What does your spinal diagnosis say about you?
There are hundreds of official diagnoses when it comes to spinal conditions. People are most familiar with low back pain, disc herniations, cervical or lumbar radiculopathies, scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and arthritis of the spine. Each one of these has a different mechanism for how it shows up in the body. The aim of modern medicine is to determine which condition is present based on signs and symptoms so that proper procedure can be performed.
People with spinal conditions often turn to a chiropractor when they 1) don’t want to have a surgery that their physician has recommended or 2) their medical doctor has told them that there is nothing else they can do for them except for pain medications.
One of the reasons that chiropractors are successful at helping people in these situations is because we look at the entire spinal system, not just where it hurts or has a “problem”. We also evaluate the biomechanics of the spine, posturing, behaviors, thoughts and emotions that contribute to what is showing up in your spine.
There are no quick fixes. Even if you choose to have a spinal surgery, if you don’t simultaneously make some changes in your life, your situation will likely not improve. I believe this is one reason why so many back surgeries are unsuccessful. Secondly, when you fuse or alter one part of the spine it will produce changes in how other parts of the spine function, which is why people often develop pain in previously asymptomatic areas of the spine after a spinal surgery.
How can something so gentle and non-invasive help?
Debunking the force myth
We tend to think that if something physical is expressing in our body than we need something really physical to fix it. There is also the idea that the more aggressive we are in our approach the more likely we will be at getting rid of it. In this way of thinking the more force, aggression, doing or invasiveness = better results.
Have you ever had the experience when you were trying to accomplish something, but you just couldn’t figure out how to do it? You tried all your old ways of accomplishing, but nothing was working. After exhausting yourself doing things and stressing out about it you talked with a friend to share your frustration and perhaps get some advice. Your friend did not offer any advice but instead held an “invisible” space for you to talk while they listened. At the end of the conversation you did not have an answer but you felt more spacious, clearer, and relaxed. Your frustrations were heard. The next day you went back to your project and saw a new perspective that you had not seen before, and alas you made some forward progress.
Your body works in much the same way. When someone is present with your body, without trying to fix it, your body changes how it functions, postures and holds itself. Chiropractic may be less aggressive and forceful than surgery or chemical alteration through pharmaceuticals, however when applied with presence its effects are much more profound. The amount of presence you have in any endeavor is inversely proportionally to the amount of force you need. The spine and nervous system respond to presence and the body will self-organize, self-regulate and self-heal when in the presence of presence.
Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration