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THE 3 CAUSES OF BACK PAIN

July 25, 20233 min read

Root Cause of Back Pain Richardson North Dallas

Root Cause of Back Pain

 In 1910, D.D. Palmer identified the causes of vertebral subluxation as the Three T’s— trauma, toxins, and thoughts. These basic concepts he laid down for the profession he founded have survived the test of time. So how do the Three T’s cause back pain and affect the function of the spine and nervous system as a whole? 

 

Trauma (Physical Stressors)

Let’s consider the area of trauma, specifically physical trauma, as a cause. It is easy to understand how a vertebra can become misaligned as a result of physical trauma to the spine.

Sitting for long periods slumped in front of a computer, looking down at textbooks or iPads to study, sleeping on your stomach, or even standing for long periods on cements or in shoes with little support are common reasons for back pain. While most people think of acute, traumatic events like car accidents or lifting very heavy items when they think of back pain, it's really the bad habits that we do daily, for long periods of time that create micro-trauma that shows up years later.

The body will logically try to stabilize this area with muscle spasms and tightness, which will heal in this configuration unless something is done to restore integrity to the area.

 

Toxins (Chemical Stressors)

Apart from direct force causing a bone to misalign, the body can be affected by chemical exposure and your emotional chemical cascade in such a way as to cause subluxations.

The nervous system perceives these non-physical stressors to be threatening and directs the muscles to react, defend, and brace the body. Thus, holding bones in positions that can cause asymmetry and imbalance in the spine. No muscle moves a bone without a nerve purposefully telling it to do so. Toxins also create an inflammatory state in the body that creates pain. These not only include chemicals, but inflammatory foods, drinking water, and the air we breathe.

Sugar, processed food, alcohol, unhealthy air conditions, smoking, pool chlorine, and chemical-laden skin products are just a snippet of chemical stressors that can create inflammation in our bodies.

 

 

Thoughts (Mental Stressors)

When our brain senses harm either from a traumatic injury, stressful thought or exposure to a toxin, it shifts into protection mode—the fight-or-flight response. The brain notes the body’s level of harm and determines whether we should be in fight-or-flight mode or if we have the “all clear” and can invest energy in growth and repair.

Our entire body is hardwired neurologically to respond to these signals one way or another. We cannot be both in growth and protection at the same time. The signals that inform the brain of our status are our “thoughts,” both from our mind and our body. While stressful mental activity includes negative, angry, fearful or depressed thoughts, physical traumas and toxic exposures represent negative “body thoughts,” influencing the same centers of the brain as these mental thoughts do.

These harm signals reach four key areas in the brain, of which three are subconscious and one is conscious. As you can imagine we can be consciously aware of being angry, feeling nauseous from something we smell, or feeling pain from an injury. But an abundance of subconscious signals from these same circumstances reach the following key areas of the brain: the hippocampus (the center for learning), the amygdala (the stress and anxiety center), and the hypothalamus (the neuroendocrine control center, which initiates a cascade of events preparing us for fight or flight).


Chiropractic adjustments and whole-body exercise, purity and sufficiency of our daily nutrient intake, and positive and loving thoughts contribute to creating high-quality input to the nervous system. This constructive input enhances healing, growth and balanced function. Health is truly homeostasis (balanced function) at the cellular level. To create a lifetime of health, we must provide our bodies with optimal input throughout our lives.

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