Is the pain structural?
Chiropractic is an ideal way of eliminating musculoskeletal pain. There are many different types of chiropractic techniques including gentle non-force methods that are very effective for eliminating pain and restoring normal movement. While chiropractic adjustments may focus on the musculoskeletal system, it actually impacts all aspects of the body including the immune system.
Has the body gotten programmed to react excessively to pain?
Being in pain will lower the threshold for feeling pain. What would be a slight irritant to one person can be severely painful to someone who is already in chronic pain. It is possible to reprogram these pain pathways to be less reactive. NeuroModulation Technique (NMT) is a drug-free non-invasive method to correct errors in how the body processes information, including its pain response. NMT is also useful for managing stress response, digestive issues, allergies and many other imbalances in the body.
Is inflammation causing pain?
Find out the source of the inflammation. Is it due to an inappropriate immune system response like an allergy or food sensitivity?
Eliminating inflammatory foods like grains (especially those with gluten), dairy, sugar, corn and soy can help. These can affect some people more than others. There are a couple of ways to see if they are a problem for you. One is to do a 3 week cleanse and elimination diet. Then reintroduce foods one at a time and monitor the effect. There are a number of good cleanse programs. I particularly like Standard Process’s 3 week program of supporting supplements and dietary suggestions.
Another option is to get a food sensitivity test done that measures IgG antibodies. Most allergy tests measure IgE antibodies. These will show up in classic allergies where there is an immediate reaction. IgG reactions can be delayed for hours and even days so it can be hard to figure out what exactly is causing the problem.
Having this information gives you choices for letting your body heal either by eliminating the irritating foods or getting treatments like NeuroModulation Technique to reprogram the body so the immune system is no longer confused and reactive to what should be harmless substances.
Is the pain stress related?
There really isn’t a separation between what goes on emotionally and what happens in the body. Chronic stress can affect every system in the body. It adds to the body’s inflammatory response, decreases digestion so the body is robbed of nutrients, contributes to insulin resistance and disruption of the endocrine system.
Stress management involves many things like diet, exercise, meditation, talking with friends. Beware of so called comfort foods. They tend to high in simple carbohydrates and bad fats, and actually make it harder for the body to manage stress.
The body needs to move. The amount of movement needed and tolerated varies with the individual. Exercise is important no matter what else is going on. If you can only do a little, it will still pay off. Writing this reminded me of Dr. Elaine Stocker, a wonderful person and napropath who for many years dealt with chronic pain, which limited her activity. She made this video about “Rocking Chair Aerobics”. She gained a lot of function and pain relief from just using a rocking chair (and she really liked rocking chairs).
A person who is dealing with chronic pain usually has a number of different distressed body systems. Laboratory testing, like organic acid test, can give a lot of information about how the body is actually functioning and using nutrients. Without proper nutrition the body can’t heal and pain will not go away.
I made this video a few years ago to demonstrate some good ideas for weeding and digging.
Vary the tasks that you are doing and remember to take breaks. Staying in one position for a long time is going to end in pain. Stop, stretch, rest, do a different task. If you’ve been kneeling, do something that requires standing up.
Of course being in the best shape going into gardening season will pay off. Weight training to strengthen your arms, legs and core muscles will allow you to get your work done with much less stress on your body. Keeping your body moving correctly with chiropractic adjustments will also contribute to your general well being.
So get out in the garden, make the world beautiful and take care of yourself at the same time.
Chiropractors work on backs, right? Well that’s true. However we also work on all joints in the body, and I must admit that I am particularly fond of adjusting feet. Our feet are the foundation of our bodies, and if they aren’t moving properly everything else gets thrown off: knees, back, and even the neck. People are often surprised how minor adjustments to their feet can translate into immediate improvements in their bodies.
Most runners know the value of good shoes to decrease the impact of running, but that is usually the only attention paid to the feet. Common problems arising from improper foot movements include knee pain, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.
Wearing shoes gives our feet support but also weakens them in a way. Actions in our feet are controlled by large (extrinsic) and small (intrinsic) muscles. Because we wear shoes, the smaller muscles do not get much work. We don’t tend to flex our toes as we walk, and these muscles can get weak. Being aware of toes while walking and making a point to flex them can help. A good way to actively strengthen these muscles is to spend some time picking up marbles with your toes.
Another exercise is to focus on your big toe and move it sideways away from the rest of your toes. Try to keep the movement level where the toe is neither pointing up or down. Do a similar maneuver with your little toe, moving it to the side away from your other toes and again keeping it level. Moving the little toe individually will take more effort and concentration than moving the big toe. Walking barefoot in the sand is also good for strengthening the feet but may not be the most practical day-to-day approach.
Like so many things, most people don’t acknowledge their feet until something has gone wrong and pain shows up. The pain may not actually show up in the feet. It could be felt in the knees, hips, pelvis, and/or the low back. Because of this, it’s important to make sure that all of the joints in the body are moving properly. Take care of your feet so that the rest of your body can feel better.