Turns out, all healthy backs basically need the same thing.
They need to have muscles with enough endurance to provide support to the spine.
They need to be able to get into optimal positions and sustain them.
They need to have the joints above and below be well functioning.
They need to have healthy soft tissues and joints that can move and function within a certain range (not too much and not too little).
Those are the basics, every time.
It doesn’t matter if you have scoliosis or herniated discs or have never had back pain. If we focus on one aspect, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s like saying that since kale or spinach is really healthy, eating kale or spinach is all I ever need to eat.
Professionally, this frustrates me a lot. We have soft tissue specialists, and technique specialists. Many of you are familiar with chiropractors that only use the “clicker” – it’s called an Activator. Some practitioners will only give exercises and others will only prescribe medications. Is it really a shock that we have so many people that continually have their back “go out”?
This is why almost every visit you have with me will include working on your specific joint and soft tissue restrictions, addressing how you move (or lack thereof) and giving you things to practice that will strengthen you functionally. There’s no magic to it, although sometimes it feels magical how quickly you can feel better!
You can apply this principle to other joints as well.
There is a cellular/chemical component of back pain that I haven’t addressed.
You’ll see a side effect listed on many medications that list back pain as a potential side effect. In some cases, it’s not known why the medication has that effect. Sometimes this is due to the pain causing effect that local tissue oxygen deprivation and dysfunctional mitochondria can tend to create.