By Dr. Meggie Smith
Did you know that your body reorganizes itself and the way your muscles work after an injury? Much like a detour due to road construction, when your body is injured or healing, it redirects your muscles to be used differently. You unconsciously avoid the muscles that are near the repair. And much like a road construction detour, this is a great short term strategy and a horrible long term one.
Normally your body uses muscles in very specific ways. When you want to move your lower back, your brain tells specific muscles along your spine to contract and relax so that you can move. However, studies have shown that when people hurt their low backs, some of those muscles stop working. Your brain “turns them off” so that they do not contract and squeeze the injured parts of your back. Like avoiding Clark Street because of those huge pot holes, and then avoiding it because of the construction to fix those pot holes, your body stops using the muscles it would normally use.
Avoiding Clark before the pot holes are paved will save your tires. And avoiding using those muscles before you have healed will protect your body. But Clark Street is one of the best ways to get around Chicago. And so as soon as the pot holes are gone and the construction is over, you should stop using side streets and go back to the most efficient road.
Without chiropractic care, or really high quality targeted exercise therapy, your body doesn’t start using muscles efficiently again. In part that is because you may have never fully healed. But an equally large issue is that your body may not go back to using the efficient muscles. Studies have been done on the necks and backs of people after injury. They have found that their brains are wired differently. The nerves in their spines and the nerves in their muscles don’t communicate in the most effective or efficient way. They never went back to using the main roads after the potholes were paved.
The good news is that studies have also found that chiropractic care can get your muscles working correctly again! We can get your brain and nerves to turn back on the muscles that need to start working. If you know someone who had an injury, have them give us a call. It may seem like they are moving and recovering, but that maybe because they are really good at using the wrong muscles. There may be much easier and more efficient ways for them to move.