other areas of the body, mind and soul. Negative thoughts and emotions like hate, greed, anger, and jealousy will negatively impact your health and cause disease. Instead of letting these negative thoughts stay with you practice what the Hippocratic Oath states: “Warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.” Love also has a healing effect. Give love unconditionally. Love yourself. You will feel good about it, and it is positive for the mind, body and soul. “Where there is LOVE, there is LIFE.” Mahatma Gandhi
7. Lack of Quality Sleep- This is a very common problem in America today. Unfortunately, millions of people succumb to the billion dollar pharmaceutical advertising, the medical system and their pills. Most people need six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Eat healthy and not late at night. Exercise several times a week. Find solutions to problems that arise in life and do not let them escalate to where they cause tremendous stress in your life. Practice good posture even when you go to bed. Sleeping on your stomach is not good posture because you have to twist your head and neck in order to breath. You also need a good pillow depending on whether you sleep on your back or your side. Large puffy pillows will make your head bend forward too much when sleeping on your back. A pillow between the knees can help take pressure off the knees, low back and pelvis. You might need to purchase a new mattress also. Many times patients ask me if a hard mattress is better than a soft one. My reply is, “How do you wake up feeling in the morning?” If you wake up feeling like you have been run over then you might need a new mattress. Misalignment of your spine can also cause you to not sleep well. Inversion and a good Chiropractor are the best things for correcting spinal misalignments. Exercise is also one of the best “sleeping pills” to help you get a good night sleep.
8. Lack of Needed Nutrients- Our diet should consist of good natural whole foods as the basis of our nutrition. We also need to supplement our diets with essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, enzymes, antioxidants and proteins. If we are deficient our body starts to break down or not heal properly. These nutrients are especially important so that the muscles, nerves, brain, spinal cord, organs and glands function optimally. Most medical doctors used to tell their patients that they just needed to eat right. Doctors that are truly knowledgeable about nutrition all now agree that vitamins/ minerals/ enzymes are needed for maintaining good health and preventing disease. Check out Usana’s vitamin/mineral supplements. They have been independently rated the highest nutritional supplements in the world.
Eat to live and to nourish your body. Don’t live to eat. Overeating is an overload to your digestive organs. It is a compulsive behavior brought on by stress, depression, television commercials and certain addicting chemicals in packaged snack foods. Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.
9. Emotional Stress/Emotional Trauma -The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This insanity cycle causes a lot of stress. If you don’t like the results that you are getting in life, change what you are doing. For example, if you do not like your job find something that you really enjoy doing. If you have a problem and do not take care of it, it is not going to go away by itself. You then dwell and stress about it and all that does is causes you to have more stress and anxiety. Get a handle on stress before it handles you. An excellent book by Dale Carnegie is How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. This book teaches you how to handle problems and worry in very simple and effective ways.
10. Chemical Stress- There are thousands of chemicals, many of which are known to be cancerous, that the FDA has allowed. They are everywhere in our work environment, household cleaning and personal grooming products to our foods in the form of preservatives, artificial sweeteners, flavor enhancers, artificial colors and flavorings to name a few. Lifestyle habits such as cigarettes, illegal drugs, alcohol, prescription drugs, and household cleaning products cause havoc to our bodies.
Not wearing gloves when using cleaning solutions or inhaling the fumes is also very toxic to the lungs, sinuses and kidneys. There are some people that say you can’t eliminate chemicals entirely from our lives. Those are the same people that rationalize why they can’t or don’t eat healthy or exercise. They only smoke a few cigarettes a day, only drink four to five glasses of wine with dinner every night and only drink two sodas a day (Super Big Gulps).
Most cosmetics and make-up contain petroleum and other toxic chemicals. Antiperspirants contain aluminum chlorhydrate. It is amazing how many chemicals most persons ingest, apply, inhale and come in contact with daily. Household cleaning and personal care products are perhaps the most overlooked for creating toxicity and allergies in the body. Misleading food labels compounds the problem by tricking the consumer into believing they are buying an all natural product when in actuality it is not.
There are much safer and better substitutes. For example, there is a crystal rock deodorant that contains no aluminum or other toxic perfumes and chemicals. It is available at most health food and organic stores. It costs about six dollars and will last you about two years. I’ve been using it for over fifteen years. Actress Jennifer Lopez makes a comment about it in the movie Enough. There are also deodorants vs. anti-prespirants which do not contain aluminum chlorhydrate. Read labels and become knowledgeable.
There are now many healthy choices from natural mineral make-up for women to non-toxic cleaners and organic foods. You just need to educate yourself a little more. Don’t you and your family deserve the best? Some people say they can’t afford to buy these products. Here’s what a patient of mine once told me. “I buy Rice Dream for my children instead of cows’ milk even though it is a little more expensive but, in the long run my children rarely get sick anymore so I don’t have to take them to the doctor hardly ever. Yeah it costs a little more than cow’s milk but I save a lot more money in the long run by not having to take my kids to the doctor and spend on doctor visits and antibiotics.”
The less you violate any of the TEN MOST COMMON CAUSES OF PAIN AND DISEASE the healthier and happier you’ll be. You’ll probably live a lot longer too. This can be a good thing, if you’re healthy.
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