Hello There ;)
Day 3 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge! This has actually been really fun so far, ;) I know the title for today's post topic sounds a little boring, but I promise it is not.
Yesterday was my first ever visit to a Chiropractor. I've been meaning to go for, literally, years, but such obstacles as no health insurance or health insurance that would not cover chiropractic care, lack of time and not knowing a reputable Chiropractor got in the way. Now, finally, I actually have really good health insurance, and I have been led to a wonderful Chiropractor who is a friend of a friend. While I didn't actually receive any adjustments yesterday (my first one is tomorrow), I had a full workup with medical history and x-rays and got to have good, lengthy conversations about chiropractic care with both the Nurse and the Doctor.
Okay, now that the setup is over, I can get to the blog-worthy part. Everyone knows the spine/spinal cord is important, of course; it's what sends the messages from the brain to the rest of your body. However, I didn't realize how much the health of your back/spine could affect health in the other areas of your body that, on the surface, have nothing to do with your spine.
Let me see if I can explain this without butchering it too badly (if there are any chiropractors reading this, I apologize for any inconsistencies). If some event or repeated events (car accident, bad fall, repeated bad posture, etc) throws something out of alignment in your spine, this obviously causes pain (although, interestingly, I learned yesterday that only about 10% of the nerves in your body are devoted to pain response, so by the time something *hurts* the damage causing the pain has been going for quite awhile). However, pain is only one part of it. This misalignment or *subluxation*, (there's a fancy science word for ya) in your spine effects how the messages get sent from your spinal cord to the rest of your body, so all kinds of nervous system signals to the rest of your body could be getting missed or screwed up.
Take me, for example. I sought out chiropractic care because of migraines, neck shoulder tension headaches, neck/shoulder/upper back pain, and sinus issues. However, I also have (controlled) acid reflux. Most of these issues developed during my undergrad years, and have peaked and valleyed ever since. It came up in my medical history that I've been in several car accidents (none of which were my fault), and taken several bad falls (no broken bones, though) What can I say? I'm clumsy. But, when asked to ponder the onset of each of the symptoms/health issues I listed above in relation to when these accidents or falls occurred, it was like a light-bulb went on in my head. When I was a senior in high-school I fell down the stairs and slipped and fell in the bathtub (on two separate occasions, not on the same day), and within a year or so of that I developed migraines. Within two years of being in a nine-car pileup accident, I developed sinus issues and acid reflux. Last winter I fell and hit my head and I've had neck tension headaches ever since. I don't know why I never linked these things together before. Probably because none of these occurrences presented any immediate, obvious injuries, so I sort of just wrote them off. Obviously not realizing that just because it *didn't hurt* at the time, that didn't mean that something wasn't thrown out of whack and could cause other problems down the line.
When I took Yoga, I had a teacher that constantly stressed the importance of keeping your back healthy. If your back is healthy and happy, YOU are healthy and happy, and while I certainly listened and understood what she meant, after yesterday I think I've taken it to heart in a new way. The idea that the headaches, sinus pain and tension could be alleviated through better back/spine care is absolutely music to my ears. I don't remember a day when my head didn't hurt at least a little, and getting on a regimen that someday might leave me virtually pain free is a challenge I am happy to accept :)
So, I guess it was Science Day today here, I hope this post wasn't a drag to read. I'll let you know how my first adjustment goes tomorrow :)
Happy Tuesday ;)