Allow me to gripe some more. Hopefully it is educational and constructive.
Wear and Tear
In chiropractic school this term was spoken so much. Too much. We had a class called NMS something or other. I think it was neuro-musculo-skeletal pathology. Everything was caused by wear and tear, or micro-trauma, or repetitive strain.
Ugh......please no more.
How were we supposed to help people get better?
1- Chiropractic adjustments
2- Prescriptive exercise
3- Nutrition (for inflammation and tissue integrity)
And we just chalked it up to too much wear and tear.
Not very empowering. Just come back if you injure yourself again with repetitive strain, or more micro-trauma. Please incorporate these life style suggestions if you'd like to be more productive and energetic. And, please figure out a way to make your job not kill you. (Yes, I'm serious. People put their work above their health and family......)
As students we went into detail about the biochemical changes of injury and how the macrophages come in to clean out the area to help heal the muscles and joint structures. Etc. Etc. Blah, blah, blah.
Funny thing is, we learned that immobilization is the worst thing for a person's joint health. And we can teach that to our practice members. Movement keeps the joints hydrated. I much prefer the phrase, use it or lose it. (Neuro-plasticity..... another topic for another blog posting.)
We also teach them that pain medications destroy cartilage and other soft tissues. Why add fuel to the fire?
Just like bone on bone, wear and tear is some kind of terminology that gets you off the hook. It's too late. The damage is done. It's irreversible. In fact, I typed wear and tear in google for medical terms and it is called normal wear and tear.
I found some medical articles using wear and tear arthritis. A medical dictionary ascribes wear and tear to dental changes in the teeth, caused by bruxism (teeth grinding).
Microtrauma is a microscopic injury to muscles, bones, soft tissues. I suppose if you wait long enough, it becomes macro-trauma, something you can see and feel.
"Wear and tear" seems to have taken on a life of its own.
Mostly I don't like the fact that it sets the stage for a depressing outlook. We can take wear and tear to a whole new level of despair and demoralization. We can now call it stenosis. Now you're in for a real treat because surgeons salivate over your X-rays and reserve the surgical suite for you.
Here's the thing: arthritis was not a big deal when I first started in practice. People knew they needed to take care of their joints. They knew they needed to move more. But they were not overwhelmed.
Now 22 years later, and I know I am not delusional, arthritis has taken on a new personality. People are hyper-upset, very fearful, often depressed, and the word "aging," tags along.
It has gotten to the point where I feel I am not successfully explaining to my folks that it's not the end game. They have so much potential to be more functional, but the mind is blocked.
Something has happened in a couple of decades where I now see people with the most helpless attitudes. Learned helplessness!
Another thing I've noticed: When I first opened up my practice, most people said, "I hate taking medicine." And they were not taking medicine. Now people say, "I hate taking medicine," and they produce a long list of prescribed drugs-- that they take.
So, people in the past stood by their comment that they did not want to take anything. They really meant it. Now, people begrudgingly swallow synthetic pills on a daily basis and accept it.
Is it because I see so much more obesity and diabetes? People come to me with joint pain, yet it's just the tip of the iceberg. *** Their joints are a reflection of the rest of their body. There's so much anxiety, fatigue, high blood pressure, and "auto-immune" disease attached to the "wear and tear," of their bones.
It's time to end my griping with a positive outlook.
We are meant to be moving. If you are convinced you are a victim of wear and tear, you are not moving enough.
Also, your joints do respond to fight or flight stress, even mental stress. When your body goes into survival mode, your spine compresses. It's a physiological response dictated by the brain to move you out of perceived danger.
Here's the caveat. You're supposed to get out of fight or flight quickly and resume tissue rebuilding. If that doesn't happen, your tissues will be prone to injury from doing simple everyday activities. And, if your nutrition is lacking, your new tissues are made out of junk!
What feels like wear and tear to you, is to me, poor replenishment. This is the direction we need to take.
Wear and tear is a cop out phrase. It's equivalent to,"I give up." But you don't have to feel stuck.
I found a good article written by Thomas Wells that explains why movement is so crucial. He also bemoans the slang of wear and tear. He used the term "bone on bone," but I'll let that go.
When I meet people who want to improve their functionality, I go to the brain first. If you are in a high stress situation, we have to modulate the nervous system so you can actually resume the rebuilding phase of the nervous system stages. Some people may not be aware of the ultra-high stress they are dealing with. The body will not rebuild when it is in a hyped up state of survival mode. The body gives us hints so we can learn from it and make the necessary changes.
Your nervous system is unique to you. Your past exposures to stress, along with the emotional decorations you lace it with determines how quickly or slowly you revert to the energetic state of rebuilding. There is no one-size fits all answer. This is a self exploratory / self growth approach woven into your chiropractic care.
Let's move beyond the vocabulary that doesn't serve you and dive into the empowering approach of brain-based chiropractic.
*** Please remember, chiropractic is not a treatment for joint pain. Chiropractic allows the brain to shift gears back to homeostasis and rebuilding. I know people typically focus on joint pain, and I teach them to look at the bigger picture from the brain's point of view regarding healing priority.
Brain First *Is* Body Freedom
Your Health Freedom Coach
Liberating Your Nervous System from Unacceptable Ideas (like aging)
Expand Your Talents Beyond Your Comfort Zone.