“Your healing works like a health bank account”… I said to the patient on the table who told me she’s been symptom-free for a couple of weeks - until that very day. She thought the pain might be caused by sitting in a traffic jam the previous night, or perhaps lifting the shopping from the car caused the symptoms to return. Examining her body I noticed several different ways that her spinal movement was compromised, in one instance she volunteered the information “oh yes, that area has been sore a couple of times”.
If your body has pain, it’s like a letter from the bank
I explained that our bodies and our health are like a bank account. We pay money in to the account (do things which will help your body and health) and every day we make withdrawals from the bank (digest food, eliminate waste, engage our brains at work or doing the crossword, walk to the shops, or play tennis). The low back that niggles for several weeks without actually being painful is like your health bank account being overdrawn but within your interest-free limit before the bank charges you. If your body has pain, it’s like a letter from the bank saying you will be charged interest on the overdraft which is in excess of your account limit. You get the picture?
Our body compensates so we can keep going
Whenever I examine someone and find their body isn’t functioning optimally, I know that the whole musculoskeletal system is compensating. They are holding the structure of their body in a way to allow general function and permit movement in some directions. They may even tell me they have no pain, or it’s better than usual, which goes to show what a successful job the body has performed to permit reduced pain or pain-free movement. I also know that a movement in a different direction, or an activity that goes on for longer or effort that is more strenuous that usual can be enough to upset the fine balance and tip that person into experiencing symptoms again. That means pain, pain which will cause a further reduction in body function. For example less movement while walking or less strength in the legs to raise the person from a chair. Feeling ‘not too bad’ or even pain-free following an injury in your health bank account can be ‘in the black’ by such a narrow margin that the bank balance can easily be tipped into being overdrawn again.
How to deposit to create ‘health credit’
While pain can be like an on/off switch, either present or absent; healing certainly isn’t an on/off switch. Healing is more like a dimmer switch (see previous blog). That’s why it’s important when a person is beginning to heal and the pain reduces, that they continue to support that healing process in every way possible. Here are some ways to do just that; resting, using ice or heal on the injury site, doing prescribed exercises, or visiting a chiropractor or other healthcare professional to ensure the healing process continues. All of these actions are like deposits into your health bank account so that you’re in ‘health credit’ and what all of us really want is ‘health wealth’. That’s when you’ve made so many health deposits that you’ve gathered some gold bullion in your account! So that, once your injury is completely healed, you have resilience to use your body as you wish to enjoy your everyday life.
Are you a saver or a spender of your health bank account?