July 2015

10 Myths about Back Pain

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Below are 10 myths about back pain I hear repeatedly in practice.

1. A chiropractor will make you worse. I’ll be honest, not every chiropractor is good. As with any profession, there are people that are great and those that aren’t. However, there is nothing dangerous, risky or irreversible in a chiropractic treatment that poses any danger to making your back pain worse. Personally I take the time to listen to my patients, thoroughly examine them, explain my findings and then provide excellent adjustments. In my 9 ½ year career I’ve had no instances of making anyone worse and have created results that speak for themselves.

2. It’ll go away on its own. In my experience, very few back issues go away on their own. Much like a rattle in your car is not likely to resolve itself, your back pain isn’t either. It’s better to address it when it occurs and get it fixed before it becomes more problematic.

3. It’s just muscular. As a general rule if your back pain begins and resolves within 48-72 hours it was likely a muscular strain. If your pain progresses past that point though it’s probable that strain has caused structures such as vertebrae and discs to become involved which will then aggravate your nerves causing prolonged pain and dysfunction.

4. There is an instant cure for back pain. I’ve certainly had large numbers of patients leave my office pain-free after a single visit. However, it is common for it to take multiple treatments. Much like 1 workout cannot remove years of weight gain, there is no treatment (chiropractic or otherwise) than can instantly undo years of spinal neglect and/or injury.

5. You need surgery. A surgeon friend of mine sums it up best , “surgeries can me a miracle when necessary but are intended to be a last resort after all natural options have been exhausted.” I’ve known many people that have rushed into surgeries only to be left in pain, frustrated and with fewer options afterwards.

6. Back pain is always “serious.” Back pain can come from something as simple as a single vertebra being misaligned or something as complicated as stage 4 cancers. Interestingly, things such as misalignments and spasms that are highly correctable often cause the most pain while cancer and other serious diseases often affect the spine immensely but cause little to no pain until later stages. Just because you have back pain does not mean something ominous is occurring.

7. There is one cause for all back pain. There is not one single cause for all back pain. Rather, it is a combination of muscles, spinal structures and nerves reacting to the stresses we put upon them from our daily activities and habits that causes back pain.

8. Medication cures back pain. No one wants to be in pain and I don’t fault people for using pain medication. However, back pain is structural in nature (involves the spine, nerves, etc) and no chemical can cure that. Unfortunately pain medications carry serious implications to many of our organs and thus should be used sparingly wherever possible in favor of things designed to cure the problem rather than cover it.

9. You will instantly experience pain if there is a problem with your back. The spine often takes months or years of misalignment, degeneration and/or stress to start causing pain. I see people daily that have begun having back pain without any recent injuries. This is because the spine is capable of absorbing a lot of physical stress over a long period of time but at some point it reaches a point where it says “no more” and you begin having pain. Worst of all that pain often begins with something simple like getting dressed or bending over.

10. There is only one cure for back pain. As a chiropractic patient and chiropractor I can obviously attest to the effectiveness of adjustments in relieving and curing back pain. However, I know talented acupuncturists, massage therapists and exercise specialists (just to name a few) that also get great results in this regard. Depending on the cause of your back pain one thing may work better than the rest or they may all be effective.

Dr. Kenney has won multiple awards for “Best Chiropractor” and specializes in helping patients achieve their goals of better health and pain relief. For more information please visit www.NewBodyChiro.com, find us on Facebook (New Body Chiropractic & Wellness Center) or call (303) 347-9906.

Matt Kenney10 Myths about Back Pain
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9 Powerful lessons I’ve learned from recent races

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Below are some of my favorite lessons that I’ve learned while competing in various races over the past 5 years that I feel translate well to everyday life.

1. Feed the beast. People that know me know I love this phrase. Within most of us is a desire to compete and an energy that should be directed toward fulfilling a goal. I began competing in serious races in 2011 after not competing in anything for nearly 15 years. After my first race it was like a switch had been flipped and I’d been reborn. That single race helped put me on a path to enormous progress both personally and professionally.

2. Adversity will come, deal with it. Life, much like a competition can throw you curveballs. I did a race years ago that required me to be in 32 degree water for nearly 5 minutes while a snow maker blew snow in my face. I had never been cold like that, it made my brain seem to stop working. It briefly made me almost want to quit before thinking “this will pass, I can get through it.” Whenever things are thrown at me unexpectedly I think back to times like that and it relaxes me because I know I can deal with anything.

3. Stay humble. A couple years ago after a break from competing I entered my first race in Colorado, a local 5K. I went in confident with a lot of serious races under my belt but the combination of hills, altitude, a sprained ankle and getting passed by 12 year olds quickly reminded me to stay humble and not look past anything.

4. Enjoy the process. I’ve done difficult races that have pushed my limits. Even if/when I’m struggling, I always try to enjoy what I’m going through. As a result, I’ve come to believe that the times we cherish most are not when things are easy but when we are battling to find our way or reach a goal.

5. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Last year I ran World’s Toughest Mudder, a 24 hour obstacle course race. At 4:30 in the morning I was in my 18th hour of competing, on no sleep and continuing to battle the affects of hypothermia. As I went out for another lap I ran past a someone enduring all the same conditions as me but running on a prosthetic leg. That reminded me never to feel sorry for myself because someone will always have it tougher.

6. Your mind is powerful. We all give the body great credit for how strong it can be but the mind is far more powerful. I’ve run races where I’ve told myself how great I feel and sure enough I run fast. In rare instances I’ve been hard on myself during a race and inevitably it slows me down. Wherever your mind goes your body will follow so make sure it’s some place great.

7. Make it fun. Last weekend my two sons asked to run a 5K race at ages 5 and 8 respectively. I expected them to walk most of the way due to inexperience and age. Instead, they both ran the entire way and fast. I believe that was because to them it was just fun, there was no pressure or worry. I think that is a good lesson for all of us to not make everything so serious.

8. Find an excuse…to keep going. I have run races where I’ve felt amazing and others where I felt like I was pulling a train. The days when you don’t have “it” are a struggle and will be the times you badly want to quit. Instead of giving up, find an excuse to keep going –any reason at all. You will be amazed at what kind of personal growth that brings you.

9. Live in the present. I ran a race earlier this year that was supposed to be 31 miles. On mile 29 I was informed that due to a mistake the race would instead be 35 miles. I was on fumes at that point but stayed in the present and didn’t let it bother me. Remaining in the presents helps you maintain focus on your goals and avoid becoming overwhelmed.

Dr. Kenney has won multiple awards for “Best Chiropractor” and specializes in motivating and helping patients achieve their goals of better health and pain relief. For more information please visit www.NewBodyChiro.com, find us on Facebook (New Body Chiropractic & Wellness Center) or call (303) 347-9906.

Matt Kenney9 Powerful lessons I’ve learned from recent races
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