“But doc I’m not in pain anymore, why do I need to come back?” Once you feel “pain”, that is a sign that your body has lost the ability to “function properly” in a particular area: low back, neck, shoulder, hip, etc. Improved function = less likelihood of pain in the future. Once you are no longer in “pain,” that is the perfect opportunity to start working on improving how your body “functions.”
So let’s dive into the different types of pain our bodies struggle with! Bet you’ve heard of this one: Inflammation. While you’ve probably heard this word thrown around a lot, we want to break down what in the world it actually is:
Here’s the easiest way to think about it: imagine how your body swells and becomes red and hot when you cut or burn yourself. ➡️ That’s inflammation! It’s simply your body’s immune response to protect it from harm so it can begin healing. There are two types:
1️⃣ Acute inflammation = injuries, infections, sore throats, cuts, viruses, and other temporary conditions. Without inflammation, wounds would just fester and infections could be deadly.
2️⃣ Chronic inflammation = your body is constantly inflamed, which can cause a host diseases and debilitating conditions, including: rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, digestive disorders (from IBD and IBS to Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease), asthma, ulcers, sinusitis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and even cancer.
When it’s acute and not dangerous, it’s the body’s natural defense against damaged cells, viruses, bacteria, etc. It aims to remove these harmful or foreign invaders and heal itself. While acute inflammation starts quickly and generally disappears in a few days, chronic inflammation can last for months or years as a result of failure to eliminate the cause. What causes inflammation? Do you have any of these in your life?
👉 A poor diet (over reliance on things with high trans fat, high omega 6 oils, MSG, refined carbs, aspartame, alcohol, etc.)
👉 Stress (emotional, mental, physical, chemical)
👉 Not getting enough good quality sleep
👉 Minor undiagnosed food allergies
👉 A sedentary lifestyle (our bodies are meant to move!)
👉 Gut health: having imbalanced gut bacteria can result in inflammation that might lead to IBS, arthritis, depression, and even neurological disease
👉 Toxin/pollution exposure: studies show a link between greater exposure to air pollution and higher levels of inflammation-related substances in the body
👉 Obesity: extra fatty tissue may produce inflammatory cytokines in the body
👉 Your individual inflammatory response: if your body doesn’t handle infection well with a normal acute or temporary inflammatory response, then you could end up with some out-of-control or chronic inflammation Instead of taking medication to reduce an inflamed area of the body, we can ideally get to the root cause and reduce inflammation in the first place!
The good news: there are a lot of ways to avoid or reduce chronic disease-causing inflammation.
Feeling chronically inflamed? 😧 Try these tips!
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) recommends the following supplements:
⭐ Omega-3 fatty acids
Along with supplements, try these anti-inflammatory practices:
⭐ Exercise: even just 20 minutes of moderate exercise can decrease inflammatory responses and may protect against chronic conditions with low-grade inflammation But let’s be real, working out is hard.
Not only that, but doing it CONSISTENTLY is even harder, even if you have a Peloton in your kitchen 🚴♂️
We might stop because our muscles get tired, we don’t see results, or cause we’re flat out bored.
⭐ Let us help you bridge that gap ↪ with a chiropractic adjustment: When the spine and other joints are properly aligned, and your nerves function as they should, your body's biomechanics return to normal. This stops the production of neuropeptides, which can help reduce inflammation. Looking for more ways to battle that chronic fatigue? Here are just a few more options we LOVE.