3 Components to Every Neck and Back Injury
Nobody’s injury is the same. There are 3 different components to every injury. Any one of these components can and will determine if a patient is in pain.
Structure: Are the structures in your body in good condition? Meaning, are your joints and cartilage healthy or do they have some wear and tear. Your activity and genetics over the last few decades is what determines this. For example, if you have a herniated disc, the size and acuteness will be part of the overall pain you experience. When you have a herniation you are not structurally healthy. That being said, the following 2 components become extremely important in the future health of your body and ultimately the pain you will continue to experience.
Function: How bad is your problem getting beat up, day in and day out? Your range of motion or function is a HUGE predictor of how long your body and structures will last. If you can touch the floor and have 100% range of motion in your neck you can get away with a worse problem and not have pain because your function is really good.
Load: How much stress are you putting on the whole system? If you are not a heavy weight trainer, exerciser, you don’t have a very demanding job, and you have really good function, you can have a bad disc injury and not be in very much pain. Similarly if you have healthy function, healthy structure, and you workout a TON, it most definitely can be enough to cause pain. The good news is, in this situation, you only need to pull back a little on the workouts and you will feel a WHOLE lot better.
Majority of the time one of these components alone is not enough to keep you in pain. But, for instance if you have a bad enough injury and it’s the structure that is really bad (bad disc injury, scoliosis, damage cartilage) then only one component is necessary to keep you in pain. When this happens, we start to think about surgical intervention.
Having bad function alone will not always lead to increased pain. But, if you have bad function long enough, it’s only a matter of time before your load will be too high and you will start to break down structurally. We see this all the time with non-contact injuries in sports. A player trains and plays and doesn’t take care of the small things and next thing you know they are lying on the ground wondering what the hell just happened. This is the main focus of the treatments in our office, ensuring your structure stays healthy for years to come.
If your doctor only focuses on one part of this entire system, they are missing the complete picture. They won’t be able to come up with a solution to your injury, and they won’t be able to keep you healthy.
This is why patients are still in pain after months of treatment and are lead to believe that nobody can solve their problem.
Your doctor needs to be aware of all 3 of these components in order to be able to best help you. This is exactly what Integrative Diagnosis doctors, like myself, are trained in. It’s the understanding and putting all 3 components in order of priority to determine what’s best for you as our patient. This is what makes us different.
This is what it takes to be able to understand your problem entirely. As a patient of ours, you can rest assured you are in good hands. We are making decisions and giving advice keeping the best interest of your future health in mind.
Dr. Brian A. Zelasko
Soft Tissue Specialist
Board Certified Doctor of Chiropractic
Zelasko Soft Tissue & Spine
3075 Southwestern Blvd., STE 200
Orchard Park, NY 14127