April is National Stress Awareness Month. Have you ever wondered why stress affects everyone differently? How is stress affecting you?
It is well documented that high levels of stress can contribute to heart disease, cancer, headaches, ulcers, backaches and nearly every condition known to mankind. How can stress cause so many unique problems in different people especially since the stress reaction is the same for everyone?
Stress is a nerve system reaction that causes your heart to beat faster, your muscles to be tense, your stomach to tighten, and your hair follicles to stand up, all as a way to prepare your body for an emergency. When you interpret a situation as stressful, whether it truly is or not, your brain triggers this reaction by sending a signal over your spinal cord and nerve system to every cell of your body. In prehistoric times, this would have been the perfect reaction to escape from a hungry dinosaur, but in today’s stress filled world and no Tyrannosaurus Rex, this chronic reaction can cause pain, sickness and disease.
Where your body breaks down from stress may depend on whether or not you have a condition in your spine known as vertebral subluxation. A vertebral subluxation is a spinal injury that interferes with the normal function of your nerve system which can affect your health on every level. If you have this condition in your spine, your body is already pre-stressed.
Many people deal with stress through meditation, exercise and healthy food choices. These are all very good things to do as part of your lifestyle, but if your nerve system is pre-stressed, the slightest deviation from the perfect stress management plan can send you into a frustrating, uncomfortable, or painful tailspin. Removing this pre-stress causing subluxation can improve your resistance to daily stressors dramatically.
Research shows that it only takes the weight of a dime to reduce nerve transmission. Additional research has found that nerve compression can exist without pain and can cause deterioration within two weeks.
In this pre-stressed condition, your body becomes more vulnerable to outside stresses. The location of the subluxation can determine what types of symptoms, if any, you experience. For example, someone with nerve interference in the upper part of the neck might feel headaches, have allergies, or a stiff neck. Because the nerve fibers that come out of the upper neck also go to the entire body, pressure here can literally cause or mimic nearly every symptom or disease you can name.
Interference to the nerves in the lower back may cause a backache, leg problems and also affect ovary, prostate, bladder or bowel function. Interference in the middle of your back may affect your heart and lungs or cause tension, stomach problems, and digestive disturbances.
Like most serious conditions, vertebral subluxations can cause stress for decades without any symptoms. The birth process, childhood falls, sports injuries and poor lifestyle habits are just a few causes of subluxations. Rather than getting to the cause and removing this underlying problem, many people attempt to chase their symptoms away with drugs, or another type of quick fix, and then wonder why their condition returns. Removing the cause and optimizing the function of your nerve system is a better immediate and long-term plan.
Regardless of your symptoms, a chiropractic examination can locate pre-stressed areas in your spine that may be affecting your health on every level. Don’t wait for a crisis.
Taking responsibility for your health and lifestyle choices is vital to your and your family’s well-being. We love seeing our patients and practice members getting