Bottom Line: Eat some fruit; your diet is too acidic.
Have you ever had your neck stiffen up so that it was extremely painful just to turn your head? A doctor would call this a “sub-clinical” condition because it is not caused by a disease. Sub-clinical conditions also do not get much research because they are not considered serious. Of course, if you cannot turn your head far enough to see where you are going when backing your car out of a parking space, it could become very serious indeed for somebody walking behind you.
Sub-clinical conditions are a hobby of mine. When you have something as complicated as the human body, and no research being done on a condition, you have a good mystery to solve.
One day in February 2008, I woke up with intense pain in my upper back, between my shoulder blades. It was incredibly intense; like I had been stabbed. I literally almost could not get out of bed. I eventually staggered over to my computer and started researching. Once I made the “too acidic diet” conclusion, I ate a handful of Walgreens brand antacid tablets, which are a Tums knock-off. (If you don’t have Walgreens or Tums in your country, any calcium-carbonate antacid would work fine.) I felt the difference almost immediately. I was up and shadow-boxing in just a few minutes. It felt like a miracle. I used the antacid because everything I had in the house was acidic, which is how I got into this condition in the first place, of course.
There are many reasons to “eat your greens”, but probably the most over-looked one is that they help you maintain your acid/alkaline balance. Staying in balance is crucial to health and probably why the folk remedy of using fresh fruit to cure the cold, flu, etc. works so well. The slogan, “An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away” probably has its roots in the fact that apples are alkaline.
While researching this, I found many web sites claiming that you can incur this sort of pain by “sleeping wrong.” I think that is crazy. The very idea of “sleeping injuries” seems ridiculous to me. Yes, you can sleep on your arm and cut off the circulation, but do we really need to work on our sleeping skills to avoid injury in this “dangerous” activity? I don’t think so. Rather, I think that while you are sleeping, you are not eating anything that your body can use to reduce acidity, so that is a prime time for your muscles to stiffen up. I have also had this pain strike me during the day, so I’m certain that it has nothing to do with sleep itself.
I am no biochemist, but it appears that your body can use calcium to reduce the acidity of your blood. By using up all your calcium, you develop an electrolyte deficiency. Your nervous system uses sodium, potassium, and calcium to propagate signals along your nerves. So, what I think causes the pain is nerves going haywire due to lack of calcium. That would explain how eating something alkaline (especially calcium-carbonate) can provide instant relief: your muscles are not really damaged at all; they are only malfunctioning because your nervous system is not sending them the right signals. So, you don’t need any time to heal.
The first thing I did after making this discovery was to eat a lot more fruit. I had some juice with every meal, and ate a couple of pieces of fresh fruit each day. It worked, but my weight started to go up from all those extra carbohydrates. Then I noticed that lemons were at the top of the alkaline-foods list, so I ditched the juice and started putting lemon juice in my drinks. It worked beautifully.
While I was googling around researching this, I found several good clues, but nobody who had put them all together as I have done here. It is possible that somebody wrote this in a health book somewhere, but if Google doesn’t know about it, does it really exist? Until further notice, I am claiming to be the originator of this miracle cure.
Here is a web page you can use to check how acidic your diet is. Also, see my “Acidic & Alkaline Foods” page.
If you think you can continue eating your acidic diet and balance it out with a lot of antacid, you are mistaken. The calcium in the antacid will cause a mineral imbalance. For example, it might induce a zinc deficiency and cause persistent acne. It’s just not a good idea. Only use antacid in an emergency.
This, of course, is not professional medical advice. If your pain persists, you need to see your doctor since it could be something serious like tetany.