Select Page

I get a lot of patients with low back pain (LBP) at the clinic. No one wants to be in pain, I get it. However, we are complicated beings, but we are self-healing and self-regulating. Let me share a story with you.

I get low back pain. Is that ironic – as I am a chiropractor? (Insert laugh here….)

I get low back pain because that is the area I ‘throw’ my stress to. When I reflect back in my life I can track all the low back pain episodes I have had and pin-point it to changes I was going through. I was not coping with my stress, as well as I wish I was telling myself.

I will use one recent example of LBP I had.

It was in January of 2015. I remember it so well. I know it is because the pain was so excruciating that the emotion and event are intertwined, and thus part of my nervous system now – called memory.

It was when I decided I was going to set up my own clinic. I never even thought I would do that. It was also around the same time my father-in-law was losing his health with multiple myeloma. I was not working at the time. I was desperately trying to figure out what I wanted to do.  What am I here for?  Am I happy?  Finances are stressing me out! And then one day I woke up and could not move. I was crying, hunched over a hotel bathtub, with no feeling in either of my legs, and fire-bolt pain at my low back. (I was at a hotel in Calgary, because I accompanied my husband on a work trip.)

My husband said he would take me to the hospital, but I insisted on seeing a chiropractic colleague for an assessment first. Of course, Calgary has a storm, and my husband has to go to meetings. So he takes me in his arms, as I can not walk, and asks for help from hotel staff, and in my pajama’s I was gingerly placed in a cab to get to my colleague.

After an excruciating one hour ride in a storm to my colleague, it took two people to get me from the cab onto a chiropractic table, but after a tonal adjustment, I was able to get up and walk. Hunched over like the ‘hunchback of Notre dame’, but I was up! Was I still in pain, YUP!

It took an adjustment every day that week (this actually happened on a Monday), to get me back to standing up straight. I still had some low back pain, but I was functional.  I was walking, standing and sitting with more of an ache, versus the lightning bolt pain. It actually took about three weeks all together, to get me back to 100%, however, it is a constant reminder to me, to be aware of my thoughts, and to consciously work on my stress management.

People often think pain is associated with physical stress or trauma. What most people miss is that what we think, our emotional and mental stressors, as well as chemical stressors, all react the same way in the body. My example is to show that I never had any physical trauma. I definitely had a lot of emotional and mental stresses and it had to go somewhere. Unfortunately, for me, it was LBP.

I completely understand my patients with LBP. However, I ask you, what stresses you out?  How long have you been under stress? Is your body giving you any signs? Such as, how do you sleep? What is your digestion like? Do you want this? How are you managing or coping with it?  Health is about mind, body and spirit and making sure we are balancing this everyday. Remember, no one is perfect. Everyone is on a journey. And when you think back about your life, your stories, you can laugh at it, and realize how much you have learned and grown!