To Your Health
May, 2007 (Vol. 01, Issue 05)
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  • Toxic Pain. Your headache may be caused by an increased level of sugar in your bloodstream or some other toxic situation. For some people, red wine does it. Don't just assume it's pain you can learn to ignore.
  • Poor-Posture Stress. If you have chronically poor posture, you are going to have additional stresses on your joints and muscles that will result in pain. Your posture also can be compromised when you sleep. Poor mattresses and pillows could be the culprits. Poor posture during waking and sleeping hours can cause pain in your head, neck, shoulders, back, hips and legs.
  • Nutritional Deficiencies. Research studies suggest most people don't get all of the nutrients they need from the food they eat. This is partially due to the processed nature of our diets and the poor menu choices many of us make. Your pain, particularly if it is chronic, could have its roots in a nutritional deficiency.
  • Muscle Strain. You use your muscles every day. Sometimes, you use muscles you haven't used in years. Mild muscle strain can occur on occasion, particularly if your muscles aren't getting the exercise they need. If you aren't exercising regularly, you are allowing your muscles to slowly weaken and atrophy. The consequence: You can expect to suffer more frequent muscles strains.
  • Musculoskeletal Pain. Your spinal column and all of your joints are designed to move in specific ways. They also enjoy a certain amount of elasticity that allows them to extend beyond their normal range of motion, providing flexibility, stability and shock absorption. Injuries or abnormal movement patterns can create points of restriction or "subluxations" that can cause pain and ultimately reduce your mobility.

How does this pain impact your daily living? If it's causing you to have discomfort every day of your life, your quality of living has to suffer. Most chronic pain is just that: chronic. That means it took awhile to create the physical circumstances that caused it, so relieving that pain could take time. But you can make serious and significant progress toward correcting your problem in a matter of a few weeks, with the proper guidance from your health care provider.

An athletic man's back with visual representaions of the sources of his pain. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Address the Cause

Your pain's cause may not be what you assume. A health care professional whose orientation does not focus on administering drugs, such as a doctor of chiropractic, will be better able to find out the core cause of your pain.

Your doctor may need to examine your posture, diet, muscles, nutrition intake and musculoskeletal system in order to clearly determine the cause or causes of your pain. But don't expect a "quick fix." Chances are your pain could have multiple causes that will take a little time to address.

Remember, you are a vital component of your overall, long-term wellness. That means your doctor can't be the only one responsible for your health. It's up to you to take accountability for your condition. Yes, it requires more effort than taking a pain pill, but it is far superior and more essential to your quality of life.

Consider your wellness and pain-free existence like scoring a touchdown for a football team. If your health care provider is your coach and trainer, you represent the star player. How successful you are depends not only on the direction you receive from the coach (doctor), but also on the effort you yourself put forth. So take responsibility and do your part for your overall wellness.

After all, it's your body.

Burl Pettibon, DC, FABCS, FRCCM, PhD (Hon.) has practiced chiropractic for more than 40 years. The developer of a well-known chiropractic technique, he is a popular lecturer, author and researcher.