How many times have you heard someone say, “I store my stress in my shoulders.” What does that actually mean? When our bodies are overwhelmed by stress (mental, chemical, and physical), their structure and function are compromised. These compromises are referred to as compensations. Think of a 3-gallon bucket. If we fill it up with water, it will do its function and hold the water. But let’s say the bucket had been dropped a few times, maybe buried under stuff, and over time the sides of the bucket weakened and in the weakest spot it developed a hole. When we go to fill the bucket up with water again, where does the water go? It will empty out onto the floor instead of performing its function at 100%.
Stress, like the water in the example above, loves to take the path of least resistance. Those paths tend to lead to common areas of spinal instabilities like the lower neck/shoulders area and low back. If we do not maintain a healthy spinal structure and neurological adaptability, we are going to keep repeating these compensation patterns. These “stress spots” are points of weakness but not necessarily the cause of the overall instability. This is why it is so important to get your spine properly maintained and checked regularly.