Pain is usually the reason why most patients consult a chiropractor.
The practitioner’s task is to try to determine the source of the pain so that it may be addressed effectively. Once any serious underlying pathology such as bone damage, tumours and infection has been ruled out, we are left with pain of a mechanical origin. It is then important to consider the onset of the pain, which everybody likes to be able to associate with a particular cause.
When the onset of the pain is sudden, as often happens after lifting or bending awkwardly, twisting suddenly or making a jarring movement, it is reassuring for the patient to be able to attribute the cause to a specific event. “I did something foolish”, “I know I should not have done that” are the types of comments we hear regularly.
“The pain came from nowhere”,
“It came out the blue”,
“I was fine when I went to bed and the following morning it was so painful that I could not get my head off the pillow”
However, although the onset can still appear to be sudden, there may be no particular event, which can be identified as a possible trigger. In these cases the patient often feels let down by his/her body. “The pain came from nowhere”, “it came out the blue”, “I was fine when I went to bed and the following morning it was so painful that I could not get my head off the pillow” are the comments we hear.
This impression that the pain has appeared “from nowhere” occurs because the process has been developing well before we become aware of it. In addition to this gradual build-up of a problem, the culmination comes when some minor, trivial activity (eg lying in bed) acts as a trigger. The British describe it as ‘the last straw that breaks the camel’s back’ and the French, ‘the last drop that makes the vase overflow’ and this is exactly what occurs.
What happens is that long before we’re aware of the severe pain, most of us suffer from all sorts of periods of mild discomfort and stiffness caused by general ‘wear and tear’. All this takes a gradual toll on our joints and their supportive structures. Add to that a lifestyle of poor posture at work, long hours of driving, slouching on the sofa in front of the television and you have the perfect recipe for an acute episode of neck, mid back or low back pain one day.
But, you will say, what steps could I take to avoid reaching the acute stage? Our advice would be to monitor your health and keep your body working as smoothly as possible. Think about your car, do you keep it regularly serviced, or do you wait until you break down in the pouring rain in the middle of nowhere before you call a mechanic?
The analogy may be obvious, but don’t you think your body is just as important as your car? If so, a visit to the chiropractor may save you a lot of trouble and pain further down the road.
For further information, please visit http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/chiropractic-pain-relief#1