The renowned American writer, John Gregory Dunne died in 2003 of a sudden heart attack minutes after he and his wife, Joan Didion visited their dying daughter in the ICU.
In her best-selling memoir following his death, The Year of Magical Thinking, Didion says, “research to date has shown that, like many other stressors, grief frequently leads to changes in the endocrine, immune, autonomic nervous, and cardiovascular systems.”
When someone feels intense emotions, the body’s stress response kicks in. “Broken-heart syndrome” is a cardiac disorder with psychogenic dimensions that mimics a heart attack. But in this condition, unlike the typical heart attack, the coronary arteries are open.
Back pain is one of the top reasons why people visit a physician or chiropractor. It’s also the number one pain ailment in the U.S. About 80 percent of Americans suffer back pain at one time or another. Over five million Americans suffer chronic, long-term back pain.
Thirty percent of people will have a recurrence of back pain in six months. Forty percent will have a recurrence in one year. Clearly, back pain is a major health malady that may require physical therapy, chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture, massage therapy, self-care and sometimes even medications, neuro or orthopedic surgery.
Back pain can be acute (sudden onset) or chronic (lasting over three months). All patients suffering from severe back pain should have a thorough examination by a qualified physician. (more…)