When people consult Chiropractors they frequently ask, ‘is it something serious?’ This is a funny question as the majority of times the answer is ‘no’. But injuries can progress and become more painful unnecessarily if ignored. As a Chiropractor myself I recall patients look at me tentatively waiting for the answer. The minute I say ‘no’ their body language relaxes and I think is this patient still committed to their recovery or have I just given them a ‘get out of jail card’ so they think no action is required on their part.
When we are young our bodies are in their best state. As the years go by and we expose ourselves to different chemical, emotional and physical stresses they begins to show signs of aging at rates proportionate to their stress. For instance a plumber leaning under baths and sinks is going to stress his body in a different way to an office worker. They both are exposed to repetitive stresses, therefore both need to make good lifestyle choices to preserve their bodies.
Sitting at a poor work station day after day, year after year will take it’s toll on anyone, encouraging a forward drawn posture, rather than neutral spine. It’s unrealistic for most to make a career change or retire, hence the importance of preventative measures. Optimising your environment to minimise the effect on your body is a good starting point, eg for a desk based worker:
- Ergonomic chair
- Ergonomic desk (perhaps sit-stand for varied postures)
- Chair and desk setup appropriately to suit the individuals needs
- Laptop stand with additional keyboard and mouse
- Headset (to allow you to walk round the office while on calls)
- Take regular breaks from your desk
- Drink plenty of water
- Minimum 20mins exercise/day
- Choose nutritious foods
- Take holiday
If you don’t change what your are doing wrong (the trigger), the outcome wont change. Continuing to slouch on the sofa or lifting weights with poor form will make your situation worse and not promote healing if you are already in pain.
So no, currently your complaint is not serious like cancer or an infection, but taking charge now can improve your quality of life for the future.
All humans are different and therefore they respond differently to what their Chiropractor tells them. Some do everything recommended and others change nothing and wonder why they get the same results.
When it comes to injuries they occur because something isn’t right. Either a one-off trauma such as a fall or known injury, or repetitive bad movements. Now if we relax and think ‘phew it’s nothing serious’, and don’t change any of our habits, guess what? It’s unlikely to improve and in some cases can progress to something more serious, painful and slower to recover.