I always tell my patients think of me as the mechanic for the human body. Yup, you know where this is going, I'm going to talk about your body and compare it to a car. But to be honest, we take care of our cars without thinking twice about it oil changes every 3 months, tire rotation and/or alignment, changing filters, etc. So why are we so hesitant to take care of ourselves when we have pain. So often I have people walk into my office and they have been dealing with pain for 6 months or more! Could you imagine driving your car around for 6 months with your check engine light on? I guarantee you wouldn't, except for that one person that gives us all anxiety. Chiropractors are the musculoskeletal experts, our job is to make sure your joints and muscles are working together and moving efficiently. Pain is your check engine light, it is actually the last sign that something is going wrong or not moving efficiently. Most often it is something that you do every day that can be causing muscle tightness and pain.
Examples of everyday things that could be causes of your chronic pain
Your long commute to work and how you sit in your car.
How your desk or workstation is set up
Your computer is set too high or low.
Your chair is old and worn out.
You are on your phone all day, using your shoulder, so you can multi-task.
You are a mom...I don't think I need to go into detail with this one, you do it all. You do it all, and you are holding a baby on your hip while your chasing, the other one around.
You get home from a long stressful day and sink into the couch.
The list could go on and on. Things you can do to prevent pain:
Make sure that your desk ergonomics is helping you not hurting you. Your computer should be eye level. Looking down or up consistently can cause neck pain, tension headaches, upper back tightness.
You should have a decent chair, after all you are sitting on it most of your life. If thats not possible buy a lumbar support cushion to help you to remember to sit up straight.
Stretching throughout the day, now I'm not talking doing yoga in your cubicle, but even standing up and walking around every hour can help you from getting stuck in the same position for 5 hours and not realizing it until lunch.
When you go home sometime before or after dinner go for a walk, even if its 10 minutes your body craves movement.
A couple of easy fixes can help prevent getting into bad habits that will ultimately cause you chronic aches and pains. When should you see a chiropractor? Honestly, if you have a job that you sit most of the day or stand most of the day an adjustment can definitely help keep you feeling good. If you are having tension headaches, upper back stiffness, low back pain, tight hip flexors or you are sore at the end of your day. I can help you. Does that mean that you are going to be addicted, or I'm going to put you on a 2,400 treatment visit plan. Nope. I'm not that kind of chiropractor. But I will get you out of pain and from there you can seamlessly move into "maintenance mode" which is really up to you. Some people like coming once a month, some people come every 3 months and some just come when they are in pain. I meet each of them with the same greeting "How ya been? Let's get you back to feeling good!" So stop driving around with your check engine light on, you do not need to be in pain. After all we can't trade our bodies in for a newer model when they decide to stop working for us.