Chiropractic medicine was founded in the 1800’s by D.D. Palmer and expanded further by his son BJ Palmer in the early 20th century. Since its creation, chiropractic medicine has been controversial. However, many individuals have shouted praises and kudos about their experience and how it has changed their lives.
Elev8.com recently sat down with Dr. Arthur L. Matthews to discuss a syndrome he coined called C.A.O.S. (Corporate America Office Syndrome). The Jackson State University and Parker College scholar coined this term based on a recurrence he saw in many of his patients and other visiting individuals that had similar symptoms.
Elev8: What is CAOS?
Dr. Matthews: C.A.O.S. is a repetitive stress injury that anyone who overloads their upper body due to home and or work responsibilities can get. C.A.O.S. is a syndrome that has very specific and uniform signs and symptoms. It is very unique to Corporate America however, certainly not limited to the corporate setting. What ties this unique syndrome to the corporate world is the direct association with improper office ergonomic or the incorrect position(s) of the workplace setting.
Elev8: What are some common signs and symptoms associated with C.A.O.S.?
Dr. Matthews: Some common signs I’ve seen patients come in with are : 1) Pain between the shoulder blades or the sensation of pain directly beneath the shoulder blade(s). 2) Neck pain in the mid-neck or base of the neck with some associated headaches and 3) The top of their shoulders are tight, painful or sore.
Once they tell me their ailments, I immediately ask them a series of questions that pertain to the positioning of various items in and around their daily environments like their work place and/0r stations. I also inquire about their feet positioning while working on their computers and height of their desks, etc. This allows me to access what’s going on and how I can assist them during their visit. Almost all cases of C.A.O.S. have these three distinct side effects. All of which can vary in intensity with different individuals.
Elev8: How can we prevent this happening?
Dr. Matthews: First, I want to let people know you don’t have to work in an office setting to experience the C.A.O.S. syndrome. New mothers, carpenters, electricians, police officers, teachers and postal workers can also be susceptible to C.A.O.S.
For people working in an office setting, you can begin by having furniture that is ergonomic friendly. Making sure your computer and other equipment is positioned correctly is very helpful and better for you. Lastly, being conscious of your posture while typing on the computer and doing other duties is very important.
We’re seeing a rise in low back and hip pain from sitting for hours during the work day. Sitting for prolonged periods of time, the low back endurance muscles that provide strength for long periods of sitting or standing just begin to fatigue. Now, when your muscles get too tired, they set us up for injury, because they no longer provide support.
Elev8: Anything else you’d like to let our readers know?
Dr. Matthews: Definitely. Every person with a spine should have a chiropractor. Your spine is an area we just don’t pay attention to unless it begins to hurt. Most of the time, we endure the pain because it’s minimal, we can tolerate it, or we just don’t have time to stop and pay attention to it. As the pain get worse or begins to move, we consider seeking help. Our spine is important to function and allows us to do everything on a daily basis. Without the spine there is no structure to the human body. Your spine surrounds and protects the most critical aspect of your body and the nervous system.
With the spine being so flexible and accommodating for example the contortions of a gymnast or the flexibility of a yoga instructor and student, we know it’s an important structure. The problem is we wait until we are in a crisis situation to take good care of our spine. We see the dentist to take care of our teeth in regular intervals and the barber/beautician to maintain our hair and appearance. However, most Americans don’t have someone caring for their spine.
Elev8: Thank you Dr. Matthews for your time.