Chronic pain is the number one reason people seek medical care and costs more than heart disease ($309 billion), cancer ($243 billion), and diabetes ($188 billion).
Pain is an important protective mechanism that helps the body avoid injury and alerts us to any potential problems but it can become a problem when it becomes chronic. Oftentimes, pain continues to linger even after an injury has healed. Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts greater than 6 weeks. Additionally, a traumatic event or certain health conditions (like Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) can lead to the onset of pain despite the lack of a measurable physical injury.
Chronic pain patterns
Pain alters the way our bodies function and puts a burden on the entire system. It temporarily limits our mental capacity, decreases tolerance for daily activity, and leads to imbalanced movement patterns that all affect overall quality.
When generalized, aching pain becomes a norm for life, it can lead to a feeling of hopelessness. There are many theories surrounding what causes chronic pain, but there is one factor that all experts agree on. The pain signals that the nerves are sending to the brain become dysfunctional or even overactive.
The following factors can play a role in developing chronic pain.
- Mental health
- Past injury and trauma
- Inflammatory diseases
- Poor general health
Chronic pain is a widely stigmatized health issue that often leads to patients being blown off by their physicians. Many people suffer in silence because their symptoms aren’t well understood in traditional medicine. They are offered palliative care and prescribed of a wide variety of medications that affect quality of life and have some major side effects.
Yet, the truth of the matter is that there is a very real perception of pain going on in the body and brain, regardless of what is causing it. This is why more alternative treatments like psychotherapy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage therapy, and physical therapy tend to have better long term results.
Chiropractic care can make a difference
Chronic pain signals a disconnect between the nerves detecting pain and the body. When nerve energy is compromised and out of sync, the root issue needs to be addressed. Making the brain aware of aberrant patterns and stopping the pain signal is key to correcting the issue. This is why Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET) is a recommended option for managing chronic pain because it can address any underlying issues related to spine alignment and the body’s response to past events that are affecting nerve integrity.
Treatment is non-invasive with a focus on soft tissue mobilization, education (key for chronic pain), manipulation, exercise, stretching, and more. A NET practitioner can provide much needed relief with a notoriously difficult and stigmatized health condition.