Topic – Muscle Pain and Tension – Soothe Your Muscle Pain Naturally
Below you will find an easy to read transcript of Dr. Matthew Phinney’s interview on the razorcast™ monthly podcast. You can click the video to listen to the podcast or simply read the easy to follow transcript below. Enjoy!
RC: Hello everyone, this is Liz Harvey coming to you from our razorcast™ studios in New York City where we are dedicated to bringing you cutting edge interviews from many of the leading industry professionals across the United States.
In today’s episode, we are speaking with Dr. Matthew Phinney. Dr. Phinney is the founder of The Chiropractor Doctors in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he is committed to improving the health and vitality of his community through chiropractic and wellness care. He is originally from Toronto Canada and he graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport Iowa. Dr. Matthew Phinney is widely considered to be one of the top chiropractors specializing in holistic and alternative health in the country and he is also a contributing member of our national network of industry professionals.
Today we are going to talk about a very important topic: Muscle Pain and Tension
RC: Hi Dr. Phinney, how are you today?
Dr. Matthew Phinney: Hello Liz, I’m doing fantastic thanks for having me on.
RC: Well thanks for being here.
Question 1: What are the most common types or areas of muscle pain and tension that you come across as a chiropractor?
RC: So what are the most common types or areas of muscle pain and tension that you come across as a chiropractor?
Dr. Matthew Phinney: Great question. The most common areas Liz, we’ll typically see a lot of tension/a lot of stress with people especially with what we do… sitting is a big cause of a lot of stress and strain in the upper back area, neck, shoulders. The other most common area that we’ll see people dealing with regularly is in the lower back and hip region. So those would be the two, typically the upper and the lower two areas. And then causes typically yeah stress, tension, overuse and injury.
Question 2: How do you determine the root causes of the tension and muscle pain?
RC: Okay and how do you determine the root causes of the tension and muscle pain?
Dr. Matthew Phinney: One of the things we do, we always want to go through a consultation. We want to see if there was some sort of injury, some sort of thing that that person’s been doing or something that they’re potentially not doing that could have led to the tension and pain.
We also want to go through an exam. So one of the things you want to do is you want to go through an orthopedic exam and what that essentially consists of is putting your body into different positions, moving it in different ways to figure out what’s working and what’s not working. And then the other thing we want to look at is we want to look at what’s going on posturally/structurally within the body because we know structure relates to function a 100% of the time. When the structure is good, function is good. When the structure is poor, function is typically poor. And with today’s industrial society, that’s one of the big things we see is posture is continuing to get worse and worse and worse. You know you just look around. I look in my front office reception and I see kids on their phones six, seven, eight years old, their chin is down to their chest and they’re just staring down playing on their cell phone all day long. That’s one of the worst things you can do posturally for your upper back and neck and it contributes to a lot of the tension and discomfort that people experience. It can cause stiffness, tightness, soreness, fatigue, irritability, headaches, that type of thing.
So those are the thing we want to do. Yeah we want to first of all go through the consult, go through the exam, take the films and see exactly what’s going on and what the root cause of that tension and pain is.
Question 3: Why are medications and pharmaceuticals not the best solution to relieving tension pain?
RC: Okay and why are medications and pharmaceuticals not the best solution to relieving tension pain?
Dr. Matthew Phinney: Well the reason why is you know when you have tension, you have pain. Essentially what that is is your body’s warning system. Your body is telling you, it’s screaming at you saying help me, help me, help me… do something, change something. And so just like if you had a smoke detector in your house and that started going off, that alarm is telling you that there’s some sort of problem. Some sort of fire or something going on. You wouldn’t go and take the batteries out of the smoke detector, throw them in the corner and go back to bed.
So that’s the same thing. When you have muscle tension, stiffness, soreness, tightness and you’re masking it with medications and pills, really what you’re doing is you’re shutting down your body’s warning system and you’re allowing yourself to go live the life and do the things that you were dong that got you there in the first place. And so that’s one of the reasons is it’s not correcting anything, it’s simply masking. It’s dulling the pain or dulling the symptoms but it doesn’t correct the problem and often times that can allow it to continue to get progressively worse to a point where it may no longer be correctable.
And then the other thing is there are a lot of side effects to medication. You know as far as heart and lungs and liver, kidney. All of that stuff can be affected by the side effects of a lot of the medications that we take. And also they contribute a lot of the addictive medications like the heavy duty opioids, a lot of those start with people taking medications for things that can be correctable such as back pain or neck pain.
Those are a couple reasons why they are not the best solutions.
Question 4: Does exercise help heal muscle pain or is it better to completely rest?
RC: Alright good and does exercise help heal muscle pain or is it better to you know completely rest?
Dr. Matthew Phinney: You know any time there’s a pain process in the body – If you’ve ever hit your hand with a hammer, what’s the first thing that you start to do is you start to shake your hand, right? The reason why you would do that is movement/exercise actually decreases the amount of pain sensation that you feel in the body. And it comes back, it’s Melzack and Wall’s basic gate theory of pain. This was developed back in 1965 and essentially what it states is that an increase in the mechano-reception or movement input into the brain will decrease the nociception or the pain sensation in the brain. And so the more movement that you get, the better you move, the better you live, exist, function in a gravity environment and that’s done through exercise. Regular exercise routine helps alleviate and decrease the amount of muscle pain that people experience.
You know one of the great stories of JFK, he was a chronic back pain sufferer. So if you’ve ever seen the old videos of him getting off and on Air Force One, one of the things they would actually bring for him was a rocking chair. And the reason why they would have him in this rocking chair is because when he was rocking back and forth, when he was moving, when he was doing a very light form of exercise, that would actually allow him to function and it would decrease his pain/the pain that he was experiencing, significantly.
So yeah exercise is great in helping decrease muscle pain, tension, stiffness, soreness.
Question 5: How do chiropractic treatments help to alleviate muscle pain and tension?
RC: Okay and how do chiropractic treatments help to alleviate muscle pain and tension?
Dr. Matthew Phinney: So one of the things we want to do obviously when we’re going to go through and we’re going to check and see if somebody qualifies for chiropractic is we’re going to first see how their bodies function. How they live, exist, function in the gravity environment. So one of the things we do is we do motion study films. Shows us not only how they sit structurally but how they move functionally. What working/what’s not, what’s moving/what’s not and then based on that, what a chiropractic adjustment actually is – is bringing that joint back to and restoring proper range of motion and function and then also restoring proper structure so that tension, that stiffness/soreness that’s on those muscles, tendons, ligaments because they’re attaching to the skeleton/the skeletal system. We want to decrease that and restore proper structure so that that tension decreases.
Question 6: What nutritional advice do you have for people that are suffering from muscle pain and tension?
RC: Okay and also what nutritional advice do you have for people that are suffering from muscle pain and tension?
Dr. Matthew Phinney: So the common thing we see a lot of times with people especially with the chronic pain sufferers, people that are constantly stiff, constantly tight, constantly sore… we want to decrease inflammation in the body. A couple things that we would recommend for that would be like a high dose, high potency omega 3 fatty acid. We have a great product it’s through a company called Nutri-West, it’s molecularly distilled. So what they do is they’re actually getting any of the metals, any of the heavy metals, out of that fish oil. So that’s one of the things you want to look for and then it has the optimal ration of EPA to DHA. So it’s 2,000 milligrams of EPA to 1,000 milligrams of DHA and that’s a good recommended daily dose. Helps decrease systemic inflammation drastically in the body, works on the same pathways that the Advil and the Ibuprofen, the anti-inflammatories do but it doesn’t have any of the disastrous side effects.
And then the other big one would be high dose D3. You know majority, probably eighty-five percent of Americans are D3 especially in the Northern states and so getting on the D3. There’s a loading dose and then a maintenance dose, again it just depends on where you’re at, that we would recommend for people that are suffering with constant stiffness, soreness, tightness.
Those are the couple things that we recommend and then decreasing the inflammatory foods. And so we have a whole nutritional workshop protocol that we actually go through and we teach people in the office, we teach them the five supplements that almost everyone should be taking, we talk about the ten foods that we actually eat in this country that are banned in other countries. We go through the how-to’s of label reading, what to look for, what to look out for so that you can actually navigate today’s nutritional landscape when you’re out in the grocery store and you’re looking to reduce chronic pain and soreness.
RC: Wow that fantastic. Thank you so much Dr. Phinney. We know you’re really busy so I just want to thank you for your time and all your help today.
Dr. Matthew Phinney: Yeah thanks so much, privilege talking to you and I look forward to speaking with you again.
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This article was reviewed and approved by Dr. Matthew Phinney.