I want you to close your eyes (figuratively so you keep reading). Picture yourself in your favorite chair. It is Sunday. The fireplace is going. It’s snowing outside. It is a day to relax, recover from a fun weekend, and to prep for the week ahead.
Here you are nice and relaxed…and then…the sound. The sound that all parents dread. It is the sound of your 2nd grader learning to play a musical instrument. Those cracks, those high-pitched errant chords, that VOLUME!!! And you start to feel your neck muscles tighten, slightly at first, then more and more as the drum beat repeats over and over again until the headache arrives. And then it starts traveling the other direction down to your shoulders and to the middle of your back. Total muscle spasm settles in that restricts mobility of your neck or low back. You know this is going to be a long night of pain and discomfort. The amateur musician asks you with a lovable energy and excitement how it sounds? How it sounds? HOW IT SOUNDS?!?!?!?! You find yourself transported briefly to your happy place and muster “it sounds great my love.” Which then invites them to play more.
But how? WHY?!? How could those miserable sounds from your normally adorable child cause so many issues?!?
In a word…SCIENCE. Your body is continuously working to stay in homeostasis. Stress can come in many forms; physical, mental, emotional, or chemical. When your body perceives a stress, it stimulates the release of sympathetic nervous system to release adrenergic catecholamines, norepinephrine and epinephrine. Once released into the blood flow, catecholamine neurotransmitters increase heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration; vasoconstrict arterioles; and stimulate sweat secretion and pupillary dilation. It also travels to muscles and provides them with the tools needed to stop the stressor (Think of it as the potential energy from Physics class before it is turned into Kinetic energy). Importantly, this short-term sympathetic response is proinflammatory, functioning to destroy antigens, pathogens, or foreign invaders. ***Once the stressor has been diminished, then the body activates the parasympathetic nervous system to basically calm things down.
The problem is the chronic continuous stress over and over and over and over again of hearing that drum set or those very amateur guitar sounds cutting through the calm Sunday air like a hot knife through butter don’t allow for the sympathetic nervous system to stop firing on all cylinders. It just keeps releasing inflammatory hormones causing muscles to get tighter and tighter. Throw in the other stressors of sitting at a work desk all day, driving in traffic, eating a triple-decker burger from your favorite under-staffed fast food restaurant…and then BAM!!! You blow out your back picking up a pencil off the floor.
The good news is, you can immediately call a fantastic local Chiropractor who makes house calls (yes, you read that correctly…House calls to Morris and Passaic County) or has a nice quiet office you can drive to once you scrape yourself off of the floor. Knowing how stress causes muscle spasms, this Chiropractor with over 17 years of experience will loosen your muscles with Active Release Technique which is a patented soft tissue management system designed to relax muscles and return to normal function in a relaxed way. He also uses a massager during the 20 minute treatment session that screams to your nervous system to chill out and relax. Growing up listening to two amazing VERY talkative sisters, he also is an expert listener with a quick dry humor. And then…it happens. The pain melts away. Blood flow normalizes and your muscles start to relax. The Chiropractor shows you exercises to do to avoid the pains from coming back and supplies you with ear plugs to use for the next 2nd grader jam session. Life, as you knew it, has returned, and you get back to enjoying life again.
Ok, now open your eyes (still figuratively). Life is short and I recommend living it free of pain. So go to executivespinalcare.com or call me at (973) 477-3470 and learn how I can help you maximize your Life and finally rid yourself of pain (and maybe convince your kids to switch to playing sports or finger-painting).