Stop covering up your symptoms

It happens to a lot of people to feel an occasional headache. It may be a normal reaction. For example, if you drank too much alcohol, your body may be trying to tell you that you should drink water to re-hydrate yourself. However, a recurrent headache, neck pain or lower back pain that prevents you from enjoying your life must be investigated to find the cause. Simply taking a painkiller to stop feeling the pain is just covering up your symptoms; it is not treating the cause of your aches and pains.

Our brain is intelligent; we should trust it more. If it sends a message of pain, it is because it is trying to tell you something. Whether it is because you have tissue damage or your brain perceives it as so, it is not to be ignored.

We feel pain for different reasons, but one thing is constant; it is that we feel pain at the brain level. Our brain decides that we should feel pain or not. The area of the brain called prefrontal cortex is an area where we have a lot of connections to pain perception. That same prefrontal cortex area is also where we regulate posture, emotions, immune system, and inflammation.

That could be an explanation to why we feel more pain or have more inflammation or have more colds when we are in a stress situation.

A lot of interesting studies are suggesting that our spinal bones lose their proper function when we are under chronic stress. This is believed to be because when you are in a fight-or-flight mode, the long muscles of the body are turned on, but the shorter ones, for example the stabilising muscles between vertebrae, go to sleep because there is no need for them if you are trying to avoid danger. That could be why, when we are stressed out, we feel more pain in our big muscles.

That could also explain how we slowly develop spinal dysfunction. You may be feeling fine until you simply bend down to pick up a pen and your back locks up. The small stabilising muscles were not activated in time to prevent the excess motion of the vertebrae and lead to the spinal problem.

The health of our spine and nervous system is essential for a well adaptive and healthy body.

As chiropractors, we are looking for areas of your spine that are not moving properly that could negatively affect your brain’s ability to accurately see what is going on in the body and the world around it.

Results from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey Benefits reported under chiropractic care:
■ 67% helped them to improve overall health and made them feel better.
■ 42% reported sleeping better
■ 40% reported it reduced stress or helped them to relax.
■ 39% reported it was easier for them to cope with their health problems
■ 33% reported a sense of control over their health
■ 27% reported they felt better emotionally
■ 13% reported it improved their relationship with others

Chiropractic care, along with other good healthy habits like exercising, eating well, drinking plenty of water, can bring you a long way to better health.
Don’t wait until the pain decides for you to seek help.

– (Butler & Moseley, 2003; Explain Pain; page 90) Butler D, Moseley GL. Explain Pain. Adelaide, Australia: Noigroup Publications 2003.
– Adams J, Peng W, Cramer H, et al. The Prevalence, Patterns, and Predictors of Chiropractic Use Among US Adults: Results From the 2012 National Health Interview Survey. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). Dec 1 2017;42(23):1810-1816.

By Sandra Genest-Boudreau | Christophe O. Alves
|| [email protected]

Sandra Genest-Boudreau is French-Canadian, who graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 1990 before coming to the Algarve in 2002. She is passionate about adjusting all her patients, particularly children. Christophe Alves graduated from the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) UK, and has a special interest in Sport Chiropractic. Algarve Quiroprática clinic: EN125 in Pêra | 282 312 853 | 969 397 375