Are your wheels aligned?
I heard the coolest analogy listening to Robb Wolf's podcast the other day. A guy had written in asking a question about his workouts. He asked if he should keep squatting heavy even though he had a nagging hip injury. After dissecting the question, they ended explaining that if you keep driving your car with your wheels misaligned, the vehicle will wear out faster. All I could think was, THIS IS CHIROPRACTIC.
I think there are many ways we can compare how we take care of our vehicles to how we take care of our bodies. First off, if the wheel is misaligned, the whole vehicle must compensate and will wear out faster. Each vehicle will wear at a different rate, but it can be agreed that it will wear out. The same goes for your body. Is one hip moving better than the other? How about your shoulders? Do you use one side over and over and over and expect both sides to wear the same? If the bones of your spine are not aligned or moving well, you will compensate and wear out faster.
And how do you fuel your vehicle? With diesel? Do you put antifreeze in the gas tank? Of course not! You choose the fuel it was intended to utilize, knowing that it will run best. The same goes for us! The higher and more appropriate fuel you fill with, the better you will run. Do you let your vehicle run out of gas before you fill it? Compare this to your self care. Do you only look for a gas station once you are officially out of gas? Or do you fill up to ensure you're good to go for a while? Do you bring your vehicle in for maintenance or check ups? Does your auto insurance pay for it or do you pay out of pocket? Do you have to do maintenance? Nope, not at all. But, it's easier to pay for the maintenance(my mechanic says every 6 months or 8000 kms) then to wait until it completely breaks down to fix it. And you still pay auto insurance and utilize it for emergency situations. Think of your health insurance the same way. Only, luckily, some of us have insurance we can use for maintenance or preventative care. What about that check engine light? If it comes on, do you cover it with tape and hope it goes away? Think of your check engine light as pain and pain relievers as tape. Do they relieve your pain? Probably. Do they fix the problem? Doubtful. Pain is an indicator that it's time to get to the mechanic to fix the root problem. And sooner the better. Not everyone will choose to take good care of their vehicles, just like not everyone will choose to take good care of their bodies. That's totally your choice. But, to keep it running it's best, you will do the maintenance like regular washes, filling with the appropriate fuel and bringing it to the mechanic on a regular basis. Think of eating well and exercising as your daily maintenance and your chiropractor as your mechanic. We're keeping your spine aligned and moving well to slow down wear and tear and to keep you on the road for longer.