Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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ADVERTISING: Advertorial — 3 early warning signs that should not be ignored

When patients come in with severe neck pain or back pain, there are often common warning signs that are ignored for days, weeks or even months. The initial visit sounds more like a confession rather than a doctor’s visit: “Doctor, I should have… I shouldn’t have waited… My wife/husband warned me… I was too busy… I thought it would go away.” I hope this article will help you better identify the early warning signs and symptoms that your spine is about to take a horrible turn for the worst before you end up in a state of pain and dysfunction.

First Sign No. 1: Muscle Spasms/Tightness

Your spine is a complicated system of joints and channels that surround and protect your spine cord and nervous system. Think of it as a breaker panel in your house. Your body will go to extreme measures to ensure that your nervous system operates without interference, with all channels free and clear. When the brain senses interference or tissue damage in-and-around the spine, information is compiled and sent to the brain where a determination can be made as to the degree of threat and appropriate action is needed. One of the first lines of defense is muscle guarding when nervous system function is threatened. Spasm’s are the brains attempt to prevent further injury to the tissues. By splinting the area with spasm, the body effectively reduces painful joint movements.

Sign No. 2: Pain

Pain is a signal in your nervous system that something is wrong. It’s a warning, like a fire alarm.

Patients often state that they had pain for a few weeks or even months, but it went away with over-the-counter pain medication. A month later or so, it came back even worse this time. But, prescription medication made it go away again. This cycle of ignoring persistent pain allows the problem to get worse. But we must realize just because we don’t have pain, especially when we are on pain medication, doesn’t mean the problem no longer exists. It may take just a simple activity such as putting on a sock or driving for an hour and, BAM, it goes off. This is when I typically meet people. Something that may have been a simple fix a few months ago is now a much more complex problem requiring more care, potential loss of work, and far greater pain. When pain hits, even when minor and persistent, please see a chiropractor right away.

Sign No. 3: Weakness

Weakness is one of the more serious warning signs, weakness signifies a more serious underlying issue. It can be from a nerve being compressed that innervates a certain muscle. When this happens, you may notice specific symptoms such as loss of grip strength or getting in and out of your car with one leg. As we have discussed, muscles may have to work harder than normal to compensate for underlying spinal and nerve problems. This can result in noticeable weakness. It may only show up as a general feeling of fatigue, especially at the end of the day. Any prolonged sign of weakness (especially of one side or region of your body) lasting more than just a few days warrants immediate evaluation.

Our bodies speak to us on a regular basis, you just have to be listening. It does not use actual words, but speaks to us through little signs and symptoms. You can take your chances by ignoring these warnings, or be proactive. Chiropractic intervention early on provides an effective, inexpensive and comfortable solution.

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Dr. Wayne M. Fichter Jr. is a chiropractor at Natural Spine Solutions. The business is located at 3913 Schreiber Way in Coeur d’Alene. For more information, please contact us at 208-966-4425.