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‘Pain is not the only problem’: Sympathetically Amplified Lifestyle

Sympathetic lifestyle (Ʃ) is an important contributor to LBP; therefore, a discussion to address patient expectations should be a top priority on the first encounter, and can be addressed along with the Report of Findings (ROF.) The sympathetically amplified lifestyle describes a frustrated patient struggling to secure peace and sanity. When sympathetic amplification occurs alongside LBP, patient communication and treatment are nearly impossible. There are three profiles that occur clinically: (1) the patient’s usual lifestyle already involves sympathetic amplification, (2) the occurrence of LBP stems sympathetic amplification, (3) unresolved LBP due to clinical insufficiency stems sympathetic amplification. In every case, it is the responsibility of the clinician to be sensitive enough to address sympathetic amplification.

Sympathetic amplification (ƩA) produces sub-clinical sympatheticotonia, an emergency-state biologically heightened sense of self-preservation. This heightened state may be due to unresolved or unexpected life events, troubling situations, financial crisis, social expectations, lost work or respect, or any other self-important credentials that seem to be lost, including un-resolved LBP.

ƩA increases sensory uptake but not processing; sensory points become down-regulated (over-sensitive) and hyperpolarized nerve cells inundate the cortex with sense-signaling. The overburdened sense-self becomes tonified exemplifying sympatheticotonia, a condition where contract-relax muscle pairings become contract-contract pairings; usually harmonious muscle groups become competitive. The result of ƩA is a human experience of tension, muscle tightness, in-flexibility, and pain without movement.

ƩA occurs with a heightened sense of survival that can evolve from excessive/over-reaching lifestyle choices, financial demands, social expectations, or loss of work (wages.) Emergency-state decisions can require instant solutions brought about by over-reacting, and expectations of instant solutions of desperation. LBP can occur because of ƩA, or cause it. ƩA is commonplace with over-spending/financial over-reaching, and ‘impressive spending.’

ƩA is associated with dis-satisfaction with job, relationships, and marriage. The sense-self is challenged with a reduced importance or invisibility; a sense of not being heard contributes to LBP symptoms. When ƩA occurs, addiction and self-soothing follows. This includes ‘comfort-foods’ (that chemically contribute to systemic inflammation and disease), series stimulation (moment-to-moment need for arousal), and comfort seeking (food, sex, alcohol, drugs, attention, self-importance/beauty.) ƩA becomes the existence of the rat: food and sex.

In the human realm, ƩA coincides with sleep deprivation, un-restful sleep, un-satisfying sleep. Without regenerating sleep, there is morning confusion and disorientation. The work-day is challenged by brain-fog, and over-thinking exhaustion… headache, depression, forgetfulness, anxiety, and irritation. Low back pain becomes the daily enemy. Relaxation and prospect are lost. The workplace and social platforms become argumentative and defensive… a sense of physical drain and weakness prevail. Without LBP and ƩA resolution, numbness and a feeling of being overwhelmed lead to spontaneous uncontrollable crying and emotional outbursts.

ƩA is responsible for spontaneous onset illness, delayed recovery from illness, and disease prevention steps being over-looked. LBP persists. Crampy gut, slow bowel, gut distension, diarrhea, and over-eating is common with ƩA. Commonly present is hypertension, rapid shallow heart rate (<Q), heavy-heart, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Cardio-training experiences are unsatisfying leading to further ƩA.

When the clinician does not address ƩA as a major contributor to LBP, patients lose trust in the medical care system that relies primarily on pictures and pencil erasers to define a LBP diagnosis. Patient’s values and expectations are vast and personal, and this is why ‘pain is not the only problem.’

LBP Blog General information

Series Description

These articles intend to (1) re-evaluate the prevailing clinical practices thought to manage low back ‘pain’, (2) submit and debate novel low back ‘pain’ contributors and mechanisms, (3) meet patient expectations & satisfaction and clinically meaningful results, (4) recommend a conservative non-surgical course of care to over-ride ‘pain’ instantly, and (5) restore ADLs and patient confidence on the first visit at low cost. This article has a companion podcast.

Dr. Dean Bio

Forester Dean is a chiropractic and physiotherapy sports medicine doctor practicing in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Dean is a lifetime athlete, and currently teaches tennis, track, boxing, yoga. The Core X System™ Campus flagship location was opened by Dr. Dean in 2020.

© Copyright 2021 SpineSync, Forester Dean, DC
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