Is my problem physical, chemical or emotional?
Quite often when we are in pain we think there must be a physical cause. For example, with a neck pain we look for a trauma or whiplash, something we have done repetitively or a posture we have been in for a long time. Yes, these actions can cause pain by tightened up muscles, causing joints to get stuck and in turn, causing nerves to become inflamed or trapped. A painful business. But what about the rest of us? We aren’t made of just nerves, muscles and joints. There are 2 other areas:
These are the chemical reactions our bodies use to start, stop and manage all of our organ, nerve and muscle functions. The speed of these ‘chemical reactions’ are often effected by the chemistry of what we eat and drink. Think about coffee. We become more alert, our hearts beat faster and a nerves function more quickly. Okay in small doses? In a larger dose we experience insomnia, palpitations, nervous behaviour and, yes, and increase in our pain levels as our nerves become over sensitive.
How can stress cause my back pain? Sounds like a bit of a fob-off really, but stress causes both physical and chemical reactions. Tension from holding our body tight, clenching our jaws or contracting our tummy muscles causes muscles to shorten and tighten and in the long-term leads to the joint restrictions and nerve irritation described in the physical causes above. Then add in the flight, fight or freeze response our body has to danger (now more in the meeting room or office rather than in the jungle). Adrenalin is released into our systems to support a quick getaway, but this becomes a daily response and before you know it we have a body chemistry that is out of balance leading to our chemical causes of pain. So what is the cure? First is to understand… does your pain have a chemical, physical or emotional cause or is it a combination of all 3. At inspired Health we can help you identify your causes and support you in your journey to finding balance again.
Alex Cover - Clinical Director