10.18.2018 / Uncategorized

What your pain is telling you

Pain matters. No one wants to be in pain.


But people don’t come to me to numb their pain. After all, there are plenty of ways to achieve that and they’re cheaper and easier than seeing a chiropractor.


Most people who come to me for treatment complain about what they can’t do because of the pain. They can’t play tennis, of lift their children. They have had to give something up.


Pain is an alert system. It tells us that something is wrong. People who can’t feel pain, a very dangerous condition known as congenital analgesia, have to be very careful every single day. If their tonsils become inflamed, or they bite their tongue or break their arm, they may not have any way of knowing. Imagine the damage you could do to yourself if you didn’t have the fire alarm that pain provides.


Chronic pain is telling you that a whole system in your body isn’t working right. A healthy person should not have, for example, pain in their lower back, or poor quality sleep or repeated bouts of bronchitis.


In the American healthcare system, you take drugs to make the pain go away. That’s fine, except it hasn’t addressed the fundamental problem. It’s not pain per se.


A good chiropractor would examine your back, neck and pelvis. Often the problem is some issue with your spine. A misaligned spine puts pressure on nerves, most of which exit the spinal cord and travel out through the spine into the rest of the body. If a nerve is being impinged it can reduce the function of whatever bodily system it serves.


You learned this in first grade. You sang that “the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone; the thigh bone’s connected to the hip bone…” You understood then that we’re not a series of distinct bodily structures but one, integrated physical unit.


What happens when you let the pain go? It’s very bad. Your body adapts. It can’t sound the alarm constantly, so it resets. Where once the threshold for pain was X amount of damage, that threshold gets raised.


What that means for you is that the pain goes away. You think the problem must be gone because there is no pain, when in reality, your body’s pain setting has been raised. Over time, it gets higher and higher to the point that the only time you’re feeling pain is when you’re already in dire straits.


The truth is, we need to listen to our pain and fix whatever is wrong as soon as possible. It’s not the pain that is wrong; it’s something else, and you won’t get better, permanently better, until you find the cause of the problem.