We’re led to believe that experiencing pain is a dangerous phenomenon and should be suppressed by any number of medication currently on the market. If you’ve got a headache take a headache pill, joint ache take a pill or rub pain relieving cream into the area etc.
But what is the pain trying to tell us?
Pain is the way the body can communicate injury, infection and dysfunction to the conscious part of the brain. Is this something you really want to ignore? Unfortunately turning down the pain doesn’t address its cause but purely the symptoms. Its like disabling the fuel warning light in your car. It doesn’t address the fact you’re nearly out of petrol.
It’s therefore fair to say that PAIN IS NOT THE PROBLEM. It’s just an alert telling us there’s more going on.
But how accurate is pain as an indicator?
Although essential for our survival pain isn’t particularly good at telling us what the problem is, in fact at times it can be quite misleading. For example we have a huge amount of pain receptors in our mouth and lips. Biting your tongue can be extremely painful for a reasonably small amount of damage done while other people experience minimal pain after rolling their ankle which can cause significant damage to the ligaments.
With spinal dysfunction pain can also be quite misleading. Our spines are an incredibly strong, flexible structure which is comprised of a number of extremely versatile tissues. It is very difficult to damage a healthy functioning spine. Pain arising from the spine is often the last part of a bigger picture of dysfunction to arrive. Postural issues, prolonged sitting, incorrect lifting, previous injury etc can grumble in the background slowly disrupting these strong tissues causing us minimal to no pain. In fact slight stiffness might be our only conscious indicator. And then one morning we bend to put our shoes on, pick something up, twist awkwardly and ouch PAIN! When asked what caused the pain we attribute the putting on of our shoes when in fact it’s been building momentum over a long period, like a car rolling down a hill with no brakes. The putting on of the shoes was the final straw.
What separates chiropractic from other health modalities is we address the underlying cause of your problem and although we are compassionate about the pain you’re experiencing we know there’s more going on. In fact getting rid of your pain can often be the easy part, correcting its cause is where we stand head and shoulders above other practitioners.
As mentioned earlier pain is the last thing to show itself with musculoskeletal conditions and is the first to go. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean the problem has gone and unless the underlying dysfunction is addressed a relapsing cycle of painful spells is likely to occur with no real progress being reached. You’ll be treading water. That’s not how we, as Chiropractors, work.
The Pain Game is a multi billion dollar industry. Why? Because pain will always comes back if you don’t address its cause and masking pain may lead to further injury and the cycle starts all over again.
What’s your strategy to tackle pain? But more importantly what’s your strategy to address the cause?