Chronic pain won’t go away?

by Peter on May 6, 2010

In my practice the biggest complaint of any new patient is “Chronic Pain”. Pain in the lower back, pain in the shoulder, pain in the neck, that everyday normal pain. Yet we should not be experiencing that “normal everyday pain” as I remember the TV commercial telling us – “Excedrin – for that normal everyday headache”.

So what can we do about it? This is  difficult question, as countless articles, research, therapies and exercises are all devoted to helping a patient who is experiencing chronic pain. When our bodies experience pain, it is for a reason. A general reaction to protect us from harm. It follows 3 distinct phases: immediate, acute and chronic. Immediate pain (“nociception”) is the physiologic prompt response to tissue threat or damage. Persistent nociception however is not a common cause of chronic pain.

Neuropathic pain is a term that has been applied to pain rising and persisting for an indefinite period of time in the absence of detectable injury or inflammation. The nerves that transmit the pain signal to our spinal cord and brain (dorsal horn neurons) begin to over sensitize our central nervous system. How exactly this occurs is still somewhat theorized however we do know that these changes cause exaggerated perception of pain, and can effect other segments of the spine, thus we experience pain elsewhere in our body that was never injured in the first place.

Frustrating! It’s been thought that if we interrupt the pain loop, we can begin to move out of chronic pain. Talk with your Doctor. Some pain inhibitors may be very useful in the short term. Along with a round of drugs, acupuncture or IMS (Inter Muscular Stimulation) can also assist in interrupting the pain cycle. Making sure your body is in alignment and gait patterns are reestablished is also a must, as chronic pain can easily change the way we stand, sit and move. A qualified Neuromuscular Therapist will walk you through the steps you need to begin the journey back from chronic pain.

If you have and comment or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

In Health,

Peter Roach, RMT, CNMT, Laser Therapist

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