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Chiropractic solutions for pain problems

Pain is NOT the Problem


Low Back Pain effects on mood
Pain can cause depression

It’s a powerful word that creates a strong emotional response and stirs up all sorts of feelings. From sadness to anger and even depression, pain has a significant impact on our mental state of mind. Some of your may be thinking about non-physical pain and saying to yourself, “well of course, I would expect emotional pain to do that.” But if you’ve ever suffered from physical pain, you know that physical pain actually has an effect on our psyche as well. How you view pain is important to discovering a pain solution. This is the next topic in our blog series The End of Low Back Pain. You can subscribe to updates on this series Here

Let’s try an exercise together.

I want you to think back to the last time you experienced physical pain. If you’re like most people, you probably remember some event that caused it. Maybe it was a paper cut, a sprained ankle, or a skinned knee. How did it make you feel? Did you blame the paper, look back at the curb with your eyebrows down in anger, or get mad at the person who by complete accident made you fall on your knee? Our brains create instant anger, blame, and frustration when we are hurt. We literally find ourselves cursing out a piece of paper because for some reason it’s the paper’s fault that my finger is cut!

The point I’m trying to illustrate is that from the instant of experiencing pain we are programmed to believe that this is a bad thing and something is a fault for it.

Most people believe that low back pain operates the same way. We are conditioned to believe that pain in general is caused by some isolated event. My patients come in all the time and tell me they’ve “thrown out” their backs. Since the pain happened rather suddenly, they imagine that if they can just get rid of the pain, they’ll get rid of the problem. However, low back pain and it’s causes are MUCH more complicated than a paper cut.

Back pain is just a SYMPTOM that can be caused by many different things.

To make matters more difficult for low back pain sufferers, all low back pain is NOT created equally. Two people can feel the exact same type of low back pain for two entirely different reasons. Now if these two people with the same type of low back pain being caused by very different reasons get the SAME treatment what’s the likelihood that BOTH will get relief? Very slim, right? Because treatment does not depend on the symptom, it depends on the CAUSE. Successful treatment hinges on WHY the pain exists in the first place.

Let me make this very simple

Chiropractic care for pain
When our pet’s feel pain, we take action…

Let’s say you have a pet. And that pet is a dog. Fill in the blank if you have a pet of your own, this analogy will still work well. One night that dog comes home from being outside whining, and yelping, and making all kinds of racket. You KNOW he’s in pain, but you don’t know why. But you can tell, the pain the dog is feeling is giving him the urge to make someone aware there is a problem. Pain is a SIGN that something is wrong.

Now you become more attentive to the dog as you’re worried about your pet. You watch closely and notice he’s limping, which is a good sign that the pain is probably in his leg somewhere. But you still don’t know what’s causing it. What do you need to do to find out what’s causing the pain? You need to do some investigating.

So you remember what you learned in 5th grade health class and you start playing doctor in your home. Maybe you check to see if there is any blood first. Nope, nothing there, thank God. Next, maybe you check to see if it looks swollen. So far so good. Maybe you’re brave enough to try and move the leg and see if it’s broken, strained, or sprained. You can’t figure it out so you end up calling your veterinarian. Your vet tells you, “Bring him in and we’ll do an exam to figure out what happened.” Sounds like a logical progression right?

What you would NOT do is…

You would not, in most cases, give the dog a pain reliever or a massage and then forget about it. Even if your dog felt better the next day, if you’re a good a loving pet owner you would still want to be sure his leg was all right. It seems obvious.

Unfortunately, you might not treat yourself with the same care.

From working with thousands of patients over the years, and developing the very successful Signature Low Back Pain Program, my experience is that we focus too much on pain. As patients, all you want to do is get out of pain. As providers, many traditional low back pain treatments focus primarily, if not exclusively, on just getting rid of the pain. In the process, both the patient and the providers fail to identify the underlying cause of that pain.

Of course, it’s great to have pain alleviated, or at least diminished. This pain has been effecting your entire life from how well you perform at work to your patience with your children. But easing the pain without solving the problem means one thing… the pain comes back. That’s why statistics show that too many people suffer from chronic low back pain. Without fixing the CAUSE, people frequently experience persistent recurring low back pain. Here’s the deal…

Pain Is a Message…So Listen!

Remember, pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. It’s the dog inside of you barking and yelling trying to get your attention. While you’d never in a million years put your dog in the other room because you’re annoyed by his whining. You wouldn’t even consider just giving the dog some medications to stop his annoying cry. These may not be the technical term doctors use, but it’s a really accurate analogy! We need to stop shutting off the pain and start addressing why it’s there in the first place.

Through pain, your body is sending a message that something is wrong and it needs to be addressed. When the message is silenced, when you put the dog in the other room, when you take the batteries out of your fire alarm, when you only focus on turning off the pain, the underlying problem is ignored. The communication has failed. Consequently, your body starts to “yell” louder by giving you more pain. Think about how the dog would react if you didn’t listen to him. Would it just stop whining? Of course not. Your pain won’t just “go away” either. This is why we see so many instances of recurring, and more often times more severe, episodes of low back pain. Unfortunately lasting decades for some people.

Your body is trying to tell you something, are you listening?!

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For questions, comments, or concerns please contact me directly at joezappydc@gmail.com or call my office directly at (484) 341-8598.

About the author

Chiropractor in Exton with a Master's Degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition, Board Certification in Physiotherapy, and Biomechanics Expert. I am very passionate about solving pain problems and look forward to helping solve your pain problem today!