I was recently asked a question, ‘Why does neck or back pain happen?”
That is a great question, and there are many reasons why neck or back pain could be happening. I will do my best at breaking this topic down into something that will make sense and that will be relatable to you.
The body communicates to us in whispers and then, eventually, with a megaphone to the ear. If we are able to tune into our inner compass and guide, we will be able to respond
Looking at the different forms of stress, there are 4 major categories: physical, chemical, mental and emotional. The physical stress is most commonly where people look to the cause of their pain. This type of stress could be caused by repetitive movements, accidents or falls, holding certain postures and levels of physical activity. Though physical stress can and does have an impact on your health and well-being, it is only a small fraction of what goes into your level of health expression as well as pain experience. It goes without saying that forceful injury and repetitious activity needs to be avoided and reduced as much as possible. It is said that sitting for 4 hours per day is equivalent, in free radical terms, to smoking 1 pack of cigarettes per day! Also, sitting with your head bent forward looking at your phone in your groin is hitting you on multiple stress levels. Forward head flexion compresses the rib cage causing a decrease in lung capacity and increases pressure on your heart. It also stretches the spine leading to a tugging on the lower back nerves leading to lower back and leg issues. Having the phone transmitting from your groin is another type of stress.
That is a nice segway into a form of stress that bridges the gap between physical and chemical – electromagnetic fields (EMFs for short). Everywhere we go we are submerged in electromagnetic frequencies to support our technology-driven society. Wifi, cell phones, cordless phones, laptops, cell phone towers, etc. all play an ever-increasing role in stress response in your body and excessive oxidation of your mitochondria (energy producers for your body). I’ll have a separate blog for this topic. Though sleeping next to your phones and having the wifi on is affecting your sleep and increasing your stress levels (just as a tip is to the iceberg, so are the effects of bathing yourself in these frequencies….beware). It is best to turn your phones on ‘airplane mode’ at night and turn off your wifi, it has helped numerous practice members to sleep better, increase energy and mood and alleviate headaches. EMF’s can also affect fertility, emotional swings, and increase dementia, autism and Alzheimer’s disease.
Chemical stress is caused by chemicals in the air that we breathe, water that we drink, food that we eat, products that we use, and it all plays a role in the health of our nervous system. I will be writing blogs on all these topics. When we toxify ourselves with chemicals, it overloads our nervous systems and contributes to pain and problems in our bodies.
Mental/Emotional Stress is a BIG piece of the puzzle, and it is something that is a form of Taboo in this culture. “Men don’t cry,” “Don’t cry in public,” “Girls don’t get mad” are just some of the forms of emotional stuffing that we grow up learning. This disconnection from our emotions is something I’d like to expand on for just a moment. If we choose to hold onto anger, resentment, grudges, being right, being hurt, lack of self-worth, etc., this will drain our energy and stress our nervous systems out. Some areas of our spine relate to different aspects of our lives and relationships.
Starting at the base of our skull and top of our neck, tension and stress will build here if we constantly stress about things that we have to do, schedules, relationships, finances. This is where imagination and comprehension meet, and, as tension builds, we can’t imagine that life will be any different and we will become resigned. As we continue down the neck, when we find ourselves resisting what is happening in life (unwilling or unable to accept a situation/person/event/etc), this resistance shows up in our body by tension building in the muscles of the sides of the neck. The lower neck represents our ability to communicate our authentic selves and share our hearts. If we feel that the world doesn’t want to hear what we have to say or we don’t feel worthy to share, this will build in tension, frustration, and anger and can lead to neck pain, disc bulges, arthritis, etc.
We could write an entire book on where life’s stress shows up in the body (& people do, a few people I recommend are Eric Rolf, Evette Rose & Louis Hays), though I will digress at this point.
I hope that this message inspires you to explore other possibilities as to the cause of your pain and suffering. Please contact me with any questions or to set up a free consultation.
Dr. Nick Kuennen