The “Finances” of the Body

I have used this analogy before with patients, and I was reminded of it not too long ago. It pertains to why, at times, it seems that injuries “come out of nowhere”. For example, why is it that one day a person can sit at a desk, or lift a box, and the next day they can do the exact same thing and it cause an injury?

How about one day you are active and healthy. Then a week later, for no apparent reason, you wake up with neck pain, or shoulder pain, or back pain. Why? We would be fooling ourselves if we claimed to always have the right answer, but one theory is what I refer to as the Bank account analogy.

THE ANALOGY

Here is the analogy: our bodies are like a bank account. It starts out with a certain amount that is your initial deposit. This doesn’t mean that you start off with a “full, healthy” amount. As we know, some of us are born with certain conditions, genetic predispositions, and other health injuries that provide an uphill battle to health (just like not everyone has the same amount starting in their bank account).

Just like any bank account, you can get behind and have periods where you maintain less in it than you would like. Maybe you live paycheck to paycheck. And that means sometimes, you go over! When the bank account is doing well, that represents health. When the back account is overdrawn or empty, that represents injury or unhealthiness.

BACK TO THE QUESTION: WHY AN INJURY MIGHT SEEM TO HAPPEN OUT OF NOWHERE

Over our lives, we have little injuries, illnesses, poor health choices, etc. Often, we recover from those just fine, and we go on with our lives. However, just because the pain went away, or our stiffness improved, doesn’t mean your body didn’t compensate in some way. Our bodies are really good at that. At some point, the body might reach a point in which it cannot compensate any longer. This can be an instance in which we have an injury that seems like it came out of no where. The bank account of your body was lower than ideal, and it did not take much to overdraw! I mean, you went to bed fine, and you woke up with pain! You injured yourself sleeping! (Who can relate to that?) You likely did nothing different that particular night, but you still woke up with pain!

MORAL OF THE STORY

Just like with a real bank account, we need to make choices to “make deposits” into our health. When there is an injury, make choices to help it to heal the best it can. That may look like making choices to avoid the things that are causing injury, or having your injury treated by someone that can help you to move better and feel better, or just making choices to improve your health and the strength of your body’s immune system, even if there is no current injury.

When there is an injury, pain, stiffness, weakness, etc (and this is inevitable if you are living life), understand that you are still able to have control over how your body heals, and how your body responds long term!