The Source Of All Pain
Where Pain Begins And Ends!!
How to manage pain is where most health practitioners spend their time and try to master their craft. Although modern science has conquered much of what ails us, chronic pain is still somewhat of an enigma.
What is Chronic Pain?
Its any continuous or persistent intermittent pain experienced for a period of longer than 3 months. Statistics Canada shows that between 13-30% of adults have experienced chronic pain. These numbers more than double over the age of 60. Anyone of us who has experienced chronic pain, including myself, know the debilitating nature of it.
The physical pain is one thing, but that aside there is also factoring in the emotional pain. At which point you begin to see the extremely stressful nature of chronic pain. That stress is commonly passed onto other areas of our life, mostly the people, and not to mention the health care system that already spends $6 billion on chronic pain, and that number is growing well above $10 billion in the next decade.
So how do you treat chronic pain, or even better, stop it before it gets severe?
The first thing to understand about chronic pain is that it is an illusion!! Yes, you read right, its an illusion. One of the biggest pitfalls that the medical profession has been in is treating the pain. You don’t want to treat the pain. It may sound crazy, but stay with me. The only reason we experience pain is because we have a holographic representation of the body mapped out in our highly evolved brain. This holographic representation is interpreting information from the body as painful and then voila, we are in pain.
There may be an acute trauma, the nerves to the muscles, skin, tendons, and organs take that information to the brain. That information is than mapped out, more accurately a blue print is created. And then that blue print is used, so when signals go down from the brain to the body, it carries with it signals to experience pain….
Phantom Limb Pain is the perfect example. People would experience pain in a limb that doesn’t even exist. The Pain is in the Brain! Now I’m not saying its not real, I’m just saying if you want to rid of it, you need to deal with the nervous system, of which the brain is the central hub.
The first goal is to understand this perspective so that you can start to shift your focus away from the pain and establishing the importance of overall function. The focus on pain, will provide short term relief, but my promise, the pain will come back. Contemporary Medical Acupuncture, what we use in the clinic, focuses on getting to the source of the pain, the dysfunction in the body, and affecting where the pain is experienced, the nervous system.
At that point restoring function to nerves that are over active, or inhibited leading to the dysfunction in the muscles and the body. It is important to get to the source of what lead to the dysfunction and created the pain pattern. Just like when my younger brother is mad at me for not putting my plate in the dishwasher, is it really that or is there something else to diagnose. Maybe its that I didn’t play basketball with him (his favourite sport) 2 days ago and he felt like he’s not important? Or that I made him do his choirs.
Dealing with chronic pain is no different, it is multifaceted and requires a multi faceted approach to diagnosis (history, functional and orthopedic testing, nutrition, lifestyle). When you do see a therapist, regardless of the profession you want to see if they are looking just for the pain, or are they looking for where function has been lost, and restoring function. Our bodies have a great capacity to perform, and restoring function above all else provides the opportunity for the body its capacity to perform. So next time you deal with that long term back pain, or knee pain, be curious about where the actual dysfunction is, and realize that the pain is the brain!
- Massage Therapy
- Personal Training
- Boot camp
The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease ~ Thomas Edison