Too Hurt, Too Fat, Too Tired

Posted on September 13, 2011. Filed under: Weightloss | Tags: , , , |

If there are three things that bring patients into the clinic these are the Big Three, an un-holy trinity of suffering and illness.  You can experience one, both or all, and lots of times they work together; let’s have a look at how they work.

The easy one to understand is the ‘hurt.’ The easiest of all to understand is injury – you bend over at a funny angle, you hear a ‘pop – and next thing you know it you can’t straighten up any more. If there is no pain in the leg you have probably pulled a muscle. If you feel a pain in the leg you probably have torn a disc which is now pressing on a nerve.

Ok, you take an ibuprofen; put an ice pack on it and it feels better. Probably not a big-deal injury. You do those things and it still hurts or even starts getting worse – it probably is a bigger deal after all.

Weeks go by and let’s say you are one of those people who think ‘it will get better by itself.” (Translated – this usually means you have a fear that treatment will cost too much or you feel that you just don’t have the time to deal with an injury at this exact time).

During that time the pain keeps you awake. Did you know that sleep really is important? It’s not a myth – you have to sleep at a certain depth to turn on the repair process of the brain, which in turn on the repair processes of the rest of the body. So, if you can’t sleep, you can’t repair. As the weeks pass you start to notice a pervasive, general tiredness that caffeine only fixes for a short time.

You used to work out, but with a hurt back and a tired body , who can blame you if you don’t make it to the gym as much as before….or if you even don’t make it at all anymore?

You’ve got it – the weight starts piling on, a few pounds at first, and more later. And so the spiral starts. Injury has caused pain, pain has reduced sleep, both pain and reduced sleep have reduced the activity level, which retard whatever level of healing is going on, which increases and prolongs the whole negative spiral.

The good news is that the spiral can be broken at any point – if you can increase your sleep you can better your repair. If you can gently increase your activity you improve your circulation and also improve your repair. If you improve your nutrition you can also benefit both sleep and repair. Of course, if you fix the injury properly the other issues will benefit because you will have less pain.

Keep in mind that the interactions of these factors can work from any direction; for example, if you eat poorly you won’t repair well and will be more likely to get injured. If you neglect sleep you body won’t repair properly and again it’s easier to get hurt.

Therefore, a good thing to review are the very basics of good health – good food, good activity, and good sleep. Everything after that – including what I do – chiropractic for your spine, skeleton and nerves, and acupuncture –for balancing energy – is something extra, something therapeutic. Nature can use some healing help from time to time, but nothing beats the basics.

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