When Back Pain Lingers

By Sharon Martinez
In February 15, 2014

Pain has its purpose at times. We drop a hot pan to prevent a burn. We stop overworking a muscle when it signals us that we’re sore. When the source of injury stops, the body takes over and begins the healing process. It happens to us every day, automatically, as our bodies go about healing and repairing without us giving it much of a thought. But what happens when your pain lingers on, and months after a seemingly simple injury you’re still hurting? Over the 24 years I’ve practiced chiropractic, I’ve made some observations about chronic back pain I’d like to share.

At times, pain has a legitimate emotional component. Take two patients who came in to my office recently. Mrs. X was grieving over the loss of a child when her back pain began. Doctors ran every test but could not find the source of her pain in an MRI or an X-ray. Mr. Y had pain radiating from his back into his right leg, and it was getting worse over a period of months. Eventually he reflected that chronic stress on the job might be a contributing factor. It seems that grief, sorrow, or frustration can interrupt the body’s natural healing response. Sometimes layer upon layer of compensations and compromised postures obscure the original sources of our pain. What then, can be done to return our bodies to balance?

Chiropractors are in a unique position; we are the only health health care practitioners who view the spinal column as the interface between mind and body. The spine has a memory of its own that we are just beginning to understand. Any chiropractor can tell you stories about people who’ve broken into tears or suddenly recalled an old memory while having their spines adjusted. If you’ve got back pain that lingers, I encourage you to get in and see a good chiropractor. Together you and your chiropractor can peel back the layers to reveal and address the true cause of your pain.

By the way, I am feeling hopeful for Mrs. X. As for Mr. Y, he’s feeling enormously better after making a career change.

All the Best, Sharon Martinez D.C.
Chiropractor, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

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