Say you had a particularly stressful day at work. You may find on the commute home that you all of a sudden become aware that your entire body is wracked by stiffness. From your neck through your shoulders and down into your lower back, almost all of the muscles that support your spine have tightened as a natural response to mental stress. This increase in tension begins to pull your spine out of alignment, causing nerve impingement and muscle spasm. What you do next defines the stress cycle.
An unexpected episode of back spasming can be as crippling as it is shocking. Muscle spasms are an emergency response by your body- as it perceives imminent injury, the muscles suddenly and involuntarily contract. This is the first clue to solving back spasms and the underlying condition: your body has perceived the injury, meaning that this problem has been slowly building up over time. Muscle spasms are therefore a natural response to a set of conditions that are threatening your spine. But in the heat of the moment, it doesn't help to worry about the underlying conditions. You need to respond to the pain!
For some, it promotes relaxation; for others, a single round can cause extreme frustration. And the sport is just as polarizing for our spinal health. To begin with, it is a good way to get active; it gets us moving, promotes better circulation, and gently tones the muscles. But the golf swing requires you to generate an enormous amount of power through torsion of the hips and force from the shoulders. You spend a lot of time bending down to tee up, retrieve your ball or pick up your bag. All of these motions are potentially hazardous for the spine. They leave you vulnerable to muscle strains and sprains, repetitive stress syndrome and spinal injuries.
From a chiropractor's perspective, this is not hyperbole. Clinical studies are linking poor posture with a growing host of health maladies. Let's start with the ones we've been telling people for decades here at our office in Fremont:
In summation, poor posture can lead to long term health problems that will drag down your well-being and leave you at the mercy of degenerative conditions.
With sedentary lifestyles becoming more and more common, the corresponding lessening of mobility in the populace is not surprising. But about 10% of the population suffer from the exact opposite problem- hypermobility, also known as double-jointedness. People with this condition have ligamentous laxity which can be useful for someone whose job requires a greater degree of flexibility, like a dancer or a baseball pitcher. But there are significant drawbacks to hypermobility in that your joints are essentially less stable. When this lack of stability contributes to pain, we call it hypermobility syndrome. And this pain can become chronic. So what is our solution for hypermobility syndrome?