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Chronic Pain

Southern Spinal Care

How to Cope With Life In Pain,

You have been in terrible pain ever since the injury, or accident; or perhaps you can’t even put your finger on exactly what started you down this awful path.  The pain is untouched by many medications and therapies you have tried in the past. Some only brought flickers of less-pain moments. In this issue we are going to begin to examine chronic pain and see if a program of self-assessment, goal setting and other techniques will help you change your life.

Dear Friend and Patient:

Chronic pain has to be one of the worst things I see in my practice. The pain seems never ending for the patient and sometimes helping them is the greatest challenge I face as a health-care professional.

Before we get too far here I want to tell you about the different types of pain. This is important to know about even if you aren’t experiencing any pain at the present moment. There are two distinct types of pain that most of my patients experience.
Pain Type #1: What is known as “Acute Pain.”

Like the bell that alarms school children when recess is completed, acute pain is the warning signal given by your body that something is wrong. For example, a simple paper cut is a basic form of acute pain. This pain is not usually long in endurance and once the problem goes away the pain will too.

Traditionally this type of pain was treated with medications or surgery. In our office acute pain is effectively treated with a series of adjustments.

There is a big problem with treating acute pain using traditional methods. The treatments often mask the pain temporarily. Acute pain can pop back up once it has seemingly “left the building”.  Most of the time its reoccurrence is based upon further injury that occurred after you took a pill that made you think you were doing okay. You moved about as if nothing were wrong and this can deepen the problem.
Pain Type #2: What is known as “Chronic Pain.”

Chronic pain is far more complicated. Patients who experience pain on a regular basis suffer an agony and frustration that few understand.

People will do almost anything to get out of pain. I once visited the dentist who told me I needed a molar removed. Well, I run a busy practice and I thought it could wait. The next day my mouth SWELLED UP with pain and I did whatever it took to get out of my pain!

Imagine if your life revolved around constant episodes of similar pain. Pain that interrupted a happy event in the house. Pain that suffocated your ability to set and achieve goals. Pain that handcuffed you in your ability to enjoy life and do the physical things you enjoy.

In our work with hundreds of patients like this we have found two aspects of pain that pose a problem.

  1. Every pain problem has a physical component.
  2. And every pain problem carries along with it a  psychological component.

Along with my tooth ringing in pain, I also had the panic and emotional upset that something was wrong. I recognize and deal with this factor when treating my patients. Few doctors understand this duality. But it means that chronic pain needs to be treated in both ways.
More About The “Symptoms” Of Chronic Pain –

Is There Hope For Chronic Pain Sufferers?

Yes. But my answer will shake loose some of the traditional, conventional information you might have learned.

From our research we’ve learned that few medications will ever “cure” the core problem that causes chronic pain. Like a Band-Aid, it only acts to mask the injury until the medication wears off.

But what if there existed a far superior method to reduce – dramatically – the chronic pain you suffer? What if it didn’t require taking a single pill or going through invasive surgery?

Such a treatment exists. And as you might guess it is…

Chiropractic Treatment!

Chiropractic is effective at treating chronic pain because it addresses the root cause of pain. It doesn’t attempt to mask or cover up.

This makes its results highly effective. One patient who recently came into my office had suffered for 13 years with various forms of back pain. It had now reached a point of desperation for this gentleman.

He was in so much pain that it forced this man to spend large amounts of time away from his business, which caused it to decline.

After reviewing the source of this patients’ pain, he was able to experience a dramatic reduction in back pain after just 2 weeks. He has said that he feels like he’s been given a new life again. And he can’t believe he wasted all those years in pain, spending all sorts of money on doctor visits and pills, when a solution had existed just a few kilometres from his home.

Such recoveries are common place when one seeks effective chiropractic treatment.

Does Chiropractic Work All The Time?

No. For example, I remember seeing a patient who had eight surgeries on her jawbone – yes, eight! – because she had felt pain in her joint.

By the time she reached me there wasn’t much we could do, although even after all she went through, we were able to at least ease her symptoms.

Corrective Chiropractic care is effective in 95% of the cases it is used. The remaining 5% of cases are largely untreatable due to severe problems like the one mentioned earlier.

How well does it work? So well that they are teaching chiropractic methods in many medical schools today. In fact, we have a high success rate treating chronic pain victims because we treat the root cause of pain instead of chasing the symptom.
How Can You Correct The Negative Psychological

Affects of Chronic Pain?

Many patients we treat do not realize there is a psychological aspect to their pain.  When we help them address this issue we have noticed it speeds up recovery.

Patients want their problem to be corrected right away. This is perfectly normal. However the most EFFECTIVE method is to combine chiropractic technique with a few of the psychological techniques listed below:

Method One: Identify and remove negative thoughts and “blockages”.  Yes, I realize this sounds new age. Even pollyannaish. Yet there does exist an inextricable link between mental health and physical health.

Constantly dwelling on negative events and stresses in your life actually aid in maintaining your pain (What you think about comes about!). This suppresses your body’s ability to heal itself along with the help you’re getting from your chiropractic adjustments.
Drawing your pain?

Another technique some psychologists use is asking the patient to draw their pain.  So break out those Crayolas!  By “drawing the pain”, doctors can often tell the role that it has had on your life.  They can see if it controls you. If you are afraid of it. If you’re angry at it. Even if you are confused by it.

This might be a good first step in identifying and then removing those negative beliefs and thought patterns you’ve been holding about your pain.
Method Two: Journal your painThe problem with psychological aspects of pain is that it cannot be treated as easily as the physical attributes. It is more intangible.

What needs to be done is a complete overhaul of your feelings, beliefs and attitudes about the pain you’ve experienced.

What’s the best way to do this? Keep a journal.
Write down each time your pain enters your mind. Log how many times you bring up “pain” into a conversation. Notice how often you use your pain as an excuse or use defeatist self-talk such as, “There’s no solution to this pain.”

Now here’s what you can do to begin to change these negative thought-patterns. Next to every negative thought or belief you wrote down, rewrite it in a positive way.

For example, a negative belief would sound like this. “I can’t make it into the chiropractors office today because I’m too busy.” You would change this to, “I’m too busy NOT to control my chronic pain; making time for my chiropractor is the smartest thing that I can do.”

This replacement will change your ideas about the pain.  Second it will become habitual. You will catch yourself being negative and automatically self-correct. It is true that awareness is often curative. You will begin to see the positive changes in your mental health.