There is a reason you are supposed to change the oil in your car every 3,000 miles.
I am not saying I do, but at least that is what they tell you. Let’s be honest, I am not perfect.
However, in my physical therapy clinic, I make this reference to my patients all the time.
They come in complaining of pain, yet, structurally there is nothing wrong with their joints, tendons, or muscles. Structurally, they are completely healthy, but they are suffering from chronic lower back pain. They have tried every stretch and exercise in the book with no luck.
The reason goes deeper than the tissues and joints. It even goes deeper than movement patterns and muscle activation. The cause of their pain is inflammation of the nervous system and the compression of the nerves that run throughout your body, neural tension.
Nervous System Sludge
Your brain and spinal cord fire directions to your body through neurons. The body is filled with receptors that accept the messages, perform the actions, and then report back to the brain how the body feels.
This process is happening millions of times throughout the day without you thinking about it.
Stress, or any external stimulus that your body must combat, creates inflammation in the body. This inflammation is stored in the tissues. As the inflammation grows, it compresses the nerves that run through and around your joints. The result is called neural tension and acts like oil sludge clogging your nervous system. Compressed nerves block neurons from reaching their end receptors and your brain recognizes danger.
The brain’s response to danger, since it wants you to be safe, is to stop you from completing that action.
The easiest way to do this is send the pain signal and make that movement hurt so you do it less.
At The Low Back Fix, my online rehabilitation project, my colleague Anders Varner has taken a deeper look into neural tension, its relationship to pain, how you can lower inflammation in your body.