Compensation and Pain

What happens to the tires on your car when your wheels are out of alignment?  They become worn unevenly and much too quickly.  The same thing happens to our joints when our skeleton is out of alignment.  Your major joints like the ankles, knees, hips, spine and shoulders are forced to work in a position they aren’t meant to.  They become worn unevenly which produces pain.

Pain is the body’s warning light that something is wrong.  If you ignore these warning lights for too long, serious damage can occur.  The next question is why are we out of alignment?  The answer is because our postural muscles (those responsible for holding our bodies correctly) have become too weak because of our sedentary lifestyles.  Any muscle that is not used in 24-72 hours will start to atrophy or weaken.  The best and longest lasting solution to this common problem is to use our postural muscles daily to strengthen them so they can do their jobs correctly.  If these muscles are not used regularly (and properly), other muscles will have to be recruited to do something they were not designed for.  This is called compensation.

Compensation causes our bodies to shift even more out of alignment and worsens the problem.  In my clinical experience treating thousands of patients, compensation is a MAJOR cause of pain and other bodily dysfunction.  We can easily understand how compensation can cause physical pain in muscles and joints, but improper posture also causes crowding of the organs.  When there is organ crowding, there is insufficient blood flow which leads to decreased organ function.

Our bodies are designed to be symmetrical so one side looks like a mirror image of the other.  We are also designed to have our major load bearing joints in a straight line from the ankle through the knee, hip, shoulder and ear so we can use our bones to fight gravity instead of incorporating the wrong muscles to pull us back into position. One of the best ways to take control of our postural misalignments is through the use of specific corrective exercises.  The exercises should not be chosen by symptoms alone, but by objective measurements of your body.  Only then can the root cause of your dysfunction be addressed.

Most times even if you ignore the chief complaint or symptom and use the patient’s skeleton as your guide, when their alignment changes for the better the symptoms decrease significantly or go away altogether.  Through the use of corrective exercises, the patient becomes empowered and starts to take control of their health.  Any therapy such as acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, etc. will be much more effective on a frame that is structurally sound.  A dysfunctional body is likely to keep breaking down until it is either fixed or beyond repair.