Myth: The Normal Myth – This Type of Thing is Normal

Myth: The Normal Myth – This Type of Thing is Normal

Be sure to put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.

—Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the U.S.

 Okay, let’s get real with this Chiropractor of Little Falls MN. Pain is everywhere, and if you’re not suffering from it, I guarantee that you know someone who is. Nearly 100 million Americans suffer from back and neck pain. (56) Which means that for every man, woman, and child you know, one in three is experiencing pain. This number is continuing to grow, with no end in sight.

That’s not all.

Between 1987 and 2013, the cost of treating back pain in the U.S. ballooned 538 percent to a whopping $42.5 billion. (57) If you combine that with other pain complaints like headaches, shoulder, hip, and knee pain, then Americans spend more money on pain remedies—and lose more money because of pain—than the economy of Norway generates in a year. We’re talking upwards of $350 billion (58) —that’s $11,000 per second. Pain is costing a lot of people a great deal of money when a Chiropractor of Little Falls MN is very affordable.

However, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Because we’ve been in an un-contained epidemic of pain for decades, most of us have come to believe that back and neck pain is a normal part of life. Let this Chiropractor of Little Falls MN tell you, it’s not. The truth is that the line between what’s normal and what’s common has become so blurred that we can’t tell the difference anymore. But not for much longer because we are going to boldly redraw that line, get back in touch with reality, and from there, take our first steps toward becoming pain-free.

The End of the Line

Here’s the shortlist of what’s believed to be normal, but really isn’t. 

* The older I get, the more I’ll hurt, and the less I’ll do. Doing what I do affords me a unique perspective on the relationship between pain and age. The oldest patient at my Chiropractor of Little Falls MN clinic is ninety-two. She drives, gardens, cooks, and golfs nine holes every Wednesday. Does she experience pain? Yes. Does it stop her from living? No. On the other hand, I’ve worked with teenagers who can hardly get out of bed in the morning because of pain. Are they experiencing pain? Yes. Does it stop them from living? Absolutely. The truth is that pain doesn’t care how old you are, so see a Chiropractor of Little Falls MN. It can strike whether you’re a spring chicken or in your golden years because age is not what determines whether or not you’re in pain. The determining factor is how well you are using your body, and the more years that pass means more opportunities to either help or hurt your back and neck.

How can you tell if you’ve been doing a good job with your spine? Let’s go to the next item on our list.

* Arthritis is due to aging. I think we all can agree with this Chiropractor of Little Falls MN that a person in their twenties is not old. Yet, a 2015 study showed that up to 40 percent of young people today already have spine cartilage deterioration—a hallmark of spinal arthritis. (59) When you combine this with the fact that joints are designed to last about 110 years, it should make you wonder why so many people think that aging causes arthritis. Maybe it’s because every day, while pointing to an X-ray, doctors tell patients that their pain and stiffness is due to arthritis, and “you know, this is simply a part of getting older. 

Here’s a health insight: X-rays and MRIs do not tell us how good our joints are, but rather how good we are at using our joints. And when you use your back and neck improperly, the joints get inflamed and start deteriorating—a.k.a. arthritis. The truth is: arthritis is not a measurement of age, it’s a measurement of the amount of times you’ve used that joint improperly. Let a Chiropractor of Little Falls MN show you the correct way.

You may be wondering if we’re going to tackle pain in the younger years of life. I’m sure you’ve heard that…

* Growing pains are a normal part of childhood.  The Mayo Foundation of Research and Information finds that there is no evidence that childhood growth should be painful or that growing pains are even related to growth. “The cause of growing pain is unknown. But there is no evidence that a child’s growth is painful. And growing pains don’t usually happen where growth is occurring or during times of rapid growth.”(60) But, once again, because it’s so common, most parents don’t hesitate to chalk up their child’s latest complaint to the pains of growing up. Is it possible a larger and overlooked problem is leaving kids in this misery? Go to a Chiropractor of Little Falls MN instead. And last but not least… 

* It runs in the family. “My grandma had it. My mom has it. Now I have it.” The belief that pain gets passed on like an unwanted hand-me-down is one of the oldest myths, and also one of the toughest to uproot. To see this in a new light, we need only think of the old “Nature vs. Nurture” debate. The nature side argues that our health is a result of our inherited genes. The nurture side argues that our health is mostly dependent on the environment in which we’re raised. You don’t hear much about it anymore because the argument was settled: they both are involved, but “Nurture” is, by far, the biggest influencer. And so it is with back and neck pain. The bony framework you inherited from your parents plays a role in your ability to live a pain-free life, but it’s certainly not the lead role. That spotlight belongs to how we learn to use our back and neck, learn from a Chiropractor of Little Falls MN. You see, the truth is we acquire much of how we move (walking, bending, dancing, lifting, etc.), and our postural habits (how you care for your spine on a daily basis), from watching those closest to us: our families. And unless you’re lucky enough to have had parents who were extraordinarily ahead of their time and understood the dynamics of proper spine usage, chances are you don’t know how to move properly, and thus you haven’t acquired the needed postural habits to be pain-free.

In this list of what’s commonly believed to be normal, but really isn’t, how many items have crept into your way of thinking?

True North 

The point of this section was to draw a line between what’s normal and what’s common.

– It’s common to have recurring lower back pain, but it’s never normal. 

– It’s common to “carry your stress” in your shoulders, but it’s never normal.

– It’s common to have tight hamstrings, degenerating discs, headaches during menses, and stubborn muscle knots, but it’s never, ever, normal.

Summary 

* MYTH: This type of thing is normal.

A lot of people are hurting. Research indicates that one in three Americans is dealing with pain at this very moment. And I believe that number is low. 

A lot of money is being spent on pain. $42.5 billion per year. $11,000 per second. Think of what it would do for our economy and our nation, if that money was being put to better use.

* TRUTH: Because pain is so widespread, we’ve lost our bearings on what’s normal for the back and neck and what’s common. And so, like hikers without a compass and map, pain sufferers often end up lost in attempting to get to their desired destination—a pain-free life. But not for much longer, see a Chiropractor of Little Falls MN today.

  1. Langevin, H. M., and K. J. Sherman. “Pathophysiological Model for Chronic Low Back Pain Integrating Connective Tissue and Nervous System Mechanisms.” Med Hypothesis 68, no. 1 (August 21, 2007): 74-80. Accessed October 18, 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16919887
  1. Relief of fibromyalgia symptoms following discontinuation of dietary excitotoxins. Smith JD, Terpening, CM, Schmidt, SOF, Gums, JG. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, June 2001, 35(6):702-6.
  1. Institute of Medicine, Committee on Advance Pain Research, Care, and Education. (2011). Relieving pain in America: A blueprint for transforming prevention, care, education and re-search (pp. 4-14) Publication copy. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
  1. Vincent Y. Ma, BA; Leighton Chan, MD, MPH; Kadir J. Car-ruthers. BS. Incidence, Prevalence, Costs, and Impact on Dis-ability of Common Conditions Requiring Rehabilitation in the United States: Stroke, Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Limb Loss, and Back Pain. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2014; 95:986-95.
  1. Institute of Medicine, Committee on Advance Pain Research, Care, and Education. (2011). Relieving pain in America: A blueprint for transforming prevention, care, education and re-search (pp. 4-14) Publication copy. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
  1. Systematic Literature Review of Imaging Features of Spinal Degeneration in Asymptomatic Population. W. Brinjikji, P. Luetmer, B. Comstock, B. Bresnahan, L. Chen, R. Deyo, S. Ha-labi, J. Turner, A. Avins, K. James, J. Wald, D. Kallmes, and J. Jarvik. American Journal of Neuroradiology, 2014.
  2. Mayo Clinic Staff for Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Growing Pains. mayoclinic.org. Accessed 5/20/16Section 4. 

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