The High Cost Of Pain

Dr. England’s Healthy Lifestyle Advice

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Pain is a mechanism that our body uses to tell us that something is wrong. It is an alarm that warns us to change or avoid doing something harmful. Unfortunately, too many of us have learned to ignore that warning and we keep pressing on. We try to minimize the meaning of pain with cliché sayings like “No pain, no gain” or “pain is weakness leaving the body”. Unfortunately pain rarely brings gains and it is definitely not weakness leaving the body. Pain is different than the soreness, achiness or fatigue that accompanies exercise. Pain is “ouch” and swear words. Ultimately pain is suffering and misery. The true cost of pain is how it changes us from a happy person to a grump that hates life and all the people in it.

The cost of pain was made perfectly clear to my lovely wife after we opened the office. She worked as a massage therapist in a day spa while I was attending Palmer College of Chiropractic. The people she would work on were typically looking for a little relaxation after stopping at Starbucks and before their kids were done with school. Before their massage, they would have their nails done and rub some skin off their face with sandpaper. It was a luxury and a pleasure. After graduation, my beautiful wife worked as a massage therapist in our office. After a few days, she told me she hated working for me and wanted to quit. I took it personal and asked what was wrong. She said that everyone she worked on was grumpy. No one was happy and relaxed, instead she was dealing with cranky sourpusses. It was then that I realized that she had never actually dealt with people in pain. These were people that needed relief, not people killing time between yoga and play dates. I convinced her to stick with it, mostly because I didn’t have another therapist at the time and was desperate. About a week later she told me that one of her crankiest patients had become one of her favorites. She was amazed to see that this former grouch was a truly wonderful person once pain wasn’t weighing on her any longer.

That transformation is one of the reasons that I love my job. The first visit can be a rough encounter. The patient is usually in considerable pain and because of it they are irritable and frustrated. The pain can be overwhelming, scary and depressing. But after a visit or two that sour outer shell starts to crack and before you know it their sweet, gooey insides are spilling out.  It’s like a human Sour Patch Kid, but even more rewarding.

The reasons that we put up with discomfort are many, but we should address them immediately. Pain wears us down whether it is severe or subtle, long or short term. There is no such thing as a “normal” pain but is a signal that something is wrong. Chiropractic care is a proven way to effectively treat many issues from head to toe. Call or stop in at England Chiropractic to start getting back to who you really are when you aren’t in pain.

-Dr. Aaron England

 

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Don’t spend all day staring at a screen

Dr. England’s Healthy Lifestyle Advice

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One thing I constantly tell my kids is that they need to turn off their screens. Their whole lives revolve around the stupid glowing rectangles. Games, movies, annoying Caillou and even schoolwork are all there. They do good things with technology, things that make me impressed and jealous. When I was their age we were in awe because a neighbor could pick up a fifth TV station with their rabbit ears. Now my kids watch any episode of any show they could ever want. When confronted with a commercial they simply have no idea what is happening or how to skip it.

It is easy to tell my kids why they cannot spend all day staring at a screen, but the same reasons are even more true for myself. I rationalize my screen time with often true sentiments like “This email is important” or “This person on the internet is wrong, I have to tell him!”. The issue is not with technology itself but the ridiculous positions we assume while we use it. We are so used to seeing someone Pinteresting on their phone in a waiting room that we don’t even care that they are hunched over like Quasimodo. We don’t even think twice when we see someone hacking away on a computer with posture that would make their grandmother cry. Have you paid attention to how you hold your neck, shoulders, and hands as you scroll on Facebook for hours and hours while the kids kill each other in the other room?

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The position that we us to checking our fantasy team causes a named condition: upper crossed syndrome. This image is to prove that I didn’t make it up (Rehabilitation of the Spine, Leibenson). Symptoms associated with UCS are headaches, neck pain, back pain, concentration issues, shoulder pain, tingling in the arms and hands, weakness in the arms and hands, tension, etc.. It sure seems like 99% of us deal with these issues in one way or another, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Changing how you watch cat videos is the first step, the second is to visit England Chiropractic. Your back and neck needs help beyond what you can do at home. We can help restore motion in the spinal joints and assist in reducing the tension in the muscles. Chiropractic care has been shown to be very effective in treating upper crossed syndrome, its associated symptoms and much more. I know from experience; I’m not only a chiropractor, I’m also an upper crossed survivor that typed this entry while hunched like a melting snowman.

-Dr. Aaron England

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