Welcome back to our blog series about how getting healthier is easier than you think. So far, we talked about how getting healthier is actually just doing more of the things than make us alive. We just need to do them better. We discussed how moving, breathing, and eating are the essential elements of life. We also spoke about how balance plays such a big role in being healthy. Remember, when any one aspect of your life goes out of balance there is a health price that must be paid.
Today, I want to start putting this into a little bit more of a realistic perspective. I want you to look at getting healthy from a case study point of view. Let’s imagine that we all are chiropractors, and we are looking at a new patient. This patient shows up at our office with right shoulder and neck pain. It hurts to move his shoulder to reach overhead and to lift heavier objects. He reports that his neck is stiff and sore in the morning when he gets up, but it starts to feel better as the day goes on.
He tells us that his regular doctor thinks he has a rotator cuff tear. His regular doctor wants him to rest the neck and arm and not overdo it too much. The doctor has prescribed an anti-inflammatory and a pain pill. The doctor wants to see our patient in one month and if it isn’t any better, the doctor will prescribe physical therapy.
Our patient is a 66-year-old man that is moderately obese. He does not have a have a physical job. Our patient reports that his diet is regular, but when pressed he admits that he eats fast food twice per week and snacks on potato chips, cookies, or ice cream in the evenings most evenings.
That should give us a pretty good picture of what is going on. Our overweight patient is living a pretty sedentary lifestyle. He is not eating healthy, indicates lack of exercise, and we can easily “see” that he cannot breathe deeply due to the size of his protruding abdomen. Now his doctor wants him to take anti-inflammatories and pain pills to alleviate the pain of a rotator cuff injury in his shoulder.
From what we have discussed so far, we can see that our patient is very much out of balance. He is not getting enough movement, proper nutrition, nor is he breathing properly. His shoulder will have inflammation which is likely a huge part of his pain with movement. Because we know that inflammation is essential to healing, we know that the anti-inflammatories are actually preventing the healing from taking place even though his swelling and pain is less with the medications.
So, with what we have talked about so far this month, let’s look at what we can do for him. We know that he needs to move those arms. We know that moving the joints help reduce pain and the muscles that contract to move those joints will squeeze out the inflammation. Those are two great tips to help him with his pain. We also know that movement will help his neck pain.
So, our first step is to have him do exercises in the office and then have him do exercises at home on a regular basis. Remember, he will experience an increase in pain when he starts moving that arm. We have to tell him that this is normal because that is the alarm for the body to send in new inflammation for even better healing.
Next, we want our patient to move even more using muscles that are not really related to his shoulder. We know that as he walks, he will be exercising his lungs and chest muscles as he breathes more deeply. This will help him expel more toxic carbon dioxide as he breathes better when he walks. This will also help him bring in more oxygen to help with the repair work that the inflammation is doing on his shoulder.
Lastly, we have him just cut back on the foods that he already knows he should not be eating. This will motivate him to eat more foods that are better for his healing process. We discover through the treatment of our patient that he really loves peanut butter. We suggest peanut butter with celery as a snack because we know the plant-based protein will go quickly to the repair site to be utilized in that process.
And there we have it, my friends! Getting healthy is not as hard as you think it might be. I hope this “case study” helps put this month’s content into a perspective that is useful for you. If you need or know of anyone that needs more information or even a consultation on getting healthier more easily, please reach out to me at email@example.com.