Why Feeling Good Isn’t the Same as Being in Good Health
By Dr. Molly Casey
I’m not in pain. I exercise. I stretch. I don’t need to go to the chiropractor. If you have ever thought that to yourself, this article is for you. Health is not about a lack of pain. In fact, it has very little to do with pain. And chiropractic, while an effective natural pain relief tool, has far greater effect on one’s overall health and wellness than just relieving back pain. It’s an excellent tool for regular healthcare.
No Pain Doesn’t Equal Health
One of the greatest lies in this society is that a lack of pain equals good health. The nervous system is your body’s communication system. You live your entire life through this system. The brain transmits electrical impulses down the spinal cord and throughout miles of nerves to every cell, structure, organ and system in your entire body. Those cells, structures, organs and systems in your body then send impulses back through the same nerves -- and back up your spinal cord -- to your brain. That circle is your communication system.
Approximately 11 percent of the nervous system has the ability to transmit pain. That leaves about 89 percent of the system that doesn’t -- and can’t -- have the ability to transmit pain. Using pain as the sole or primary indicator that you are healthy is a very bad idea, in my professional opinion.
So, just because you’re not in pain doesn’t mean you’re healthy.
Regular Exercise and Stretching Does Not Mean A Healthy Spine
Don’t get me wrong, regular exercise and stretching is great. It’s an essential part of an optimally healthy life and I recommend it to every single one of my patients. However, regular exercise and the feeling of being able to move well and with ease does not equal health.
When you move your body for exercise and stretching routines, these are “global” ranges of motion: they are bigger movements, ranges of motions like touching one’s toes and bringing knees into your chest, or overhead motions such as lifting a barbell. The ability to perform bigger movements to the fullest degree are a direct result of our segmental motions (the smaller motions of the joints); when the segmental motions are optimized, so are the global motions. So long as the segmental motion of joints is full and healthy, the foundation for global range of motion is intact and far more optimal. Small changes, tweaks, or impairments of segmental range of motion impair the global range of motion. The key to recognize is that it takes a significant amount of segmental decrease in range of motion to actually be seen in the global range of motion. So, by the time you see or feel significant changes of deficits in your exercise and muscle routines, the segmental impairment has likely been around for quite some time. It’s the number of small tweaks that go unnoticed and not restored that eventually equal big changes that you then notice.
Why Get Checked By A Chiropractor
The primary reason to get checked by a chiropractor is you have a spine and a nervous system. Health is about function, not about feeling. However, feeling great is an awesome side effect of good health. Chiropractors support optimal health through checking and restoring spinal segmental range of motion through the chiropractic adjustment.
A healthy spine that moves well with as close to full segmental range of motion as possible facilitates optimal nervous system function. Your body has the opportunity to communicate more effectively and you experience greater ease and better health. And yes, ultimately, regardless of your exercise and stretching routine, you will likely feel better. So if you have a spine, it’s time to get it checked at The Joint Chiropractic. We’re here waiting for you.
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