Why does my spine get out of alignment?

Why do I get out of alignment?

Patients ask me this all the time. I too, as a walking, breathing, living -life -large human, find myself asking this question too.

Why is my neck tight? What is that pulling sensation in my arm? Why is my leg tight? Why do I have this headache?

You get the picture.

First, I think it’s awesome to ask this question. Just asking the question can help us find the solution.

What I have found over my 15 years in practice that the reason we get out of alignment boils down to STRESS.

We typically think of stress as being a mental thing, right..”I’m so stressed out.” “ I have so much stress in my life.” “You’re so stressed out.”

But stress can be Physical and Chemical as well.

Basically it comes down to physical, chemical and emotional (mental stress). Most of us have some combination of all 3 stressors and the interesting thing is that they all follow the exact same pattern in our body, they all trigger the same physiological stress response.

Examples of physical stressors are:  traumas such as falls, fractures, car accidents, sports injuries, repetitive traumas like poor posture when we move, stand, and/or sit.

Examples of chemical stressors are: exposure to environmental toxins, allergens, toxins in our diet that contribute to inflammation in the body such as hydrogenated fats, high fructose corn syrup, alcohol, sugar, food dyes.

Examples of mental stressors are: well life..we all deal with varying degrees of mental stress on a day to day basis and sometimes we have higher periods (seasons) of mental stress based on what’s going on with us, family, friends, finances, health, death etc..

While it’s impossible to say that we, as modern humans, can totally eliminate stress we can identify what is causing us stress and make modifications to reduce it. Chiropractic care will give you the additional benefit of improving the way your body handles and processes stress..because let’s face it, there is always going to be some amount of stress existing at all times.

Here are some examples of stressors and some solutions:

For example, if you have a desk job and sitting is causing you repetitive physical stress then let’s work on getting you a standing work station.

If you like drinking soda then let’s work on getting you switched over to sparkling water with lemon oil added to it.

If you like alcohol then let’s work on figuring out why you like it and how we can reduce the need for it.

Mental stress is actually the hardest one, in my opinion, to change. This requires us to take a really good look at our thought patterns and make a conscious choice to change them. For example if you constantly say to yourself “I’m so stressed and overwhelmed,” then of course you will be stressed and overwhelmed.

You can change the thought to “I’m excited about…..xyz.” or “I take control of my day and can move things around so I have more space in my day.” or “I am worthy of feeling relaxed and I choose to be a calm person.”

One of my favorite quotes is:

Busy is a choice.

Stress is a choice.

Joy is a choice.

Choose wisely.

Just beginning to realize that we often time choose  stress because it is our familiar pattern (sadly enough) is the first step. When I first heard this I thought, wow! I actually am choosing stress. Why would I do that to myself? The reason is that it’s familiar and since we are creatures of habit, our brains really like hanging out in that comfort zone because it’s familiar even if it’s not serving us well.

When I start to feel these stressed out feelings I ask myself, why am I stressed? Have I not been taking good care of myself? Or “there’s that familiar stressed out feeling…funny it’s popping up again.” or taking a big fat deep breath and saying to myself…I CHOOSE JOY. In this moment, I am making a choice and I choose JOY. What can I think about or do right now to bring me JOY…

and for me that usually mean a nice long hike in the woods alone.

with joy and gratitude,


PS…remember that none of this is easy and we all are struggling with stress….be kind to yourself…and just start to notice…pay attention..and wonderful shifts will start to happen..you owe it to yourself to live your best life!