7 months ago we had our first child. She is a beautiful 19 lb bundle of fun, crankiness, and stinky diapers. We love her more than words can explain! But, I have never had low back issues until now. From bouncing her to get her to go to sleep to carrying her for an hour through the store, my low back has never had an unbalanced workout like this in its life! As a chiropractor myself, I get adjusted about once a week. When I’d see my chiropractor, it was normally a basic adjustment to maintain my health, and there was rarely ever a major misalignment. Now I find my chiropractor telling me, “What the heck are you doing to your back?”
So let's look at what happens when you misalign the spine and let it adapt to that imbalance. First, your muscles will start to tighten and stretch in areas they are not used to. You then feel soreness and maybe some stiffness. This is your very first warning sign that your body may be going out of alignment. The body will soon adapt to this new position and soreness will go away, but that misalignment will still be there. The longer it sits out of place and the longer we continue to train it to be out of place by carrying a baby on one side, sitting on a thick wallet for hours on end, or even hunching over a laptop for hours a day, the more of a chronic misalignment it becomes.
Then the morning comes… You wake up, you get out of bed, and you start your morning routine. You reach down to grab your keys and BAM!! The pain hits. Your back “Goes Out.” You think, “Where the heck did this come from?” Little did you know you have been creating this chronic misalignment for almost a year now and it's slowly been encroaching on the nerves in your low back.
Now as an average person you think, “I need this pain to go away,” but what is the pain telling you? The nerves in the low back control the lower digestive tract, the prostate, the reproductive organs, and the muscles of the legs. When you start to affect those nerves, you start to impede the communication between the brain and those organs. If this process starts, and you decrease the function in those organs, what do you think happens 15, 10, or even just 5 years down the road? Could this lead to a serious disease process? Could it lead to a weakness in the legs causing hip, knee, or ankle pain? The medical textbooks tell us that the brain controls the body and if there is a decrease in communication between the brain and the body, the body can not heal, regulate, or function properly, and the body breaks down.
So back to my 7-month-old 19-lb baby, I carry around for hours a day. Just looking at myself in the mirror I can see the imbalance it’s creating in my low back. So what do I need to do?
I have upped my adjustments a bit making sure I don’t stay out of alignment long enough so that my body adapts to the imbalance. I have started a rigorous stretching routine for my hamstrings and low back. (If the hamstrings are tight, they can play havoc on the low back.) I have started making sure I do core exercises (Planks, Side Planks, Leg Lifts, and Bicycle Kicks) every day to make sure my core gets stronger as a whole so carrying my baby creates less of an imbalance.
With prostate problems, colon problems, and erectile dysfunction being such an issue in our society, we need to start thinking about how we can be healthy every day to prevent these disease processes.
If you would like more information on how to have a healthier low back and decrease your risk of some of these other ideas processes without taking any drugs, contact our office. Dr. James would be happy to sit down with you and go over how to be as healthy as possible. Click here to request a time.