Finding the Root Causes of Chronic Back and Neck Pain
by Shivam Ray
Chronic back and neck pain have become so common, many people have come to just accept it and live with it as a normal part of life. Of course, there may be many root causes from person to person, but it is important to distinguish when we’re addressing the symptoms and when we’re addressing the root cause. Not addressing the root cause leads to chronic pain, and what started out as a minor discomfort eventually turns into a chronic issue and major mobility restrictions. The fascia and subconscious mind are frequently overlooked as the source of the issue.
There’s a special kind of connective tissue that interweaves through every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein, as well as, all of our internal organs, called the fascia. When pulled, injured, tugged or stretched in one part of the body, it ripples through to cause pain and discomfort in another part. Picture it as pulling a thread on part of a sweater and watching a totally different part of the sweater bunch up and twist out of shape. This can cause persistent pain for years and years. Physical injury, trauma, inflammatory responses, surgical procedures, bad posture, and even physical, mental and emotional stress can cause damage to the fascia.
By locating the damaged fascia and allowing it to correct itself the pressure is released and the pain is relieved once and for all. If there’s no more root cause, there’s no more symptoms. Working with a professional trained in rehabilitating the fascia is key.
Another hidden and much more elusive cause that can be equally crippling is the psoas muscle. Unlike other muscles that are easy to massage, stretch, strengthen and relax, the psoas is located in the interior of our lower torso and runs from the lower lumbar region down into our hips and upper thighs. Static stretching has little to no lasting effect on the level of tension.
This is because the root-cause of a tight psoas muscle is not the muscle itself, but our mental and emotional state. The resting level of tension is controlled by the nervous system and subconscious mind. This is a natural response from our nervous system to constant or repetitive mental and emotional stress, emotional trauma, worry and fear—even work and day-to-day life stresses cause.
Over time, the stress response becomes the default mode for the psoas, so it constantly stays locked up and tight. The psoas muscle group is so strong it can actually start to pull discs in the spinal cord out of alignment over time, particularly in the lumbar region, often resulting in a slipped or herniated disc and sciatica.
We must reset the nervous system to realize it no longer needs to stay in a constant state of fear and stress, and once that happens, the default resting level of muscle tension returns where it should be, to a state of comfort and relaxation. The key is to accomplish this reset at the subconscious level, not just the conscious level.
The subconscious comprises 95 percent of the mind, with responsibility for processing, storing, and releasing emotional and mental stress or trauma. There are self-help tools for doing deeper subconscious and emotional clearing, but ideally working with an expert is key for lasting results and preventing further damage. A clinical hypnotherapist with training in medical applications can help address these issues with the understanding of how the subconscious mind works and how the body stores emotions and trauma.
Shivam Ray, CMS-CHT, FIBH is a hypnotherapist and owner of Lotus Genesis Wellness Center, located at 7000 JFK Blvd. E., in the Galaxy Mall, Ste. M-15, in Guttenberg. For more information, call 201-210-4764 or visit LotusGenesis.com.