Pain is just the tip of the iceberg
Let's look at chronic pain as an iceberg. The exposed tip above represents your discomfort. This is what you can feel.
The tricky thing about pain is that it goes up & down. It's like a moody roller coaster travelling on its tracks. It's not reliable. However, pain is important!
Chronic pain is a protective mechanism. It reminds you not to do certain things that are bad for you.
Just think of someone scolding their pet dog after it does something naughty. By inflicting pain on you, your body is "scolding" you for the excessive stress you're putting it through.
This works well initially, but starts to fail after you've accumulated too much stress over your lifetime.
When you reach this tipping point, your nerves become oversensitive. This means you'll feel pain when you're not supposed to.
Examples of Chronic Pain
It's impossible to list all chronic pain scenarios, but these are the more common ones:
- pain when turning your head
- pain while using the computer
- pain trying to lift your arms
- pain when gripping an object
- pain during exercise
- pain when trying to sleep
- pain while driving
- pain walking upstairs/downstairs
- pain getting up from chair
- pain changing your clothes
As you can see, these are activities that should NOT be painful. Unless, your nerves have become oversensitive due to stress.
Location of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can manifest in one or several locations in your body.
The interesting thing is that the location of pain is often different from where the underlying cause is. Remember that chronic pain is a protective mechanism, a way for your nerves to "scold" you in the hopes of changing your behaviour.
Simply put, all because you have chronic pain in your neck doesn't mean it's a neck issue. All because you have chronic pain in your back doesn't mean it's a back problem.
It's actually your nerves (brain & spinal cord) becoming oversensitive from your accumulation of stress. So, chronic pain is a nerve issue.
Most of our new patients are motivated by chronic pain at the beginning.
During your initial assessment, you'll be asked to rate your pain intensity on a scale of 10.
The first phase of your Chiropractic care will vary depending on your pain intensity. Naturally, the more intense your chronic pain, the more sessions you'll need.